Big results on Friday saw the league leaders extend their advantage, while teams toward the bottom of the table continued to struggle. Here are the results from Matchday 16:
Heidenheim 1 – Hamburg 0
A suddenly slumping Hamburg lost for the second consecutive match, as visiting Heidenheim pulled a classic smash-n-grab operation at the Volksparkstadion on Friday evening.
Amidst a festive holiday atmosphere amongst the home supporters, HSV were on the front foot for the majority of the match, holding big advantages in possession (76%-24%) and shots on goal (9-2), but were unable to break down Frank Schmidt’s well-disciplined side, who came very close to a shock early goal.
Tim Kleindienst pounced on an errant clearance in the 16th minute and his shot beat keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes, but was then cruelly denied by the far post. Hamburg striker Martin Harnik then spurned a glorious chance at the other end when, after good work from Bakery Jatta down the right, he effectively denied himself when his right-footed shot struck his standing leg and bounced harmlessly out of play.
Hamburg’s offensive advantage meant that Heidenheim keeper Kevin Müller needed to put in a good performance and he proved himself worthy of the task, denying first Jeremy Dudziak and then Sonny Kittel with fine saves. Müller’s fine showing kept his team in the match.
HSV came close twice early in the second half, first when Müller denied Harnik from close range and then Heidenheim full-back Marnon-Thomas Busch’s last second sliding block sent a Jatta shot out for a corner. Their profligacy came back to haunt them in the 82nd minute when Heidenheim scored the only goal of the match, in surprising fashion.
Konstantin Kerschbaumer’s shot from range beat Heuer Fernandes, but hit the crossbar and bounced straight up in the air. The ball’s momentum took away from the net to the keeper’s left and Kleindienst, again showing why it’s always wise to continue your runs, ran under the ball and headed it back into the goalmouth as his momentum took him out of play. The header skated past Heuer Fernandes, leaving substitute Jonas Föhrenbach with the easiest of tap-ins.
Müller capped off his fine evening with two more saves from Harnik and Jatta to preserve the clean sheet and give Heidenheim a big win. Hamburg meanwhile have just one win in their last 5 league matches, a last second come-from-behind win over bottom club Dresden, a slump that sees them fall further behind the top of the table.
Arminia Bielefeld 2 – Karlsruher 2
It was an equally tense affair at the Schüco-Arena on Friday evening, as hosts and league leaders Bielefeld needed to come-from-behind twice to take a point against visiting KSC.
Like Hamburg, Bielefeld dominated the offensive statistics, finishing with a large possession advantage (72%-28%) and nearly 3 times as many shots (23-8). But KSC, eager to build off of their first league win in nearly 3 months on Matchday 15, made their fewer chances count.
After a stuttering first 25 minutes, in which the closest anyone came was a deflected Marcel Hartel shot that skipped just over the visitor’s crossbar, it was KSC midfielder Marc Lorenz who gave his side the lead. Striker Philipp Hofmann did very well to keep possession in the Bielefeld box, drawing 3 defenders to him, and when he managed to side foot the ball into the path of an unmarked Lorenz, his teammate needed no encouragement, blasting the opener into the top corner with his left foot.
KSC center-back David Pisot then nearly made it 2-0 off a corner, only to be denied by Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega. Counterpart Benjamin Uphoff then bravely punched away an Andreas Voglsammer free kick at the other end, getting to the ball just before it could reach the head of a lurking Fabian Klos.
The score remained 1-0 for the first 40 minutes of the second half. Voglsammer and Hartel had chances, but couldn’t convert, as the match entered its final 10 minutes. Then, from a seemingly innocuous lofted ball into the box, referee Martin Petersen awarded Bielefeld a penalty after Hofmann stuck up an elbow and caught Bielefeld center-back Amos Pieper in the head. It may have been harsh and was clearly unintentionally, but a penalty it was, and Klos confidently sent Uphoff the wrong way to tie the score.
Bielefeld then pushed for a winner into stoppage time, but in their haste to win the match, they instead all but botched it. A careless turnover and a swift KSC counter allowed midfielder Marvin Wanitzek to stride into the opposing box and slip the ball under Ortega to give Karlsruher the lead again!
But the match wasn’t over. Bielefeld went right back up the pitch and, after KSC failed to clear a low cross, substitute Jóan Símun Edmundsson beat Uphoff high into the top corner to level things once again and send the home supporters into a thunderous roar.
It ended even, which allowed Bielefeld to extend their lead at the top of the table with Hamburg’s defeat. Karlsruher meanwhile, were made to endure a bitter result after leading late.
Osnabrück 4 – Holstein Kiel 2
Who’s the hottest squad in the league over the past 4 matchdays? Why that would be Osnabrück, who erased two deficits and eventually ran away from hosts Kiel at the Holstein-Stadion on Saturday afternoon.
It was a back and forth match between two in-form sides and goals were plentiful in this match. Kiel struck first in the 10th minute, when Janni Luca Serra got to Salih Özcan’s cross from the left just ahead of his marker, and prodded past keeper Philipp Kühn. VAR then pulled an assist when, after referee Alexander Sather initially waved off a penalty shout from Osnabrück’s Marc Heider, replay revealed that full-back Phil Neumann had cheekily side-swiped Heider’s plant foot as he attempted to square the ball. Nothing escapes VAR’s eyes and a penalty was awarded. Marcos Álvarez beat Ioannis Gelios from the spot and the match was tied 1-1.
Serra then forced an Osnabrück blunder in the 42nd minute when, attempting to knock the ball on into the Lila-Weiß box, he forced the ball into center-back Joost van Aken’s arm. Another penalty was given and Alexander Bieler scored to give Die Störche the lead once more.
The second half was all Osnabrück however. First Álvarez scored his second of the match with a spectacular free kick in the 48th minute. David Blacha then scored for the second consecutive matchday, when his surging run into the box went unchecked, allowing him to poke the ball past Gelios on 63 minutes, giving Lila-Weiß the lead. Substitute Bryan Henning scored on the counter in the 77th minute to make it 4-2.
Any real chance Kiel had to come back was dashed when midfielder Jonas Meffert was sent off with a straight red card in the 81st minute. Osnabrück saw out the remaining minutes and took their third win in four matches, moving up into 5th place in the table.
Greuther Fürth 3 – Bochum 1
Kleeblätter picked up a much needed 3 points at the expense of visiting Bochum at the Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer.
Branimir Hrgota has been point man for Fürth this season and he opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Bochum keeper Manuel Riemann stopped Håvard Nielsen’s initial effort, but spilled the rebound into the path of an onrushing Hrgota. The keeper then stopped Hrgota’s effort, only for the ball to zip straight back into the forward’s leg and flash into the net.
Fürth were able to keep their lead into the second half, but Bochum were never truly out of the match. They finally equalized in the 70th minute through leading scorer Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy, who smashed in Danny Blum’s sublime through ball. But Hrgota was not to be denied, as he nabbed a brace and put his side back in front just 10 minutes later when his shot was deflected in off of an unfortunate Cristian Gamboa.
Substitute Jamie Leweling wrapped up the points for the hosts in stoppage time on the counter. The win moves Fürth back into the top half of the table.
Hannover 3 – Erzgebirge Aue 2
Die Roten took their second consecutive league win, and their first win at the HDI-Arena this season, by erasing two Erzgebirge leads and snatching all 3 points in stoppage time.
Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler let his side down early, when he completely misjudged John-Patrick Strauß’s lofted cross and allowed it to sail over his head and into the back of the net in the 16th minute. But captain Marvin Bakalorz made sure the lead was only temporary with an emphatic header in from a corner in the 32nd minute.
Bakalorz’s teammates then needed to pick up their captain after he scored an own goal by back heading an Erzgebirge free kick into his own net in the 49th minute. This they did, and after Erzgebirge keeper Martin Männel only just kept out a Linton Maina header, Hannover converted another set piece, this time when Hendrik Weydandt headed in Marvin Ducksch’s 75th minute free kick.
The hosts could taste their long awaited home win and Japan international Genki Haraguchi delivered it on 90 minutes, when he latched onto Weydandt’s superb header forward and beat Männel from close range.
The last second win gives Kenan Kocak a second win as Die Roten manager and moves them up to 12th in the table, while Erzgebirge fall to 7th.
Jahn Regensburg 1 – St Pauli 0
Kiezkicker’s struggles continue as they suffered their third straight league defeat, this time away to Regensburg at the Continental Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Henk Veerman wasted a great chance early on for the visitors when he shot wide after a fabulous play in from Mats Møller Dæhli. Veerman then squandered two more first half chances, first hitting the crossbar from Luca Zander’s cross and then heading straight at keeper Alexander Meyer moments later.
St Pauli’s missed chances allowed Regensburg to take the lead late in the first half, when Marco Grüttner’s audacious backheel flick from Andreas Albers’s cross bamboozled keeper Robin Himmelmann and rolled slowly over the line.
Kiezkicker searched for an equalizer in the second half, but Meyer was on hand to deny Møller Dæhli. Center-back Philipp Ziereis then made things infinitely harder for his side when he was sent off with a second yellow card in the 61st minute after a stupid foul on Grüttner.
St Pauli tried valiantly to rally, but it came to nothing, as Regensburg took all 3 points and consigned the visitors to another poor result.
Dynamo Dresden 1 – Sandhausen 1
Hosts Dresden, in their first match since parting with manager Cristian Fiél the previous Monday, were able to hold visiting Sandhausen at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion on Sunday afternoon.
Alexander Jeremejeff gave the hosts a 5th minute lead via a Barış Atik assist, but Sandhausen midfielder Robin Scheu equalized 25 minutes later. Both sides created opportunities, each finishing with 7 shots on target, but despite good chances at either end, there would be no further goals in this match, as keepers Kevin Broll and Martin Fraisl stopped everything else that came their way.
The draw leaves Dresden bottom of the table for another week while Sandhausen fall to 8th.
Wiesbaden 0 – Darmstadt 0
It was a duel between Wiesbaden keeper Heinz Lindner and Darmstadt attacker Tobias Kempe at the BRITA-Arena, in what was otherwise a relatively tame nil-nil draw.
The Darmstadt attacker tested the Wiesbaden man several times throughout the match, but Lindner was up to the task and stopped everything that came his way. So did counterpart Marcel Schuhen at the other end.
The hosts couldn’t make good use of a man advantage for the final 15 minutes, after Darmstadt midfielder Victor Pálsson was sent off with a straight red for a foul on Stefan Aigner, and it ended scoreless.
Wiesbaden remain in the relegation zone, while Darmstadt are only a few places further up the table.
Stuttgart 3 – Nürnberg 1
Things aren’t getting any better for Jens Keller through 3 matches in charge of Der Club, as hosts Stuttgart surged to a win with an impressive second half display at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Monday evening.
Nürnberg actually started the match well, with Johannes Geis setting up striker Michael Frey for the opener in the 10th minute. Alas, that would be the visitors’ lone shot on target in the full 90 minutes.
Stuttgart seems to be making VAR disallowed goals a routine, as they had 2 more goals taken off the scoreboard in the first half of this match, first for a foul in the buildup and then by a narrow offside.
The hosts were dominant possession wise (75%-25%), but it wasn’t until the second half that they finally broke through Nürnberg’s stubborn defense. VAR must’ve felt bad for all the goals it had taken away from Stuttgart lately and it awarded them a penalty in the 58th minute after a goalmouth scrum following a corner. Substitute Silas Wamangituka beat Nürnberg keeper Felix Dornebusch and things were all square.
Just a minute later, despite VAR’s seemingly best efforts to frustrate him, Mario Gómez put the ball in the net and this time it stood, to give Stuttgart the lead. Philipp Förster scored the third in the 72nd minute after a neat one-two combo with Gómez. Nürnberg had nothing in response and suffered their fourth defeat in five matches.
1. Arminia Bielefeld – 33 points
2. Hamburg – 29 points (+17 GD)
3. Stuttgart – 29 points (+6 GD)
4. Heidenheim – 26 points
5. Osnabrück – 23 points (+5 GD)
6. Jahn Regensburg – 23 points (+4 GD)
7. Erzgebirge Aue – 23 points (0 GD)
1. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 13 goals
2. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 11 goals
T3. Andreas Voglsammer (Arminia Bielefeld) – 9 goals
T3. Philipp Hofmann (Karlsruher) – 9 goals
T3. Sonny Kittel (Hamburg) – 9 goals
T3. Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy (Bochum) – 9 goals
Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 17 (December 13 – 16)
Arminia Bielefeld @ Heidenheim – Saturday 12/14, 7:00 am EST
Hamburg @ Sandhausen – Sunday 12/15, 7:30 am EST
Dynamo Dresden @ Osnabrück – Sunday 12/15, 7:30 am EST
Stuttgart @ Darmstadt – Monday 12/16, 2:30 pm EST