Shocking poor performance from Dynamo allows the guests to hijack all three points after five winless games
Both teams started in the expected systems, Dresden 4-4-2, Darmstadt replying with 4-2-3-1 during the offensive phase and 4-4-2 when defending, mirroring the opposition. Dynamo got off the better start, with more possession and tried some attacks on the left wing, Berko moving inside to clear the flank for Heise. They even had a huge change to take the lead after a free kick.
Dynamo needed too much time on the ball in the opposite half; they hardly found any passing angles through the compact Darmstadt defensive network, which proved extremely disciplined, with small distances between the lines. The guests became braver after the first quarter and balanced the game. They were more aggressive and tried most attacks on the left side, where the hosts proved weak – Horvath wasn’t positioning properly, so Kreuzer was often in 1v2 situations. Right back Steinhöfer didn’t venture forward, in order to defend against Dresden’s strong left flank, in case of a ball loss.
The hosts slowly lost their patience, the strikers rarely dropped, and the distances between lines were big. So they started hitting long balls. By that time, the guests were in total control of the game. Ji enjoyed freedom between the opposition’s lines and alternated his moves on the flanks, outnumbering the hosts. Dynamo had no reaction to his moves, or to Kempe’s central appearances and badly defended the flanks. Neither Horvath nor Berko helped back. Obviously the defense cracked, after allowing a first dangerous action on the right side, the next one was allowed on the left and ended with the deserved lead for the guests.
Dynamo couldn’t increase the pace; the offensive pass rate was very low, as the two strikers and wingers were rarely in position to receive the ball. Added to this was Darmstadt’s brilliant defending, with Kempe and Jones always in line with the double six, offering the opponents space for back passes only. It was again the guests who were extremely dangerous before the break, with Platte creating space for Ji and then running from deep to finish the attack. Dresden’s defense was still sleeping.
In the last minutes of the first half, Neuhaus tried with inverse wingers (Berko on the right, Horvath on the left), but Schuster replied with the same change between Kempe and Jones, so they could better defend against the opponents strong foot.
Duljevic replaced Berko after the break and brought momentum on the left side with his strong 1v1 skills, but his crosses didn’t find any receiver. Dynamo seemed broken in midfield, Konrad dropped close to the central defenders to start attacks, while Hauptmann found himself often in front of Darmstadt’s 4 man midfield line without solutions.
Darmstadt constantly created 3v2 advantage in the central zone when attacking, with Platte, Ji and Kempe during quick attacks, or Ji and the double six during positional attacks. Darmstadt scored again after outnumbering Dynamo on the left side of attack with Ji’s appearance.
Neuhaus changed again, with Mlapa (for weak Horvath) acting as the target man in a 4-1-4-1 shape, with Röser on the right wing. Schuster also changed with Rosenthal for injured Bregerie, arranging his team in a 4-4-1-1 system. Kamavuaka dropped as central defender, Kempe played on the double six with Stark, Ji right wing and Rosenthal on the ten. Darmstadt needed some time to process these changes and Dynamo was close to score, after their first dangerous attack: Mlapa created space for Hauptmann’s run, who failed against Fernandes. Dynamo seemed awake, Hauptmann’s forward runs created superiority and Darmstadt was a little surprised at first.
In the final minutes the hosts risked everything in attack, but there were too many unsynchronized actions. They could only put Darmstadt under pressure for a few minutes, without creating danger in the last third, but could had been punished for the space left behind.
The guests deservedly won all three points after a very good appearance, while Dynamo created most scoring chances by set pieces.
13th min: Heise takes a free kick from the left inside the box, Franke heads to Koné, who is denied by Fernandes from 6 meters.
27th min: Holland regains possession in the opposite half after a poor clearance from Franke. Röser is close, but doesn’t follow, Horvath is a spectator, so he runs with the ball without any pressure. Hauptmann is in a 1v2 situation and cannot properly defend. Konrad also decides to attack Holland leaving Ji out of sight, also Platte drops and receives the pass. Franke follows him, leaving his position, but cannot attack him. Platte passes to Ji, who runs in the space freed by the striker, but shoots wide. All the time Holland was on the ball, he had two or three good options to pass to and this was not a fast paced attack. Dynamo defended only with Konrad and Hauptmann against four opponents.
29th min: After solid work from Platte, who steals the ball from Heise at the corner of Dresden’s penalty area and escapes from a 1v3 situation, he plays Kempe. The latter also wins a 1v2 duel with Konrad and Ballas and sends the ball to Steinhöfer, who is free as Berko doesn’t defend. The ball goes back to Kempe, free from Heise’s marking and crosses without pressure. The ball is too long for Ji at the first post, but it’s perfect for Jones to push it in at the far post (Kreuzer was behind him, too far to defend) – 0-1.
Phase 1: After another failed attack from the hosts, Platte drops on the left side and frees the central space for Ji, who receives from Kamavuaka. Konrad was in no man’s land, as the Darmstadt player has two options to play the ball. Platte makes a quick turn and runs into the space behind Konrad and receives from Ji. The guests outnumber the hosts 4v3 on this counter attack, with huge distances between Dynamo’s defenders. Platte is slow, doesn’t realize that Ballas is running towards him leaving Kempe unmarked and Darmstadt loses the favorable moment, but still has possession.
Phase 2: Dynamo improvises the defense, with Hauptmann as left back (Heise is still advanced) and Horvath on the six, but doesn’t gain numerical advantage. As no striker goes back to defend the right flank, Platte plays Jones in that area, who, together with Holland are 2v1 against Kreuzer. Holland crosses at the 11m spot, where Platte appears unmarked and shoots, but Schubert saves with great effort.
45th min: Dresden is again dangerous from set pieces. Heise plays a right corner kick in the penalty box, Franke rises highest and heads close to the target.
55th min: Throw in for Darmstadt in the last third, Ji appears again to receive the ball, Konrad is a little too far to put pressure on him. Kreuzer has no reaction in this scene, although Konrad signaled him where to defend, so he lets Horvath in a 1v2 situation. Ji sends back to Holland, who has enough time to prepare the cross for Kempe, who heads without opposition from Heise, who is too far, for the second goal – 0-2.
62nd min: The first and only brilliant attack from the hosts. Duljievic dribbles past Ji and has time to evaluate his options, as Steinhöfer is far from him. Mlapa runs right with his marking and opens up space in the center for Hauptmann’s run, perfectly synchronized with Duljievic’s pass, but fails 1v1 with Fernandes. Stark is always a step behind Hauptmann and cannot attack him.
74th min: Heise takes a corner kick from the left, Mlapa is first on the ball, but heads too high.
80th min: Dynamo clears a Darmstadt’s corner kick, but the guests are the first on the second ball. Kempe crosses from the left, but Ji heads over from ideal position. Darmstadt had 3v2 advantage at the 11m area, Sulu and Boyd blocked Dresden’s defenders offering Ji, criminally alone, enough space for his header.
90th min: Holland sends a long pass from central left to Boyd and starts a counter attack. Darmstadt is in a 3v1 counter situation, Heise doesn’t know what to do first, Boyd passes to Rosenthal free at the edge of the penalty area. His shot goes over from a must score position.