2. Bundesliga – Matchday 6 Review: Holstein Kiel go top as the table tightens

It might be the same summary as last week, but there’s little else to say other than this was yet another interesting weekend of 2. Bundesliga action that only bunched the table up further. With seven points separating a staggering 16 teams, it’s impossible to pick a promotion or relegation favourite. Here’s how Matchday 6 panned out as a 33 goals were scored over the nine matches.

1. FC Union Berlin 1-1 Eintracht Braunschweig

Union began the better side after a 30 minute delay because of fans were caught up in heavy traffic on the way to the ground. Simon Hedlund was the man making things happen throughout the entire first half, and beyond, as he had an early effort on goal blocked. The Swede then failed to find the far corner or pick out Sebastian Polter, as another good opportunity passed them by. Polter then had an effort of his own, as did Damir Kreilach, but neither tested Jasmin Fejzic. Braunschweig did not come forward on a regular basis, with Joseph Baffo putting in a stellar showing in defence.

The two sides came out after the interval and put on a real show. Union would draw first blood, and it was no surprise that Polter fed Hedlund to slide a fine finish past Fejzic to give his side a deserved lead. Suleiman Abdullahi missed a huge chance to send his team level, but Christoffer Nyman made amends after tidying up a cut-back from Salim Khelifi. Yet another Swiss assist. Abdullahi failed to convert two further openings before Polter was denied by Fejzic and Marcel Hartel cracked the bar. No winner was found, and it’s more dropped points for both – not what either wanted.

Erzgebirge Aue 0-3 Holstein Kiel

It was a super start from the Storks to what was billed as one of the most exciting games for any new faces watching the league for the first time. Alexander Mühling opened the scoring in fantastic style as Steven Lewerenz was tackled by Dominik Wydra, and Mühling whipped a fierce 18-yard drive into the top corner. It was from the same position that Kiel added to their lead after a knock-down from Lewerenz. Marvin Ducksch was ready and waiting, and he slammed a stunning half-volley past the best efforts of Martin Männel in off the underside of the crossbar.

Kiel were dominant throughout the game and had chances to add to those first-half strikes, with Aue’s main chance falling to Fabian Kalig after Christian Tiffert’s pin-point free-kick. He, however, had to watch the ball comeback off the post. The second period lacked intensity, with the hosts becoming increasingly frustrated. Dominic Peitz had a header saved, but the highlight of the half was Ducksch grabbing a second with a superb first-time effort over Männel and into the far corner. Kiel are joint top for the first time in almost 27 years, while Aue have tasted defeat for the first time under Hannes Drews.

FC St. Pauli 0-4 FC Ingolstadt 04

After trying for all they were worth and only grabbing one goal against Aue, Ingolstadt started with purpose in Hamburg and had the lead inside 10 minutes. Sonny Kittel started what would be a stunning first-half performance with a deadly free-kick that left Robin Himmelmann standing still. Kittel continued to cause problems, as did Bernd Nehrig with a header that flashed over. The two inadvertently combined for the Schanzer’s second and when Nehrig tackled Thomas Pledl after Kittel’s pass, the ball dropped perfectly for Christian Träsch to run onto and smash home.

Things didn’t get any better from there as Dario Lezcano raced onto a block tackle from Tobias Schröck and lifted his effort over the oncoming Himmelmann and in. Lezcano then turned provider with a clever pass, as Kittel smacked the ball low into the net. 4-0 at the break, there was little the hosts could do. Aside from Max Christiansen going close and Pledl hitting the post, the second half provided little in the way of talking points. St. Pauli looked somewhat lost without either Mats Møller Dæhli and Christopher Buchtmann. That said, what an incredible performance from Ingolstadt.

A brace for Sonny Kittel Saturday

SV Sandhausen 1-0 1. FC Kaiserslautern

The first half was somewhat of a non-event in Sandhausen, as their largest home crowd this season cheered Kenan Kocak’s men on. In an otherwise tight and tense 45 minutes, they had the best openings. Nejmidden Daghfous curled an ambitious effort off the top of the crossbar from 25 yards and it took some smart goalkeeping from Marius Müller to deny Haji Wright after a lightning-fast counter-attack. By far the most dull game of the three on Saturday, things jumped a notch after the break.

Tim Kister stopped the ball with his hand in the penalty area to take a quick free-kick, although René Rohde had not awarded one. Rohde pointed to the spot, but after five minutes of discussion opted not to give the penalty. Moments later, the inevitable happened. A Philipp Klingmann cross from deep was perfectly weighted to find Lucas Holer running in and he volleyed past the helpless Müller to make it 1-0. Marcel Schuhen was forced into a spectacular save from Lukas Spalvis’ header at the death, but that was all she wrote. SVS continued their excellent start, Kaiserslautern are still searching for that first win.

MSV Duisburg 1-6 1. FC Nürnberg

After somehow failing to score on Monday, Nürnberg were not going to let their finishing be the downfall again. The scoring began in the 10th minute, when Tobias Werner passed across goal to allow Mikael Ishak a simple tap-in. Patrick Erras’ long-awaited return from injury would have been marked with a goal had it not been for the post, before Moritz Stoppelkamp hit the post, had a shot saved and then directed the ball wide of the mark. He was made to pay for that miss, as Werner again fed Ishak to finish off from close range. Duisburg then had a penalty appeal waved away.

Eduard Löwen started the second half with a bang, nonchalantly sending a 25-yard free-kick up and over the wall into the top corner. From there, it was a staunch effort from Thorsten Kirschbaum that kept his side in such a comfortable position. Following some cracking saves, Nürnberg began to move forward once more. Ishak notched up his hat-trick with a fine finish and then another Löwen strike of technical brilliance made it five. Duisburg did score with a Stoppelkamp penalty but for Cedric Teuchert to add a late sixth. It’s a big come down for the Zebras, but the exact opposite for FCN.

3 goals for Mikael Ishak

SV Darmstadt 98 4-3 Arminia Bielefeld

The opening half hour of the game was somewhat dull and saw little in the way of openings for either side. The hour to follow was something else altogether. Patrick Weihrauch’s ball into the box was missed by everyone, until Andreas Voglsammer smashed a volley in from 10 yards. The joy was merely momentary, as Kevin Großkreutz made the most of Artur Sobiech’s pass to level. Once again, though, that relief was short-lived when Fabian Klos somehow sent a header back over Daniel Heuer Fernandes from Nils Teixeira’s cross. There were chances on either side to add to the score-line before the half-time whistle went, yet each and every one was passed up after the crazy five minutes of scoring.

Just eight minutes into the second period and Darmstadt drew level, this time through Immanuel Höhn after he met Aytac Sulu’s flick on with his head. From there the Lilies were in control, and 10 minutes later Großkreutz showed great composure to cut inside Teixeira and fire into the far corner past the helpless Stefan Ortega. Things quieted down afterwards, though Sobiech made sure of the three points with a fine finish late on. It turned out to be a crucial goal at the end of the game, as Sören Brandy tapped in late on to make it 4-3. An incredible game, which sent Darmstadt joint-top.

 

SpVgg Greuther Fürth 3-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf

From the get-go at the Ronhof, it was clear Tolcay Cigerci was on his game. Serdar Dursun and Cigerci had early attempts that trouble Raphael Wolf before Julian Green also went close twice in quick succession. Wolf had put up an impressive resistance but a clever Cigerci pass and Dursun’s powerful turn and finish saw his shot zip into the bottom corner. Wolf then did superbly to deny Patrick Sontheimer and Khaled Narey before Fürth struck again. Just before the break, Cigerci was again the creator with a wonderful ball into the box for Marco Caligiuri to head powerfully past Wolf.

The second half was somewhat slower and after the hour-mark, it was Niko Gießelmann who reduced the arrears from the spot. The former Kleeblatt drilled home after Marcel Sobottka had been tripped by Balazs Megyeri. What was hoped to be a turning point was anything but, as Cigerci was the provider for his third goal of the day. His cross to the back post was headed in by Dursun, and the hosts calmly saw out the rest of the game to give Damir Buric a first win as head coach. Fortuna’s reign at the top, although still level on points with Kiel and Darmstadt, is momentarily over.

VfL Bochum 1-2 1. FC Heidenheim

The first real chance of Frank Schmidt’s 10-year jubilee fell to Bochum, and they didn’t show any mercy. A superb through ball from Kevin Stöger found Robbie Kruse steaming through on goal, and the Australian international kept his cool to find a second goal in as many weeks. However, Schmidt didn’t have to wait long for a response as Nikola Dovedan nodded the ball across for Robert Glatzel to force home. Lukas Hinterseer and Marc Schnatterer both failed to take good opportunities late in the in the latter stages, as the sides went into the break level.

After the break, Heidenheim’s threat died down somewhat and Bochum began to control proceedings. For that pressure, though, very little fell their way. Stöger’s 25-yard shot that came back out off the inside of the post, as the VfL fans thought they’d gone ahead again. Instead it would be Heidenheim celebrating, as Dovedan headed Kolja Pusch’s corner back into the middle for Mathias Wittek to poke past the disorganised Bochum back-line. Dimitrios Diamantakos tried to salvage a point late on which was brilliantly tipped wide by Kevin Müller, and the previous weeks of good work were soon forgotten. On the other hand, it was a much-needed win for Schmidt and Heidenheim.

 

Jahn Regensburg 0-2 Dynamo Dresden

A first half that won’t live long in anyone’s memory, let alone those watching, seemed to pass by without major incident. Uwe Neuhaus’ side were the better team but failed to truly trouble Philipp Pentke. Haris Duljevic was lively and had a few attempts at goal, though his and Paul Seguin’s shots were the only attempts of note. The less said about the opening period, the better.

The most exciting moments of the match were finished up within six minutes of the restart. Fabian Müller burst down the left after a clever pass from Duljevic, before unselfishly squaring the ball to Sascha Horvath and he calmly slid his effort into an open goal. Just three minutes later, and Horvath was upended by Marvin Knoll. Christof Günsch pointed to the spot and it was coolly converted by Aias Aosman to give his side some breathing space. The remainder was of little excitement, and Dynamo were finally back to winning ways – this was the first real outing where Jahn looked worryingly weak in attack.

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Jonathan Walsh

Jonny is a 2. Bundesliga fanatic who does little else with his time other than follow, watch, write about, think about, and promote his favorite league. When he isn't in university or trying to defend the Bundesliga's 50+1 rule, you'll most likely find him watching whatever football he can find on TV. Follow him @jonathanwalsh_

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