October 21, 2017

2. Bundesliga – Matchday 7 Review: Fortuna Düsseldorf go top once more

Goals were not as readily forthcoming as they had been in previous weeks, but 2. Bundesliga Matchday 7 still threw up the usual twists, turns and surprises. The second of three Englische Woche instalments has set the table up nicely for the weekend games that follow.

FC Ingolstadt 04 2-2 MSV Duisburg

Alfredo Morales’ early shot on goal was all either side really had to shout about in the opening 15 minutes, of a game between two sides that struggled to get the better of one another. Duisburg would take the lead in somewhat fortunate circumstances, as Kevin Wolze’s ball found Borys Tashchy in the area before he got a kind deflection from Marvin Matip to beat Ørjan Nyland. Just before the break, Stefan Leitl’s men got level through Hauke Wahl. It wasn’t a pretty finish, in fact it looked like the defender knew very little about it, but his chested effort flew in from Sonny Kittel’s corner.

Ingolstadt didn’t have to wait long until they managed to grab the lead, either, as Wahl scored his second of the game. Just seven minutes after the interval, the defender popped up at the back post to meet a Matip flick-on. However, any joy was cut short when a lovely move from the Zebras saw Stanislav Iljutchenko feed Tashchy to finish smartly past Nyland – whose positioning seemed slightly off. Moritz Stoppelkamp’s late shot into the side-netting was the final real action of intent in the game, leaving both sides feeling fairly happy with a hard-fought point.

SV Sandhausen 1-0 1. FC Union Berlin

After a surprise tactical switch, it was almost a surprise start for Kenan Kocak’s men as the evergreen Philipp Klingmann was almost able to give his side an immediate lead. Lucky for Union, however, Fabian Schönheim was ready to clear on the line. Aside from Leart Paqarada’s free-kick that brought a fine save out of Jakob Busk, it was a first-half played between two teams with very little to split them. Unsurprisingly, then, the two went into the break level-pegging.

The breakthrough came after the restart, and through Paqarada. The left-back finished off Klingmann’s ball in style from outside the area, and was just reward after Sandhausen had strong penalty claims turned down just a few minutes before. Union created very little throughout and Marcel Schuhen had a relatively routine evening in goal. The win took Sandhausen to the lofty heights of second, but Union are finding things tough at the moment and a win would do aworld of good.

1. FC Kaiserslautern 0-2 Erzgebirge Aue

After a very slow start on the Betzenberg, things finally got going after half an hour. There was little to shout about before then, and suddenly the game opened up. Pascal Köpke was the man moving at pace, as two passes moved him onto the edge of the area. A subtle ball into Sören Bertram, and the forward sent a low drive past Marius Müller to the disgust of the home fans. Try as they might, Kaiserslautern couldn’t get anything going in an attacking sense. They could have fallen further behind had Dimitrij Nazarov’s effort, from another quick counter, hit the post.

Aue didn’t have to wait long after the break to find a second goal, however. It was again the impressive Köpke who was the provider, as his low cross was turned home by Bertram’s brave sliding finish. after that, the Red Devils showed something like the fight they needed to at the start of the game. With Sebastian Anderrson and Manfred Osei Kwadwo going close. Lukas Spalvis also tested Martin Männel, though they failed to find a way past Hannes Drews determined defence. In the end, it was the final nail in the coffin for Norbert Meier and he was sacked the next morning – on his birthday.

Holstein Kiel 0-1 FC St. Pauli

After a 10-minute delay where St. Pauli’s coaching staff turned into the most well-oiled security team in recent memory, props to Hain, and Sami Allagui rescued a banner from the Kiel hooligans, the game kicked off with plenty on the line. Kenneth Kronholm and Robin Himmelmann were tested early on, with David Kinsombi and Richard Neudecker having efforts saved. After some more opportunities on either side, Johannes Flum finally made the breakthrough. Neudecker found him in the clear, and his finish was as far into the top corner as one could hope.

The restart brought more physical play on both sides, as the yellow cards steadily increased before Patrick Herrmann was sent off late on to kill the contest. Chances were limited in the second half, with the game continuing to be well-matched throughout. Aaron Seydel did have an opening, but couldn’t find the finish. Himmelmann thwarted a late Kinsombi effort once again to ensure another 1-0 win for the Hamburg-based club. Kiel will see this as a small set-back but it still doesn’t take the shine off an otherwise incredible start.

Johannes FLum – St. Pauli’s midweek hero

Eintracht Braunschweig 3-0 SpVgg Greuther Fürth

It was a slow start to proceedings in Braunschweig, with Damir Buric’s Shamrocks looking good on the ball during the early stages. That promise quickly zipped away and the Lions began to come forward with increasing regularity. Finally, their pressure paid off as Onel Hernandez’s flick on was picked up by Christoffer Nyman. The Swede darted through on goal and produced a fine finish to slide the ball in off the post. Things got worse for Fürth five minutes later, as Ken Reichel’s cross was dummied by Nyman, allowing fellow country-man, Joe Baffo to force the ball home at the back post.

While Khaled Narey and Tolcay Cigerci went close for the Kleeblatt in added time, it was a largely limp half from them. Even though Braunschweig have endured their troubles in recent weeks, the two-goal lead had set them up for a relatively quiet second half. It wasn’t until the 70th minute that Braunschweig really troubled Fürth again, and that series of play eventually ended with them scoring a third with 10 to go. Quirin Moll fed Domi Kumbela to power into the far corner, sealing a well-deserved win and first triumph in four games. For the visitors, however, it’s back to basics again.

Dynamo Dresden 0-2 Arminia Bielefeld

This was a game that spent a while getting going, but after that the chances continued to flow. Haris Duljevic was lively throughout and his early effort was well-held by Stefan Ortega. Lucas Röser was the main man attracting the service, and had a very promising header dealt with smartly again by Ortega. At the other end, Andreas Voglsammer was the man causing all the problems and brought the best out of Marvin Schwäbe with a near-post drive. After a frantic first-half, the pace slowed somewhat in the second as the two teams began to drop the tempo slightly.

Arminia won the game late on, very late indeed. They took the lead after Sören Gonther mistimed a backwards header towards Schwäbe. That proved to be a fatal error, as Voglsammer pounced quickly and produced a fantastic lob to leave the Dynamo defence wondering what had gone wrong. Not long after, Schwäbe had pushed up for a late corner. Cue Patrick Weihrauch, who produced a finish Christoph Hemlein would have been proud of to secure all three points from just inside the Dynamo half. It maintained Bielefeld’s unbeaten league form in Dresden and kept them close at the top. However, Uwe Neuhaus will be starting to feel the heat after a poor start.

1. FC Heidenheim 2-2 SV Darmstadt 98

Heidenheim looked good in the early stages of their game against the Lilies, but failed to make any pressure turn into meaningful chances. Tobias Kempe’s early effort was the main moment of concern for a largely solid Heidenheim back-line. The breakthrough finally came in the 32nd minute. Marc Schnatterer’s delivery was perfection beyond perfection, as he picked out Nikola Dovedan running through the middle to head home. That joy was short-lived, however, as Felix Platte somehow managed to rescue a wayward cross for Artur Sobiech to divert into an open goal three minutes later.

The second half brought further chances, and the lead for Heidenheim after another Schnatterer delivery was expertly turned home by Australian Ben Halloran. Daniel Heuer Fernandes then came to the fore, making amends for several poor errors and doing his utmost to keep his side competitive in the game. In the 84th minute, with very little warning, Aytac Sulu rose highest to power home Kempe’s header into the top corner and restore parity for a second time. Platte had a glorious chance to seal all three points, but sent his effort wide. Darmstadt kept pace at the top, and Heidenheim – who could feel hard done by – continue a positive trend.

Heidenheim’s Ben Halloran

Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-0 Jahn Regensburg

Much like the other encounters on Wednesday evening, this one also began with both teams setting out to get an early opener. Fortuna’s midfielders were in fine form early on, though Marco Grüttner and Joshua Mees kept the home defence honest. Those two caused problems later on in the half, though it was Benito Raman and Oliver Fink testing Philipp Pentke at the other end. The best chance of the first period fell to Kaan Ayhan, as his clever flick drifted agonisingly wide of the far corner.

After the break, the game continued to be open and frantic. After Andreas Geipl missed a golden chance at the start of the second half, Emir Kujovic punished Jahn from close range. The forward was on hand to force the ball home from close range after a deflection on a deep free-kick. Not that the visiting fans were too bothered, they’d just been given free Altbier by Fortuna for making the trip. Their best chance to level came through Grüttner’s glancing header that went narrowly wide, while Pentke was at his best to keep out Fink’s stinging shot. It was enough to take Fortuna top again, while Achim Beierlorzer’s men have slipped in 16th.

1. FC Nürnberg 3-1 VfL Bochum

With chances at either end early on, it was perhaps no surprise that there was a goal in the 13th minute. However, the circumstances were less than kind on Enrico Valentini, whose handball allowed Dimitrios Diamantakos to continue his good form and slot home from the spot. That was as good as it got for Bochum, as Michael Köllner’s men fought back after two Robbie Kruse openings. They finally got level in the 28th minute as Felix Dornebusch spilled Mikael Ishak’s shot, and Eduard Löwen was on hand to apply the necessary finish and give them the momentum boost.

Just seven minutes into the second half, and the turnaround was complete. Valentini’s ball into the area was met by the towering figure of Hanno Behrens, and the midfielder powered a header home. Johannes Wurtz had the only real opportunity of the second half for Ismail Atalan’s side, though the substitute couldn’t find the target and fired over. Just to crown matters, Ishak had the chance to add to the scoreline in the final minutes. His penalty was initially saved by Dornebusch, but the rebound fell kindly and he tucked it away to secure a deserved win and send FCN into fourth.

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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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