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2. Bundesliga Update - Matchday 12

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Things Tighten Up At The Top

Greuther Fürth - Darmstadt 98 Photo by Nicolas Armer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Shared points was a theme this weekend as Matchday 12 of the 2. Bundesliga featured more draws than wins & losses. Here are the results:

Hannover 1 – Sandhausen 1

Die Roten continued their stuttering form by dropping more points at home at the HDI-Arena on Friday evening against fellow league stragglers Sandhausen.

Hendrik Weydandt gave the hosts an early lead in the 7th minute when he headed in Julian Korb’s cross from the right. But despite putting Sandhausen under early pressure, this would be Hannover’s lone shot on goal during the match.

The visitors gradually worked their way into the match, testing keeper Michael Esser, subbing for the suspended Ron-Robert Zieler, several times in the first half. Their efforts were rewarded in the 63rd minute, when substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz scored after a nice assist from midfielder Denis Linsmayer.

The remaining 25 minutes saw few chances and both sides had to be content with a point each.

Hannover’s lackluster start to the season, which sees them 13th after 12 matches, cost manager Mirko Slomka his job the day after the match. He becomes the division’s 4th manager to be sacked in the first 3 months of the season. For a squad that was in the Bundesliga just last season, things have not gone as well as Die Roten, nor their supporters, have hoped.

Jahn Regensburg 3 – Osnabrück 3

An entertaining affair at the Continental Arena saw visiting Osnabrück twice erase two goal deficits on their way to a deserved point against Regensburg.

Lila-Weiß striker Marc Heider tested Regensburg keeper Alexander Meyer with a glancing header in the 14th minute, but Regensburg were on the charge shortly thereafter, with captain Marco Grüttner missing by inches from a one-on-one with Osnabrück keeper Philipp Kühn.

Goals were a seeming inevitability in this match and the first came in the 34th minute, via a spectacular overhead kick from Regensburg attacker Jan-Marc Schneider, after Osnabrück failed to clear a corner. 9 minutes later, Grüttner made up for his earlier miss by sticking in Sebastian Stolze’s cross goal pass for a two goal lead.

Osnabrück were not deterred and Marcos Álvarez got them on the score sheet early in the second half with a dazzling solo run, beating two defenders before firing into the top right corner. Regensburg full-back Chima Okoroji restored his side’s two goal cushion just 4 minutes later on the counter, but Schneider then missed a glorious chance for a 4th when his shot beat Kühn, but not the left hand post.

The visitors made it a one goal match in the 63rd minute with a cleverly worked set piece that found midfielder Moritz Heyer standing unmarked about 8 yards from goal. Heyer scored just inside the post with his left foot and 10 minutes later, he tied the match from almost the exact same spot, this time with his right foot.

Neither side was able to find a winner, so the match ended as a draw. Lila-Weiß are winless in their last 7, while Regensburg stay in the top half of the table.

Greuther Fürth 3 – Darmstadt 1

Fürth kept pace with the top of the table by dispatching visiting Darmstadt at a packed Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer on Saturday afternoon.

Julian Green tested Darmstadt keeper Marcel Schuhen early from long range and teammate Branimir Hrgota must’ve seen something in that attempt because he tried from the same spot in the 31st minute. Schuhen couldn’t handle the rocket shot and deflected the ball unceremoniously into his own net to give the hosts the lead.

Darmstadt center back Immanuel Höhn gave the hosts a two goal lead when he, under pressure from Daniel Keita-Ruel, turned Sebastian Ernst’s cross into his own net in the 37th minute. Fürth kept it going into the second half, and Hrgota notched a brace in the 47th minute with a shot that just snuck inside the right hand post.

Midfielder Victor Pálsson denied Kleeblätter a clean sheet with a goal in the 87th minute, but it was of little consolation to Darmstadt, who were thoroughly beaten on this day. Fürth move up to 5th after two wins in three matches.

Erzgebirge Aue 1 – Heidenheim 1

Two disciplined, physical sides fought to a 1-1 draw at a raucous Erzgebirgsstadion, as Heidenheim scored a late equalizer to snatch a point on the road.

Erzgebirge keeper and captain Martin Männel put in a man of the match performance, making several big saves. He twice stifled Heidenheim set pieces in the first half, the second a flying save with his right hand from an Arne Feick header off a free kick.

After a goalless first half, the opening goal came from almost nothing in the 54th minute when Erzgebirge midfielder Philipp Riese scored a screamer from beyond the box with his left foot. Männel then denied Heidenheim striker Tim Kleindienst from close range, but he could do nothing on Heidenheim’s 88th minute equalizer, as a free kick was headed on not once, not twice, but three times, eventually landing at the feet of substitute Stefan Schimmer, who scored into the ceiling of the net beyond Männel’s reach to tie the match.

Heidenheim were probably happy with a point on the road, but Erzgebirge will be kicking themselves for not getting all 3 points at home, even though they remain in 4th place in the table.

St Pauli 2 – Karlsruher 2

Jos Luhukay was understandably frustrated after his Kiezkicker side surrendered a two goal lead in the final 5 minutes, allowing visiting Karlsruher to escape the Millerntor-Stadion with a point on Saturday afternoon.

St Pauli were the better team throughout the match, coming close several times in the first half, only to be denied by KSC keeper Benjamin Uphoff. Newly returned striker Dimitris Diamantakos looked especially lively as he created several chances that his teammates just couldn’t put away.

Kiezkicker finally took the lead at the dawn of the second half. KSC full-back Marco Thiede bundled over St Pauli center-back Daniel Buballa in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. After a quick VAR check, the call was upheld and Diamantakos scored into the bottom left corner. St Pauli won another penalty in the 60th minute and there was no review necessary this time, as Lukas Fröde, only just returned to the KSC lineup after being sent off in Matchday 10 against Bochum, caught Ryo Miyaichi in the face with his boot. Diamantakos bashed it right down the middle and doubled his side’s lead.

But despite St Pauli’s bossing of the match, they let KSC hang around and were punished in the waning moments. First, Marc Lorenz’s angled drive beat keeper Robin Himmelmann and snuck in at the far post. Then, just inside stoppage time, substitute Marvin Pourié rose highest to head in the equalizer from a corner, to the exasperation of the Kiezkicker supporters. The hosts might’ve been lucky to escape with just a point, as Philipp Hofmann headed a late corner just over the bar.

The result keeps Karlsruher a point ahead of St Pauli in the table.

Arminia Bielefeld 2 – Holstein Kiel 1

The top 3 sides were all in action on Sunday afternoon and second place Bielefeld took care of business at home against an improving Kiel side.

The visitors had the first real chance of the match when Emmanuel Iyoha fired just wide of the far post from long range. But it seemed inevitable that Bielefeld’s offensive prowess would bear fruit and did after 30 minutes when Marcel Hartel drove along the byline into the Kiel box and was tripped up by Jonas Meffert as he tried to stop him. Fabian Klos was ice cold from the spot, sending Ioannis Gelios the wrong way and rolling the ball into the opposite corner for his 8th goal of the season.

But Die Störche, playing well under interim manager Ole Werner over the past few matches, stunned the home supporters with a 68th minute equalizer. It came from Iyoha, who took an angled pass from Lee Jae-sung, beat his marker, and poked the ball in off the far post with the outside of his right foot.

Unfortunately for the visitors, Bielefeld came right back 5 minutes later. Andreas Voglsammer, after being denied by Gelios in the first half, scored from a half-volley to give the hosts the lead once more. Kiel very nearly equalized late in the match, when Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega whiffed in his attempt to punch away a long ball. The ball fell to an onrushing Janni Luca Serra, who headed toward goal, but center-back Joakim Nilsson raced to the rescue and cleared off the line.

Bielefeld’s third win from four matches meant that the pressure was on both Hamburg and Stuttgart to match their performance…

Wiesbaden 1 – Hamburg 1

But despite dominating their match, Hamburg surrendered a stoppage time equalizer to bottom club and ten man Wiesbaden at the BRITA-Arena.

A week after demolishing fellow league heavyweight Stuttgart, HSV were on the front foot again early on, with Lukas Hinterseer forcing Wiesbaden keeper Lukas Watkowiak into a flying save on 9 minutes. HSV put up hefty possession numbers (71%-29%), but they came perilously close to conceding in the 21st minute. Keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes denied Stefan Aigner after he’d been played through on goal. Sonny Kittel then beat Watkowiak at the other end only for center-back Niklas Dams to clear off the line.

Hamburg continued pushing at the start of the second half and got their goal in the 48th minute. Watkowiak couldn’t hold Tim Leibold’s knuckleball shot from 25 yards out and David Kinsombi was in the right place at the right time to tap in the rebound. Wiesbaden’s fortunes went from bad to worse 10 minutes later when Aigner was sent off after foolishly trodding on Leibold’s hand after fouling him in the Wiesbaden half.

Despite the man advantage, HSV couldn’t get an all-important second goal. Watkowiak saved from Bakery Jatta in the 70th minute and Leibold’s slide-rule pass was just out of Hinterseer’s reach a few moments later. Their profligacy cost them in stoppage time.

From a corner, a headed clearance fell to feet of Nürnberg loanee Törles Knöll, whose quick shot beat Heuer Fernandes at the near post and sent the Wiesbaden players and supporters into a frenzy.

The dropped points mean that HSV are now level on points with Bielefeld, but retain the top spot on goal difference, while Wiesbaden have now taken 4 points against Stuttgart and Hamburg and remain unbeaten in their last 6.

Stuttgart 3 – Dynamo Dresden 1

Stuttgart snapped a 3 match winless run with an emphatic win over struggling Dresden at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

The hosts were on the accelerator early and after Dresden just managed to clear a dangerous pass forward for a corner, Marc-Oliver Kempf’s laser volley couldn’t be kept out by an unfortunate Brian Hämäläinen on the line. The Dane was credited with an own goal, but Kempf should get most of the plaudits.

Stuttgart nearly added a second only to be denied by the crossbar and keeper Gregor Kobel stopped Moussa Koné at the other end shortly thereafter. Stuttgart got their deserved second in the 38th minute, when Santiago Ascacibar was on hand to slice in Orel Mangala’s cross from the right.

Koné was easily Dresden’s best player and he won his side a penalty in the 52nd minute, though VAR had to intervene after the referee initially did not call a foul on Stuttgart’s Nathaniel Phillips. Koné took the spot kick himself and beat Kobel to pull his side within one.

But there’s only so much one player can do and Koné got little to no help from his teammates, which allowed Stuttgart to restore their two goal cushion in the 84th minute through substitute Silas Wamangituka, who’s deflected shot found the back of the net and wrapped up the result.

Stuttgart remain 3rd and closed the gap between themselves and the top, while Dresden have now lost 5 consecutive matches.

Bochum 3 – Nürnberg 1

After coming ever so close to a massive midweek upset over Bayern Munich in the DfB Pokal, Bochum carried their good form into their next league match, clinically dispatching visiting Nürnberg at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion.

Torrential rain fell throughout the match, but Bochum fought through the deluge and took an early lead in the 9th minute. Midfielder Robert Tesche won possession with a timely tackle in the Nürnberg half and his subsequent pass found teammate Danilo Soares. The left-back drove into the penalty box and whipped a shot into the corner of the goal past keeper Benedikt Willert.

The 18-year old keeper would make things more difficult for his side in the 40th minute, when he spilled a rather tame free kick from Danny Blum, which allowed Simon Lorenz to easily tap in from only a yard out. Blum came close to a third moments later when his shot bounced off the bar, but he made up for his miss by turning provider just before the halftime whistle, when his cross was met by Hamburg loanee Manuel Wintzheimer, who nutmegged the hapless keeper to make it 3-0.

Nürnberg came out strong in the second half, forcing Bochum keeper Manuel Riemann into several saves. He couldn’t stop Asger Sørensen’s header from a corner in the 63rd minute, but he kept Der Club out for the remainder of the match, giving his side a much deserved win.

Table

1. Hamburg – 25 points (+18 GD)

2. Arminia Bielefeld – 25 points (+11 GD)

3. Stuttgart – 23 points

4. Erzgebirge Aue – 19 points

5. Fürth – 18 points

6. Heidenheim – 17 points

Top Scorers

T1. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 8 goals

T1. Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy (Bochum) – 8 goals

T1. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 8 goals

Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 13 (November 8 – 11)

Hamburg @ Holstein Kiel – Saturday 11/9, 7:00 am EST

Stuttgart @ Osnabrück – Saturday 11/9, 7:00 am EST

Arminia Bielefeld @ Nürnberg – Sunday 11/10, 7:30 am EST

Erzgebirge Aue @ Karlsruher – Monday 11/11, 2:30 pm EST