The maximum 27 points were taken across all matches in Matchday 15, continuing the see-saw action throughout the table. Here are the results:
Karlsruher 4 – Jahn Regensburg 1
Hosts Karlsruher snapped a nearly 3 month winless run in the league by upending visiting Regensburg at the Wildparkstadion on Friday evening.
Alois Schwarz’s side struck first in the 17th minute from a corner. Regensburg were unable to clear the ball and allowed it to bounce around the box long enough for KSC striker Anton Fink to get to it with his left foot and beat keeper Alexander Meyer from close range. Winger Marc Lorenz set up KSC’s leading scorer Philipp Hofmann for their second just 3 minutes later.
Now needing to erase a 2 goal deficit, Regensburg dutifully stepped up the pressure, taking more possession (59%-41%), but leaving themselves open for KSC counterattacks. The hosts came close through Lorenz and Fink in the closing moments of the first half and in the 56th minute, Hofmann’s spectacular bicycle kick gave his side a third goal.
Despite a consolation goal in the 70th minute when midfielder Max Besuschkow headed in from a corner, Regensburg wasted two glorious chances late in the match, striking both the crossbar and the post from point blank range. KSC midfielder Marvin Wanitzek ended the competition in stoppage time with a shot from outside the box.
The result puts KSC just a point behind Regensburg in the table.
Osnabrück 2 – Hamburg 1
Osnabrück picked up their second win against a division heavyweight by upsetting top of the table Hamburg at the Stadion an der Bremer Brücke.
Dieter Hecking’s men were looking to build off of their come-from-behind win against Dresden in Matchday 14, and Martin Harnik came within inches of giving the visitors the lead in the 23rd minute, but his well taken shot caromed off the post. HSV’s lack of finishing, despite a major possession advantage (63%-37%), allowed Lila-Weiß to hang around and a fired-up Niklas Schmidt signaled their intent in in the 34th minute when he forced Daniel Heuer Fernandes into a diving save.
Schmidt then one-upped himself just 3 minutes later. A careless giveaway by the visitors allowed the Bremen loanee to dance his way past two Hamburg defenders and slot past a helpless Heuer Fernandes to thrill the home supporters and give Osnabrück a deserved lead. Lila-Weiß then crucially doubled their lead just before halftime, when after a swift counterattack, Felix Agu rose highest to head a cross back across goal where a waiting David Blacha was able to steer it carefully into the net.
HSV came out firing in the second half and substitute Jairo Samperio forced Osnabrück keeper Philipp Kühn into an acrobatic save in the 60th minute. Kühn could do nothing to stop Sonny Kittel’s shot from the right just 4 minutes later however, as HSV cut into the hosts’ lead. Hamburg desperately searched for an equalizer, but as time marched on, Osnabrück seemed to grow in confidence and they came very close to a third late in the match, only for Heuer Fernandes to deny first Marcos Álvarez and then Schmidt from close range.
Lila-Weiß held on to score an historic victory, their second consecutive home win over a division heavyweight after beating Stuttgart in Matchday 13.
Holstein Kiel 2 – Dynamo Dresden 1
Kiel continued their resurgent form under manager Ole Werner by taking all 3 points away at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion and consigned hosts Dresden to the bottom of the table.
Lee Jae-sung’s cross from the left found an onrushing Emmanuel Iyoha who beat his marker and poked past Dresden keeper Kevin Broll to give the visitors the lead in the 14th minute. Koln loanee Salih Özcan made it 2-0 in the 30th minute when he outraced the Dresden defense and slotted in inside the far post.
Despite their best efforts, Dresden really didn’t look all that threatening, although a Florian Ballas shot deflected in off teammate Barış Atik gave them hope late on. Kiel assuredly saw out the remaining minutes and handed Dresden their league leading 9th loss of the season.
Bochum 2 – Erzgebirge Aue 0
Bochum ran their unbeaten run to 4 matches with a dominant win over visiting Erzgebirge at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion on Saturday afternoon.
After a quiet opening 30 minutes, in which Erzgebirge were content to sit back and allow Bochum to have the majority of possession, Bochum finally began to turn their advantage into chances. Danny Blum struck the crossbar with a well-taken free kick in the 30th minute and center-back Armel Bella-Kotchap’s effort moments later was held by Erzgebirge keeper Martin Männel.
Florian Krüger came close for the visitors on the counter just after halftime, but he shot just wide. That was the closest the visitors would come and they would not put a single shot on target in this match.
Bochum captain Anthony Losilla finally gave his side the lead in the 61st minute. Good work from Miloš Pantović down the right side set up the skipper to beat an onrushing Männel for a well-earned lead. Bochum’s push for a second kept Erzgebirge pegged back and center-back Marko Mihojević was dismissed in the 85th minute with a second yellow card for hauling back Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy. That all-but wrapped up the points for the hosts, who made it 2-0 in stoppage time after Erzgebirge midfielder Louis Samson unfortunately deflected a Simon Zoller cross into his own net.
The win pulls Bochum further away from the relegation fight, but they remain in the bottom half of the table.
Wiesbaden 2 – Nürnberg 0
Jens Keller looks to have a big job on his hands as Nürnberg were shut out at home by a Wiesbaden side that has been in the relegation zone virtually all season.
Wiesbaden striker and captain Manuel Schäffler scored his now customary early goal in the 4th minute, when he was played in on goal and dinked the ball past Nürnberg keeper Felix Dornebusch.
Der Club held a massive possession advantage in the match (67%-33%), but they didn’t really look much of a threat and the large swaths of empty seats inside the Max-Morlock-Stadion did little to inspire the home side. Dornebusch compounded his side’s misery when he was caught off his line by Wiesbaden’s Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, who lobbed the hapless keeper and doubled his side’s lead in the 48th minute.
The closest Nürnberg would come to a goal was in the 77th minute, when Michael Frey’s shot was saved off the line by center-back Paterson Chato. Wiesbaden saw it out and took all 3 points, dropping the hosts to 16th in the table.
Nürnberg were pathetic, but credit to Wiesbaden who, despite still being in the relegation zone, have now beaten both Stuttgart and Nürnberg, and drawn Hamburg, in the first half of this season.
Hannover 1 – St Pauli 0
Two sides in desperate need of a victory clashed at the Millerntor-Stadion on Saturday afternoon and it was visiting Hannover who took care of business against St Pauli.
Linton Maina’s splendid solo effort in the 7th minute was the only goal of the match, but it was all Die Roten would need. Viktor Gyökeres and co could do nothing to best Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler, as St Pauli seem to be struggling to generate much offense without injured leading scorer Dimitris Diamantakos.
Hannover won’t care one bit about Kiezkicker’s recent struggles, as the win was their first for nearly two months and also the first for manager Kenan Kocak. The result sees Hannover leapfrog St Pauli in the table, but both still have a lot of work to do as they remain mired in the bottom half of the table, just above the relegation zone.
Sandhausen 2 – Stuttgart 1
Perhaps playing against the top teams in the table lights a fire under Sandhausen, as they beat Stuttgart, their second consecutive home win, just a week after holding then league-leaders Bielefeld away.
The BWT-Stadion am Hardtwald is one of the smallest stadiums in the league by capacity, but the Sandhausen supporters made it feel as if it was twice as big on Sunday afternoon. Their support undoubtedly spurred their side on and they opened the scoring in just the first minute. A cross from the right bounced off the crossbar and fell to striker Aziz Bouhaddouz, who took a touch and then scored by putting the ball between keeper Gregor Kobel and the center-back.
Stuttgart thought they’d equalized just 10 minutes later, but Mario Gómez was just a touch offside in the buildup and VAR wiped the goal out. Sandhausen would take advantage and double their lead in the 24th minute. A scramble in the goal mouth following a corner saw the ball squirm its way to Bouhaddouz, who fired home through a mass of legs.
Stuttgart bossed the match from there on, running up a huge possession advantage (74%-26%), but, as has happened in previous matches, their finishing left much to be desired. Gonzalo Castro and Santiago Ascacibar saw first-half shots saved by Sandhausen keeper Martin Fraisl, before VAR again erased a Gómez goal for offside in first-half stoppage time.
Amazingly, Gómez would have a goal wiped off for a third time by offsides, this time in the second half, but unlike the first two, at least VAR didn’t have to be called in. Substitute Hamadi Al Ghaddioui saw a flicked header from a corner flash just past the far post and the visitors finally got on the board late, when VAR determined that Sandhausen substitute Tim Kister had committed a handball in the box. Silas Wamangituka sent Fraisl the wrong way, but Sandhausen were able to hold on and take all 3 points.
Heidenheim 1 – Greuther Fürth 0
A week after a disappointing performance against Regensburg, Heidenheim rebounded by outlasting a determined Fürth side at the Voith-Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Kleeblätter had a big chance to take the lead early, when VAR called Heidenheim center-back Oliver Hüsing for handball after Branimir Hrgota’s attempted pass back struck him on the arm. But Maximilian Wittek spurned his chance and sent the spot kick wide of the right hand post. Fürth keeper Sascha Burchert then pushed Robert Leipertz’s long-range effort onto the post moments later. Both Hrgota and Leipertz were menaces along their respective right flanks throughout most of the match.
Back-and-forth the action went with Heidenheim’s Marc Schnatterer missing a big chance late in the first half. But it was the hosts who eventually broke through in the 63rd minute, when Tim Kleindienst headed in off Burchert from a Schnatterer corner. Hüsing then made amends by blocking Håvard Nielsen’s shot off the line a few minutes later.
Despite VAR erasing a second goal late in the match, the hosts took all 3 points and move up to 4th in the table, while Fürth fall into the bottom half.
Arminia Bielefeld 3 – Darmstadt 1
A flurry of second-half goals saw Bielefeld outlast Darmstadt at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor and return to the top of the table.
Darmstadt tested Bielefeld early, forcing keeper Stefan Ortega into two saves. Andreas Voglsammer then saw a lofted cross elude everyone in the Darmstadt box and bounce off the post shortly thereafter. Bielefeld, despite holding most of the possession (62%-38%) were unable to break down a determined opposition and the match went into halftime goalless.
It was Bielefeld’s captain and leading scorer Fabian Klos who busted the match wide open in the second half. A long ball forward from Ortega found the striker in stride and he audaciously lobbed over keeper Marcel Schuhen to give Bielefeld the lead. Klos then secured a brace just one minute later, when he half-volleyed in Voglsammer’s lofted cross from the left.
Schuhen denied Klos a hat-trick later in the half and then Ortega had to sprawl to keep out Manuel Prietl’s shot from a tight angle at the other end. Tobias Kempe then got Darmstadt on the board in the 71st minute after a cross eluded the Bielefeld defense, allowing the attacker to beat an onrushing Ortega and get his side and home supporters back in the match.
Alas, it was not to be for the hosts, as Bielefeld substitute Cebio Soukou coolly set up Voglsammer for their side’s third in second half stoppage time.
Coupled with Hamburg’s loss to Osnabrück the day before, the win puts Bielefeld back in 1st place.
1. Arminia Bielefeld – 32 points
2. Hamburg – 29 points
3. Stuttgart – 26 points
4. Heidenheim – 23 points (+6 GD)
5. Erzgebirge Aue – 23 points (+1 GD)
6. Holstein Kiel – 21 points (+1 GD, 23 GF)
7. Sandhausen – 21 points (+1 GD, 17 GF)
1. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 12 goals
2. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 11 goals
T3. Andreas Voglsammer (Arminia Bielefeld) – 8 goals
T3. Philipp Hofmann (Karlsruher) – 9 goals
T3. Sonny Kittel (Hamburg) – 9 goals
Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 16 (December 6 – 9)
Heidenheim @ Hamburg – Friday 12/6, 12:30 pm EST
Karlsruher @ Arminia Bielefeld – Friday 12/6, 12:30 pm EST
Erzgebirge Aue @ Hannover – Saturday 12/7, 7:00 am EST
Nürnberg @ Stuttgart – Monday 12/9, 2:30 pm EST