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2. Bundesliga Update - Matchday 1

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Stuttgart, Heidenheim & others begin the season on a high, while Hamburg & Bochum struggle

VfB Stuttgart v Hannover 96 - Second Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

The 2019-20 2. Bundesliga season is officially underway! Here are the results from Matchday 1 across the league.

Stuttgart 2, Hannover 1

The league’s opening match on Friday evening featured two heavyweight clubs.

Stuttgart’s squad quality was apparent, with Mario Gomez and Daniel Didavi staking them to a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes. However, substitute defender Maxime Awoudja inadvertently brought Hannover back into the match with an own goal 3 minutes later, with his first touch of the ball nonetheless.

Stuttgart controlled the ball across the majority of the match, finishing with 65% possession and twice as many shots (14-7) as Hannover. Were it not for the heroics of ex-Stuttgart keeper Ron-Robert Zieler, who produced several fine saves, Stuttgart very easily could’ve scored more.

Other than the own goal, Mirko Slomka’s Hannover did relatively little to threaten Stuttgart. Left-back Matthias Ostrzolek picked up a second yellow card in the 63rd minute, forcing Die Roten to play the remainder of the match with 10 men. The hapless Awoudja was also sent off in the 85th minute, leaving both sides down a man at the final whistle.

Nürnberg 1, Dynamo Dresden 0

Nürnberg took all 3 points in Dresden on Saturday, as Nikola Dovedan’s cool header from an Oliver Sorg cross in the 53rd minute proved to be enough for the Bavarians (Franconians).

Dresden had a significant edge in most offensive statistics, finishing with a higher number of shots (16-5), higher possession % (64-36), and a massive advantage in corners (12-1). Alas, only 3 of those shots ended up on target, leaving the East Germans to rue a wasteful display that ultimately gave Der Club the victory.

Heidenheim 3, Osnabruck 1

Frank Schmidt’s charges scored 3 unanswered goals to complete a come-from-behind victory over 10 man Osnabruck.

Osnabruck’s supporters were out in full force to welcome their club back to the second division for the first time in 9 seasons, and their support looked to have paid off as Lila-Weiß took the lead in the 58th minute, with Anas Ouahim finishing off a nice move from winger Felix Agu.

Heidenheim would equalize 15 minutes later through midfielder Sebastian Griesbeck, and then gained a man advantage when Osnabruck new boy, and ex-Duisburg defender, Kevin Wolze picked up a second yellow card in the 82nd minute.

Substitute Robert Leipertz gave Heidenheim the lead in the 89th minute, and then turned provider 5 minutes later for fellow substitute David Otto to score the third and seal the points at the expense of a disappointed Osnabruck.

Holstein Kiel 1, Sandhausen 1:

Andre Schubert’s debut as Kiel manager ended with his squad having to share points with visiting Sandhausen.

Die Störche controlled much of the possession, but it was Sandhausen who took the lead in the 4th minute, with Kevin Behrens putting the ball in the net after good work from Mario Engels.

Kiel were frustrated for large parts of the match by a stubborn Sandhausen side that finished with 22 fouls. A 52nd minute equalizer by Dusseldorf loanee Emmanuel Iyoha was well deserved, but Sandhausen were able to see out the remainder of the match and escape with a doggedly earned point.

Hamburg 1, Darmstadt 1

HSV’s issues from last season’s underachieving campaign seem to have carried over into this season, as Der Dino needed a VAR assisted penalty by captain Aaron Hunt in the 8th minute of stoppage time to manage a point against visiting Darmstadt on Sunday.

One has to wonder if Dieter Hecking expected such a debut going into the match, because Hamburg had the advantage in practically every offensive statistic, except ultimately the one that counted, which is one of the reasons why they ended up stuck in the second division for another season.

It was Darmstadt who opened the scoring, barely 20 seconds into the second half. Serdar Dursun’s initial shot was saved by HSV keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes, but he could only palm the ball directly into the path of substitute Tim Skarke, who headed the ball into an empty net only a few seconds after coming on.

Darmstadt held onto their lead deep into stoppage time. The frustration of the Hamburg supporters was apparent, but their embattled squad was granted a reprieve by VAR. The referee initially did not give a penalty after substitute Manuel Wintzheimer went down in the box, but VAR signaled a review several minutes later. Much to the disgust of Darmstadt, a penalty was retroactively given, and Hunt duly dispatched it, saving HSV’s blushes.

Karlsruher 2, Wiesbaden 1

Visiting Karlsruher took a deserved 3 points away to Wiesbaden, in a clash of newly promoted sides.

Marvin Pourie opened the scoring for KSC in the 15th minute, a cross from Marc Lorenz winding its way through the box until it found the waiting Pourie, who duly dispatched it past Wiesbaden keeper Lukas Watkowiak. They would double their lead in the 61st minute, with beanpole striker Philipp Hofmann heading in from a corner in his KSC debut.

Wiesbaden managed a consolation goal in the 3rd minute of second half stoppage time via Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, but by then it was too little, too late, and KSC earned 3 points in their return to the second division.

Jahn Regensburg 3, Bochum 1

Die Jahnelf put in an impressive home display in taking a 3-1 win over visiting Bochum.

New Regensburg manager Mersad Selimbegović, who replaced Achim Beierlorzer after the latter moved to Köln this past summer, got off to a winning start in his new job.

Midfielder Benedikt Saller opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, smashing the ball in via a deflection after an assist from Wolfsburg loanee Sebastian Stolze. Stolze himself would double the lead on the other side of halftime. Fullback Oliver Hein launched a fast counterattack and his pass found Stolze who placed his shot perfectly into the far corner for 2-0.

A VAR induced penalty for handball that was duly dispatched by Danny Blum gave life to Bochum, but Regensburg were not to be denied on this day, as substitute Tom Baack put the match to rest in the 3rd minute of stoppage time.

Erzgebirge Aue 2, Greuther Fürth 0

Daniel Meyer’s East German side took all 3 points at the Sportspark Ronhof in Fürth.

Fürth had a large advantage in shots (24-11) and possession (63%-37%), but Erzgebirge had more quality, putting 7 of their 11 shots on target.

Striker Dimitrij Nazarov gave the Veilchen the lead in the 25th minute and despite having most of the ball, Fürth’s efforts would prove largely meaningless, as they wasted several chances to level the score.

Jan Hochscheidt sealed the result for Erzgebirge on his debut in the 90th minute, meaning that one of the division’s two East German begins the season with a win.

Arminia Bielefeld 1, St Pauli 1

The only thing more annoying than Monday night matches are dull Monday night matches.

Bielefeld spent the majority of their home opener trying to break down a well-organized and disciplined Kiezkicker side. And like the previously mentioned Dresden, Kiel, and Hamburg, it was the visitors who struck first against the run of play.

Mats Møller Dæhli initiated a fast break counter and served up a delicious pass for winger Christian Conteh, who wrong-footed a defender scored coolly with the outside of his foot.

Despite the hosts applying a steady stream of pressure in the second half, St Pauli looked like they would hang on and open the season with 3 points, but just on the verge of stoppage time, Bielefeld equalized, midfielder Manuel Prietl heading in at close range off of a corner.

Bielefeld pushed for a late winner, but missed at least two good chances, and both teams ended up disappointed with a draw.

Table

A single matchday’s worth of results isn’t enough to discern the strong sides from the weak ones, particularly when there’s more than a month remaining in the transfer window. But, for continuity purposes, here is the top of the table through Matchday 1:

1. Heidenheim – 3 points (+2 GD)

2. Jahn Regensburg – 3 points (+2 GD)

3. Erzgebirge Aue – 3 points (+2 GD)

4. Karlsruher – 3 points (+1 GD)

5. Stuttgart – 3 points (+1 GD)

6. Nürnberg – 3 points (+1 GD)

Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 2 (August 2 – 5)

Jahn Regensburg @ Hannover – Saturday 8/3, 9:30 am EST

Stuttgart @ Heidenheim – Sunday 8/4, 7:30 am EST

Hamburg @ Nürnberg – Monday 8/5, 2:30 pm EST