This weekend was a slow burner, a little like the international action. From doldrums to a manic scramble at the end of the matchday, we ended up with bicycle kick assists to scissor kick goals, eight and seven-goal thrillers and everything in between. There was even a nil-all for the football purists. So, with that said, here is your Matchday 10 round-up.
FC St. Pauli 1-1 1. FC Kaiserslautern
Given the goalscoring records of both sides, it was probably best that expectations for an exciting encounter were tempered before kick-off. The game lived up to the pre-match billing, with a real lack of quality or cutting edge in the opening half. Sebastian Andersson’s toe-poke was the closest Kaiserslautern came to troubling Robin Himmelmann in the home goal. At the other end, Enver Cenk Sahin sprung the offside trap perfectly for Sami Allagui to get on goal but to blaze wildly over when one-on-one with Marius Müller. All in all, a half to forget.
Finally, 18 minutes into the second half, there was a goal to break the boredom. The ball fell fortuitously to Johannes Flum in the area before he was fouled by Benjamin Kessel. However, Flum had managed to shin the ball to Allagui to rifle past the helpless Müller from 20 yards before Sascha Stegemann could give the spot-kick. Mats Møller Dæhli almost made it two 10 minutes later, but for Müller’s fingertips. They were made to pay as well, when Andersson rose brilliantly to power Joel Abu Hanna’s corner into the net. It wasn’t a classic, yet it was a big point for the Red Devils. St. Pauli will feel that they had the three points in bag, until that late strike.
MSV Duisburg 0-0 Eintracht Braunschweig
Any hopes that Friday night would get off to a bang after the international break were quickly scrapped. If the St. Pauli game was quiet, this was something else altogether. The first half contained just one meaningful chance, as Kevin Wolze’s free-kick was brilliantly tipped onto the upright by Jasmin Fejzic. It was hoped that, midway through the half, that might have been a catalyst for an increased tempo on both sides. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. The game drifted towards the half with little in the way of openings in the loosest possible terms.
The second half was an improvement, which wasn’t hard by any means, as Cauly Olivera Souza and Borys Tashchy failed to give the Zebras an early second half lead. At the other end, Suleiman Abdullahi hit the side-netting from a promising position. A sigh of relief for Braunschweig fans came when Totte Nyman returned after his injury lay-off, and his superior movement saw him in on goal only to be denied by Mark Flekken. Hendrick Zuck’s free-kick flew over in the final real action of note in a highly forgettable game that both sides were equally desperate to win. That never shone through.
Arminia Bielefeld 0-2 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Well, if Friday was dull then Saturday made up for that and then some. Fortuna began the brighter side through Rouwen Hennings and Benito Raman, though Bielefeld were able to regain control as the half went on. Andraz Sporar had Bielefeld’s best opening in the opening 25 minutes, curling a shot over after an impressive move. The breakthrough came when Raman raced onto a Hennings pass, and brilliantly slipped the ball past Stefan Ortega in front of the Bielefeld end. Fortuna had a second disallowed in the closing minutes, as Oliver Fink tapped in from an offside position.
That mistake from Ortega, which led to the chance, seemed to galvanise Arminia. Sporar’s misfortune in front of goal continued into the second period, as he two goals chalked off for offside within eight minutes of the restart. In a role reversal of the first half, Fortuna then took a grip of the game. Raman and Hennings missed glorious chances to kill the game off, as Florian Neuhaus duly stepped up to the plate. He collected Lukas Schmitz’s cut-back before sitting two defenders down on their rear before chipping Ortega. Bielefeld curiously scored as the final whistle went, only for it to be disallowed, but it was a deserved win nevertheless for Friedhelm Funkel’s men.
Dynamo Dresden 2-2 FC Ingolstadt 04
After an opening 10 minutes that was dominated by the hosts, there was shock across the DDV-Stadion when some excellent work on the left by Sonny Kittel was suitably rewarded by Marcel Gaus’ poked, precise finish. One became two just 10 minutes later, although not before Dario Lezcano headed against the post, after Marvin Matip’s cross was converted brilliantly by Alfredo Morales from 16 yards. However, Dynamo deservedly got a goal back on the half hour. Niklas Kreuzer’s oh-so blatant dive took the shine off the penalty, as Peniel Mlapa slotted home from 12 yards.
Kreuzer’s influence on the game was there for all to see, and his corner created a quick-fire equaliser after the interval. Jannik Muller’s header flicked Kreuzer’s corner into the path of Mlapa, who made no mistake in firing home his second of the game. Kreuzer then shot just wide before taking advantage of a defensive mix-up, but to see his effort come back out off the joint. After that initial entertainment, the second half provided little in the way of entertainment. It’s a draw that benefits neither in their battle to head up the table, though Dynamo will be pleased with their comeback.
VfL Bochum 2-0 SV Sandhausen
With the ultras remaining silent in the Ruhrstadion, the rest of the stadium was tasked with creating the atmosphere for Jens Rasiejewski’s first game in charge. They were on top in the early stages of the game, and eventually took advantage of their dominance when Robbie Kruse’s cross was powerfully headed past Marcel Schuhen by Lukas Hinterseer. The Austrian passed up further chances to add to the lead as Kruse and Kevin Stöger pulled the strings from midfield. A few tough tackles towards the end of the half saw cards brandished at will, with half-time coming at the right time.
Thankfully, there were no more cards after the break and Sandhausen came into the game more as they began to get the ball moving. A 15-minute spell after the opener saw some drastic, but brilliant, defending from Patrick Fabian as Haji Wright and co. desperately tried to get the visitors back on terms. Despite that, it was Kruse who proved key again when a mazy run ended with the ball kindly falling to Stöger to lash home from close range. José Pierre Vunguidica hit the outside of the post after that, though it was a deserved win for VfL as the ultras continued to make their feelings known.
1. FC Heidenheim 3-5 Holstein Kiel
Following the theme of the weekend, if Saturday was good then Sunday was incredible. The hosts got the scoring started in some style in the ninth minute, as Marc Schnatterer swerved an incredible effort in off the post from 30 yards. Slowly, Kiel recovered and began to work Kevin Müller in the home goal. That pressure paid off when Alexander Mühling sent Marvin Ducksch through on goal, and he slid the ball coolly into the bottom corner. Ducksch was then felled by Mathias Wittek when bearing down on Müller inside the area, to which he was sent off and that allowed Ducksch to convert from 12 yards.
The second half got off to a bang when Marnon Busch’s deflected shot caught Kenneth Kronholm flat-footed and bounced into the far corner. Despite going a man down, Frank Schmidt’s men shocked everyone when they went ahead through Schnatterer’s stunning 25-yard free-kick that was placed to perfection. That joy lasted all of 60 seconds, as Dominick Drexler tapped in after Ducksch hit the bar. It wasn’t until the 81st minute where a decisive move was made and, after the post was struck twice, David Kinsombi poked home. There was still time for Ducksch to complete his hat-trick, powerfully finishing off Tom Weilandt’s cross with his head. A crazy game, which kept Kiel in touch with Fortuna at the top.
Jahn Regensburg 0-2 1. FC Union Berlin
It was a strong beginning to the game for both sides, but one which provided little in the way of chances. Aside from Akaki Gogia’s early effort, the drama started began in the 18th minute when Marco Grüttner was fouled by Kristian Pedersen. Andreas Geipl stepped up, only to be denied by Jakob Busk. Fast forward one minute, and Sebastian Polter was making the most of Simon Hedlund’s cross to finish past Philipp Pentke and turn the game on its head. Union were fairly comfortable after that, but failed to make the most of that and add a second goal before the break.
Union had Busk to thank once more when he made a super save to deny Sargis Adamyan, and they countered once more to perfection. After Pentke did well to deny Sebastian Polter, Gogia brought calm to the situation with a cool touch and finish to put the game beyond doubt. That said Joshua Mees struck the base of the post and then saw Busk claw an incredible effort out of the far top corner. Jens Keller’s men held on to get another three points on their travels, and put them back on the right side of the promotion battle.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth 2-1 Erzgebirge Aue
The Shamrocks started the historic day in control, keeping an exciting Aue side at bay during the early stages. Levent Aycicek and co did their best to bring Martin Männel into action, though it was a largely comfortable 45 minutes for the Violets’ stopper. The defence was constantly worked, but were putting up a staunch showing. After a rather quiet first 40 minutes, the opener finally came through Khaled Narey. Roberto Hilbert’s pass was met by the winger, and he managed to work a way past Fabian Kalig before picking out the far corner.
Fürth had the momentum after the restart, as Manuel Torres and Serdar Dursun continued to cause problems. It was a shock to all when Albert Bunjaku finished off Mario Kvesic’s good work with a simple tap-in towards the end. That late goal could have killed the Kleeblatt, but their 1000th game in the league would have a happy ending. A long ball into the box was bicycle-kicked back into the danger-zone by David Raum for Daniel Steininger to scissor-kick an 87th minute winner. Two youth players combining for a crucial win, which left the Shamrocks a point shy of Heidenheim.
SV Darmstadt 98 2-4 1. FC Nürnberg
This was the key game of the weekend for those in the chasing pack. After a strong start, the hosts struck first blood after just six minutes when Yannick Stark’s volley took a kind deflection off Lukas Muhl to leave Thorsten Kirschbaum stranded. That joy didn’t last too long, however, and Cedric Teuchert took advantage of Patrick Banggaard’s poor header to lift the ball over Joel Mall and in. Darmstadt were not put off at all, only to see Tobias Kempe’s shot come out off the inside of the post and deny him a fine strike against his former employers.
After an entertaining first-half continued into the second, as Felix Platte’s superb control and shot saw a stunning half-volley whistle just wide. However, FCN turned on the style after that and Tim Leibold’s through-ball was inch-perfect for Mikael Ishak to stay onside and slip the ball through Mall’s legs. Hanno Behrens hit the post seconds later on a counter, before Cedric Teuchert bundled his way through to fire low and under Mall’s outstretched hand. The visitors were clinical, and then some.
That said Darmstadt would not give up and, after McKenzie Gaines’ persistence, they managed to grab a goal back. He won a corner, which found Aytac Sulu at the back post. The skipper nodded down to Platte, who finished off in real style. Even then, FCN were playing some irresistible football and Ishak fed Leibold to score a fantastic fourth just two minutes later. The Lilies kept pushing and got one back when Eduard Löwen caught a cross in the face, but the Kevin Möhwald inspired men secured a vital three away points to move into third.