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2. Bundesliga Update - Matchday 17

Halfway Point Reached

1. FC Heidenheim - Arminia Bielefeld Photo by Tom Weller/picture alliance via Getty Images

The completion of Matchday 17 means that we’ve reached the halfway point of the 2019-20 2. Bundesliga season. Here are the results:

Bochum 2 – Hannover 1

Torrential rains fell throughout the full 90 minutes as Bochum outlasted visiting Hannover at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion on Friday evening.

Striker Manuel Wintzheimer got things going early for the home side in the 14th minute, as he took a sublime pass from right-back Cristian Gamboa, touched it safely away from the reach of his marker, and then smashed it into the back of the net past keeper Ron-Robert Zieler. Bochum doubled their lead 14 minutes later when, after Die Roten failed to clear a Danny Blum corner, the ball squirted out to Simon Zoller at the edge of the penalty area. Zoller’s rather tame volley somehow snaked through the Hannover defense unsighted by the keeper and beat Zieler’s desperation dive just inside the post.

Zieler and counterpart Manuel Riemann each made key saves to keep the scoreline at 2-0 going into halftime. Hannover turned up the pressure after the break, with Julian Korb forcing Riemann into another save before Genki Haraguchi spurned a good chance by dragging an unmarked shot wide. The visitors finally broke through Bochum’s defense in the 65th minute, when Marc Stendera’s shot was blocked straight into the path of fellow substitute Marvin Ducksch, who shot across goal to beat Riemann and put Die Roten on the board.

Ducksch shot just over the bar moments later and Riemann had to bail out his defense once more by stopping Hendrik Weydandt’s close range effort after the striker had been played through on goal. Ducksch stung the Bochum keeper’s palms late, but neither he nor his teammates could find a second goal, which gave Bochum the win at the final whistle.

The win moves Bochum ahead of Hannover in the table, though both clubs remain in the bottom half.

Erzgebirge Aue 1 – Jahn Regensburg 0

A solid overall performance gave Erzgebirge a much needed win against visiting Regensburg at the Erzgebirgsstadion.

The hosts could’ve been 3-0 up within the first 35 minutes, but the woodwork favored Regensburg as Calogero Rizzuto and John-Patrick Strauß hit the posts and bar 3 times between them. But the visitors didn’t take advantage of the near misses and allowed Erzgebirge to keep up the pressure, which resulted in center-back Sören Gonther’s 44th minute headed goal from a Philipp Riese corner.

Erzgebirge nearly made it 2-0 early in the second half, but Florian Krüger somehow shot wide with the goal at his mercy. Regensburg were able to create some chances in the final 45 minutes, Benedikt Gimber’s shot flashing just inches wide of the far post, but the hosts still had the majority of the chances, with Strauß’s cross across the goal mouth just eluding a sliding Krüger.

Wolfsburg loanee Sebastian Stolze and Jann-Christopher George both had good chances for Regensburg late, but Stolze put a tame effort straight at keeper Martin Männel and George’s lancing shot sailed high over the bar.

The win moves Erzgebirge into the top 6, while Regensburg slip to 8th.

Heidenheim 0 – Arminia Bielefeld 0

Nil-nil draws almost always suck, even when they’re played between two Top 4 teams, which is what happened at the Voith-Arena on Saturday afternoon between hosts Heidenheim and league leaders Bielefeld.

Ex-Bielefeld man Konstantin Kerschbaumer had the first good chance of the match, but he could only hit the side netting with a 6th minute shot. Bielefeld striker Fabian Klos likewise couldn’t find the net with a 28th minute effort. Klos would get another chance 10 minutes later, but Heidenheim keeper Kevin Müller snuffed out his header and kept the match scoreless.

Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega was called into action early in the second half, as Marc Schnatterer’s cheeky back heel gave Norman Theuerkauf a clear shot at goal, but he was denied by a splendid Ortega save and hold. Jonathan Clauss then almost scored a worldy at the other end, when he first dinked the ball over center-back Oliver Hüsing and then headed it back down to himself, but finally shot wide of the post. Müller probably had it covered had it been on target, but it was a wasted chance nonetheless.

Neither side could break the deadlock in the remaining minutes and had to share points. Bielefeld, who had already clinched the first-half championship in Matchday 16, stay top, while Heidenheim remain 4th.

St Pauli 3 – Wiesbaden 1

St Pauli finally got off the schneid and broke their 8 match winless streak in the league by dispatching Wiesbaden at the Millerntor-Stadion.

Finn Ole Becker had the first chance of the match, but the Kiezkicker midfielder could only shoot straight at Wiesbaden keeper Heinz Lindner. But the hosts didn’t have to wait much longer for the opener, as Viktor Gyökeres’s 22nd minute shot was deflected past Lindner for 1-0.

Wiesbaden took a while to respond, mainly because St Pauli had the majority of possession (60%-40%), but striker Manuel Schäffler looked dangerous at times. His efforts finally paid off in the 70th minute, when a poor Marvin Knoll clearance left the Wiesbaden man with a clear shot at goal and his beautiful curler beat keeper Robin Himmelmann high into the far corner for the equalizer.

Into the final moments the match went and St Pauli’s Henk Veerman, after spurning several chances in Matchday 16, finally broke through and put his side back out in front in the 86th minute. A nice through ball picked out the Dutchman in stride and he poked the ball into the net past an onrushing Lindner with the outside of his right foot. Gyökeres put the match to bed in stoppage time with a right-footed rocket that snuck in at the far post.

St Pauli remain 15th despite the win, but the results creates a bit of space between them and the relegation zone, where Wiesbaden still remain.

Greuther Fürth 5 – Karlsruher 1

A close match early turned into a second half romp as visiting Fürth scored 3 times in the final 30 minutes to pull away from Karlsruher at the Wildparkstadion.

After a tense opening 18 minutes, the scoring began in earnest. Kleeblätter left-back David Raum saw his long-range effort saved, but KSC keeper Benjamin Uphoff punched the ball directly to Branimir Hrgota. The in-form attacker danced away from the keeper and stuck the ball into the net to give the visitors a 19th minute lead. Karlsruher’s leading scorer Philipp Hofmann made sure the lead didn’t last long, as he took advantage of a mistake by Fürth center-back Mërgim Mavraj and calmly slotted past keeper Sascha Burchert to restore parity in the 26th minute.

Fürth’s Tobias Mohr obviously didn’t like that development one little bit, and he put his side back in front just 3 minutes later, with a left-footed shot across the face of goal that crept in at the far post. It stayed 2-1 for the remainder of the half. Hofmann came close to tying things up once more early in the second half, but his audacious lob was just a bit too heavy and it settled harmlessly onto the roof of Burchert’s net.

Kleeblätter finally seemed to have enough of the close match and after center-back Paul Jaeckel made it 3-1 in the 61st minute with a diving header from Paul Seguin’s free kick, it was essentially all Fürth the remainder of the way. Håvard Nielsen’s splendid solo effort that he finished off as he was falling to the turf made it 4-1 on 77 minutes, and substitute Jamie Leweling’s outstanding long-range shot found the top corner in stoppage time to finish off the rout.

Fürth move up to 7th in the table with their second consecutive league win.

Sandhausen 1 – Hamburg 1

Second place Hamburg went into the BWT-Stadion am Hardtwald on Sunday afternoon looking to close the gap between themselves and leaders Bielefeld, but for the second consecutive week, HSV were unable to take advantage of Bielefeld dropping points.

Tim Leibold sent in a promising cross from the left on 10 minutes and Martin Harnik sent it on target, only for Sandhausen keeper Martin Fraisl to make a fine stop. Hamburg had most of the ball (61%-39%), but struggled to get much going against a well-organized Sandhausen defense the remainder of the first half.

The hosts took advantage and led on 39 minutes, center-back Aleksandr Zhirov planting a fine header into the goal from Leart Paqarada’s corner. Besar Halimi nearly made it 2-0 moments later, but his powerful shot was deflected behind for a corner by the noggin of HSV center-half Ewerton.

Hamburg keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes kept his side in the match in the second half, with a fine save from Halimi on 49 minutes. Their keeper’s good form allowed the rest of HSV time to mount sustained pressure and it paid off in the 75th minute. Lukas Hinterseer’s clinical back heel fooled Fraisl and rolled over the line for the equalizer.

Fraisl stopped Hinterseer from making it 2-1 in the final minutes with a reflex save and Heuer Fernandes denied Sandhausen sub Julius Biada shortly after, ensuring that points would be shared at the final whistle.

The draw keeps Sandhausen in the top half of the table, but Hamburg will be disappointed to have only kept pace with Bielefeld at the top.

Nürnberg 2 – Holstein Kiel 2

Nürnberg were seconds away from not only their first win under Jens Keller, but their first league win since September only for visiting Kiel to snatch a point at the death.

Large swaths of empty seats have been an unfortunate regular occurrence at the Max-Morlock-Stadion this season, but Der Club gave the supporters that did show up on Sunday afternoon something to cheer about in the first half. Shortly after Fabian Schleusener missed a great opportunity for the opener, center-back Asger Sørensen gave the hosts the lead in the 38th minute with a fantastic long-range free kick.

Kiel fought back and Nürnberg’s Hanno Behrens gave them a great chance to equalize just before halftime when, while locked up with Salih Özcan in the box, Der Club’s captain slipped and dragged the Köln loanee down to the turf with him, resulting in a penalty. Luckily for the hosts, keeper Felix Dornebusch picked up his skipper and saved Özcan’s shot to his left.

Die Störche kept up the pressure in the second half, Dornebusch was called in again to save Emmanuel Iyoha’s close range shot in the 55th minute. Robin Hack made the visitors pay for their profligacy and made it 2-0 with a nice shot on the turn in the 67th minute.

But the match was not over and Kiel did not give up. Janni Luca Serra gave them hope in the 77th minute with a wonderful solo effort after being played through by Özcan. They fought hard for an equalizer, but it looked as if Nürnberg would hold on until the third minute of stoppage time, when the hosts’ defense let them down. They failed to deal with a cross from the left and allowed Özcan to head it back across goal, where center-back Stefan Thesker reacted fastest and headed in past Dornebusch for 2-2.

The dropped points keep Nürnberg in 16th, just above the relegation zone, capping off a miserable first half of the season for Der Club.

Osnabrück 3 – Dynamo Dresden 0

Osnabrück kept up their hot form as the league’s best defense blanked a toothless Dresden side at the Stadion an der Bremer Brücke, in the visitors’ first match under new manager Markus Kauczinski.

Lila-Weiß started the match well, but were rather lucky to not be reduced to 10 men in the first half, as referee Rene Rohde elected not to give center-back Moritz Heyer a second yellow-card for a foul on Moussa Koné, after the center-half had already been booked for a challenge earlier.

Dresden did very little going forward and it was Heyer himself who took advantage in the 41st minute when, after the Dresden defense failed to a clear a corner, he latched onto a lofted ball forward and nodded home to give Osnabrück a first half lead.

Things didn’t get better for Dresden in the second half as Bremen loanee Niklas Schmidt continued his scintillating form with a mazy solo run through their defense to make it 2-0 on 54 minutes. Full-back Bashkim Ajdini made it 3 on 78 minutes as he followed up Anas Ouahim’s saved shot and put the rebound past keeper Kevin Broll.

Osnabrück remain 5th in the table while Dresden remain bottom.

Darmstadt 1 – Stuttgart 1

A fairly even affair on Monday evening at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor capped off the weekend as hosts Darmstadt held third place Stuttgart on Monday evening.

While Stuttgart had the majority of possession (68%-32%), Darmstadt did well with their fewer opportunities on the ball, putting more than half of their 11 shots on target. They even took the lead in the 20th minute, when Marvin Mehlem reacted fastest to a quick Darmstadt throw-in and got the ball to teammate Tobias Kempe, who then beat Stuttgart keeper Fabian Bredlow with aplomb.

Both Bredlow and opposing number Marcel Schuhen were called into action late in the first half, but Schuhen could do nothing with Borna Sosa’s 44th minute laser into the back of the net, after the Darmstadt keeper had initially saved from Gonzalo Castro’s header.

Mario Gómez is probably not the biggest fan of VAR because for the third consecutive week, he had a goal chalked off on replay, but again, it was the correct decision as he was clearly offside. Despite having more of the ball, Stuttgart’s attack stuttered again and couldn’t find a second goal, resulting in a 1-1 draw at the final whistle.

Stuttgart remain 3rd while Darmstadt are 12th.


1. Arminia Bielefeld – 34 points

2. Hamburg – 30 points (+17 GD)

3. Stuttgart – 30 points (+6 GD)

4. Heidenheim – 27 points

5. Osnabrück – 26 points (+8 GD)

6. Erzgebirge Aue – 26 points (+1 GD)

Top Scorers

1. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 13 goals

2. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 12 goals

3. Philipp Hofmann (Karlsruher) – 10 goals

Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 18 (December 20 – 22)

Stuttgart @ Hannover – Saturday 12/21, 7:00 am EST

Arminia Bielefeld @ St Pauli – Saturday 12/21, 7:00 am EST

Hamburg @ Darmstadt – Saturday 12/21, 7:00 am EST

Osnabrück @ Heidenheim – Sunday 12/22, 7:30 am EST