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2. Bundesliga Update - Matchday 3

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There’s no place like home

SV Sandhausen - 1st FC Nuremberg Photo by Uwe Anspach/picture alliance via Getty Images

After a weekend off for DfB-Pokal matchups, the 2. Bundesliga returned to action for Matchday 3, in which it was really good to be the home side. Here are the results:

Hamburg 1 – Bochum 0

After last season’s disappointment, featuring many of the same players who failed to keep the club’s 50+ year uninterrupted run in the Bundesliga going, the consensus regarding HSV going into this season was that the club needed a fresh start.

The club seems to have followed this consensus. They moved on from veteran players like Gotoku Sakai and Pierre-Michel Lasogga and injected a bunch of new, young talent into the club. After the disappointing opener against Darmstadt, manager Dieter Hecking subsequently benched other veterans such as Kyriakos Papadopoulos and gave opportunities to the new guys.

This was reflected in the starting XI against Bochum on Friday, in which only 3 starters were with the club last season, and the oldest player in the lineup was 26. So far, the policy seems to be working for Der Dino.

Despite only scoring once in the match, a 60th minute thumper from striker Lukas Hinterseer after a nice pullback from Tim Leibold, HSV were never really threatened by the visitors, who failed to record a single shot on target. Hamburg held the advantages in possession (60%-40%), shots (14-7), shots on goal (6-0), and corners (14-0).

It’s still honestly too early to make a lot of projections as to what the rest of the season will bring, but at the moment, HSV looks to have done what it needed to do and as a result is one of the stronger squads in the division.

Sandhausen 3 – Nürnberg 2

Nürnberg’s return to the 2. Bundesliga hasn’t exactly gone like their fans would have hoped. After winning their first match away to Dresden, Der Club dropped their second consecutive league match away to Sandhausen.

The hosts, who had only scored 1 goal in their previous three competitive matches combined, put two past Nürnberg keeper Christian Mathenia in the first half. The first came from Sandhausen winger Mario Engels. His direct free kick from the left corner squirted through the Nürnberg wall and then spun into the net beyond the keeper’s reach. Ten minutes later, striker Kevin Behrens doubled the lead from close range.

Nürnberg pulled one back on the stroke of halftime against the run of play through Sebastian Kerk, which left everything to play for in the second half. The visitors found their equalizer off a corner on 70 minutes. Center back Asger Sørensen saw his initial header blocked, but the ball ended up back at his feet and he duly dispatched it beyond Sandhausen keeper Martin Fraisl.

Alas for the visitors, the match was to end in disappointment, as Sandhausen snatched all 3 points on the edge of stoppage time, when midfielder Philipp Förster scored from about 16 yards out after Nürnberg failed to clear a corner. The result puts the Franconians a disappointing 15th in the table after 3 matches, while Sandhausen deservedly took their first win of the season and moved up to 10th.

Hannover 3 – Wiesbaden 0

Visiting Hannover picked up their first win of the season, and the only road win of Matchday 3, at the expense of Wiesbaden, who have yet to record a point in their return to the second division.

It was a clinical display from Die Roten, who took the lead in the 28th minute, with former Dortmund man Marvin Ducksch finishing off a nice move from counterpart Cedric Teuchert.

Hannover led in most offensive statistics throughout the match and while Wiesbaden made a gallant effort, once Florent Muslija doubled Hannover’s lead in the 56th minute, the match was all but over. Goal scorer Ducksch wrapped it up on 76 minutes, dispatching a spot kick after a Wiesbaden defender was whistled for a hand ball in the box on a direct free kick.

The result ultimately might say more about Wiesbaden than it does about Hannover. Wiesbaden, the smallest club in the division, who got to the 2. Bundesliga through the relegation playoff last Spring, could be in a long and difficult fight to retain their second division status.

Stuttgart 2 – St Pauli 1

It was a contrast in styles at the Mercedes-Benz Arena as hosts Stuttgart had to work hard to break down and get past a determined and organized St Pauli side.

Despite Stuttgart dominating possession (68%-32%), and having the better chances over the course of the match, it was the visitors who struck first. Christian Conteh outwitted three Stuttgart defenders and then cut the ball back perfectly to Mats Møller Dæhli, who dispatched it past Stuttgart keeper Gregor Kobel.

After this, Kiezkicker maintained a well disciplined and organized structure, making it as hard as possible for the better Stuttgart side to find an equalizer. They held their own for a while, but Stuttgart eventually found the goal they needed via a set piece. Gonzalo Castro’s corner found center-back Marc-Oliver Kempf, who slotted in from close range.

Stuttgart pushed hard for a winner and found it on the brink of stoppage time, substitute Nicolás González scoring from a few yards out after losing his marker.

The result puts Stuttgart level on points with Hamburg after 3 matches, but were it not for an outrageous miss in Matchday 2, Stuttgart could have begun the year with 3 wins in 3 matches.

Arminia Bielefeld 3 – Erzgebirge Aue 1

Bielefeld handed the visiting East Germans their first defeat of the season in an impressive display at the Bielefelder Alm.

The hosts nabbed 3 goals for the second consecutive league match, the first from center-back Joakim Nilsson’s header off a corner in the 21st minute. Fabian Klos doubled the lead on 60 minutes, rounding the keeper after a nice through ball from midfielder Manuel Prietl.

Erzgebirge were not passive however, putting 8 shots on goal, but Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega was up to the challenge, producing several nice saves. The visitors made things interesting in the 76th minute, when substitute attacker Christoph Daferner nodded in off a corner, but Bielefeld saw off the match with a penalty in the 85th minute. Klos was brought down in the box and Andreas Voglsammer put away the spot kick to seal 3 points for Bielefeld.

The day after the match, Erzgebirge manager Daniel Meyer, along with his brother and assistant coach Andre Meyer, were surprisingly placed on leave by the club, as part of a “mutual agreement” between the coaches and management. No details were provided and the club’s statement said that, “No further comments will be made.”

Dynamo Dresden 2 – Heidenheim 1

Bottom side Dresden shook things up by upsetting visiting Heidenheim on Sunday afternoon, taking their first points of the campaign.

The Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion was rocking, as supporters did their best to will Dresden to a positive result after two straight defeats to open the league season. The hosts had the advantage in possession throughout the match, but Frank Schmidt’s charges were their usual disciplined and organized selves and they made things very difficult for the East Germans for the first 65 minutes of what was a fairly mediocre match.

Once again however, it was a set piece that provided the breakthrough. Winger Patrick Ebert beat the wall and Heidenheim keeper Kevin Müller to give Dresden a precious lead. And after squandering several chances over the course of the match, new signing Alexander Jeremejeff finally sent one home to double Dresden’s lead in the 82nd minute.

Even when substitute Denis Thomalla scored from the spot in the 89th minute, which might have been a harsh judgment against Dortmund loanee Dženis Burnić, who was subsequently stretchered off, it was too little, too late for Heidenheim, who squandered a chance to keep pace with Hamburg & Stuttgart at the top of the table. Dresden meanwhile, took a well-deserved 3 points which saw them leap off bottom.

Greuther Fürth 1 - Jahn Regensburg 0

Kleeblätter were made to work hard for their first home win of the season by a determined Regensburg side as both clubs looked to bounce back from disastrous performances in the first round of the DfB-Pokal.

The visitors held the edge in possession (56%-44%), but could do little with it as they managed only 4 shots, with only 1 on goal. Instead, it was Fürth who produced most of the chances, forcing Regensburg keeper Alexander Meyer into several saves.

It was substitute Branimir Hrgota who made the difference for the hosts. His introduction in the 68th minute seemed to light a fire under his side, and he provided the cross for Julian Green to head home and break the deadlock on 74 minutes. Regensburg were unable to respond and Fürth took their second win of the season.

Holstein Kiel 2 – Karlsruher 1

Die Störche came from behind to beat previously unbeaten and top of the table Karlsruher at the Holstein-Stadion, despite having to finish the match with 10 men.

KSC, who came into the match riding high after knocking Hannover out of the DfB-Pokal the previous weekend, opened the scoring in the 17th minute, when Lukas Grozurek scored from just beyond the edge of the box. However, the hosts equalize just before halftime through South Korean international Lee Jae-sung.

Kiel held the advantage in every offensive statistic and their persistence paid off in the 64th minute, when Makana Baku found space and delivered a nice pass for Lee to place into the right corner of the net and give the hosts the lead.

Jonas Meffert made things tense for Kiel when he was shown a straight red for a rash challenge on KSC attacker Marvin Wanitzek, but despite enormous pressure from the visitors looking to capitalize on their man advantage, it was Andre Schubert’s men who secured their first win of the season.

Osnabrück 4 – Darmstadt 0

Lila-Weiß put in a dominant display before a big crowd at the Stadion an der Bremer Brücke on Monday evening.

Darmstadt struggled to get anything of substance going initially against the Lower Saxony side, who took the lead through former Dortmund youth player Etienne Amenyido in the 17th minute. Kevin Wolze, returning to league action after being suspended due to a red card on Matchday 1, crossed to Anas Ouahim, whose header on found Amenyido unmarked for an easy finish.

The match was a very physical affair, both sides combining for 7 yellow cards and 35 fouls. The visitors created some chances, but couldn’t capitalize, placing only 1 of 8 shots on target.

The two providers for the opening goal would then score themselves. Wolze finished off a fine team goal for Osnabrück in the 51st minute to make it 2-0, then Ouahim found the back of the net on the counter after another failed Darmstadt corner.

Substitute Marcos Álvarez, who scored a fine set piece goal on Matchday 2, wrapped up the scoring in the 80th minute, giving him two goals in as many matches.

Table

Here is how the top of the table stacks up through Matchday 3:

1. Hamburg – 7 points (+5 GD)

2. Stuttgart – 7 points (+2 GD)

3. Osnabrück – 6 points (+3 GD)

4. Karlsruher – 6 points (+1 GD)

5. Erzgebirge Aue – 6 points (+1 GD)

6. Fürth – 6 points (+1 GD)

Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 4 (August 23 – 26)

Stuttgart @ Erzgebirge Aue – Friday August 23, 12:30 pm EST

Fürth @ Hannover – Saturday August 24, 7:00 am EST

Hamburg @ Karlsruher – Sunday August 25, 7:30 am EST