Better late than never, Matchday 5 of the 2. Bundesliga featured dominating displays and multi-goal comebacks. Here are the results:
Sandhausen 1 – Darmstadt 0
Division minnows Sandhausen are an early candidate for surprise of the season thus far, after securing their third consecutive league win over northern neighbors Darmstadt.
The first half produced a rather even affair, in which neither side could find a way through the other’s well organized defenses. Both sides produced chances but keeper’s Martin Fraisl and Florian Stritzel kept the ball out of their respective nets in the first 45 minutes.
The deadlock was broken 2 minutes after halftime, when Sandhausen midfielder Erik Zenga scored from range after Darmstadt failed to clear the ball from their area. The visitors’ task was made even more difficult 10 minutes later when midfielder Victor Pálsson was shown a second yellow card for a stupid foul on Sandhausen’s Rúrik Gíslason.
Sandhausen controlled the match from there out. Striker Kevin Behrens came agonizingly close to scoring in his third straight match, only to blaze his shot over. Still, the win moves Sandhausen up to 3rd in the table, while Darmstadt fall to 16th, after their third consecutive league match without a goal.
Nürnberg 2 – Heidenheim 2
The first comeback of the weekend took place at the Max-Morlock-Stadion in Nürnberg on Friday evening as Heidenheim erased a two goal deficit in the final 10 minutes.
Der Club came out of the gate flying, looking to build off of their win over Osnabrück the previous weekend. Fenerbahçe loanee Michael Frey looked to have put the home side ahead in the 15th minute, only for the goal to be chalked off for offside. That didn’t deter Frey however. He used his head to flick a long ball further up the pitch toward the onrushing Nikola Dovedan. The Austrian calmly headed in to give Nürnberg a 1-0 lead over his former club.
Nürnberg continued to press in the second half, searching for their second goal, which finally came on 70 minutes, through a beautiful long range volley from Johannes Geis that brought the home supporters to their feet. It looked as if Der Club were on their way to another win.
But, as the saying goes, “It Ain’t Over, ‘Til It’s Over”.
After cruising for the first 80 minutes, Nürnberg failed to clear a corner which fell to Heidenheim midfielder Niklas Dorsch just outside the box. Dorsch took a touch and then smashed the ball past Christian Mathenia, who saw the ball late and could only get a partial hand to it.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts just 2 minutes later. A throw in was worked to Heidenheim substitute Stefan Schimmer, who played the ball to captain Marc Schnatterer. Schnatterer then played the ball back to Schimmer, who volleyed in from 10 yards out to level the score. The equalizer seemed to take everything out of the hosts and their fans, as they were unable to recapture the form they started the match with, and had to settle for a point in a match they dominated for large parts.
Arminia Bielefeld 2 – Greuther Fürth 2
It was Bielefeld’s turn to play the role of comeback kids on Saturday afternoon, as they erased a 2 goal deficit at home against visiting Fürth.
Kleeblätter took the lead after only 4 minutes. Forward Branimir Hrgota forced Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega into an error, gained possession of the ball, and scored into an open net. They doubled it in the 22nd minute, when striker Håvard Nielsen headed in Maximilian Wittek’s free kick.
No lead should ever be considered safe against a side with Bielefeld’s offensive firepower, however. 6 minutes after Fürth’s second, Bielefeld talisman Fabian Klos scored from the penalty spot after Jóan Símun Edmundsson was fouled in the box. Edmundsson would level things himself on 62 minutes, setting up a thrilling final third of the match.
Klos and Marcel Hartel came close for Bielefeld, while Nielsen smashed the ball off the crossbar in the 87th minute. The sides had to settle for a point apiece in the end, and both were likely disappointed at the final whistle.
Jahn Regensburg 5 – Wiesbaden 0
One week after squandering a 3 goal lead to Bochum, bottom side Wiesbaden were thoroughly routed by visiting Regensburg.
Regensburg captain Marco Grüttner bagged a hat-trick as his side clinically took the struggling Hessians apart. Wiesbaden fullback Moritz Kuhn turned the ball into his own net and American Jann-Christopher George rounded out the scoring with his first goal of the season.
The result ultimately says more about the losers than it does about the winner. While Regensburg were sublime, Wiesbaden were woeful. No wins in their first 6 competitive matches of the season finds them rooted to the bottom of the table with just a single point, and out of the DfB-Pokal.
Things will need to change quickly, or this could be a very long season for Wiesbaden and their supporters.
Dynamo Dresden 3 – St Pauli 3
The third multi-goal comeback of the weekend took place in Dresden as visiting St Pauli raced out to a 3 goal lead in the first 30 minutes, only for Dresden to peg them back and equalize late.
The scoring opened in the 13th minute when Dresden were unable to clear a corner. The ball found Dimitris Diamantakos unmarked, and the Kiezkicker striker swept the ball into an open net. It took the visitors only 3 minutes to double their lead, Waldemar Sobota finishing off a fine move by Diamantakos and Mats Møller Dæhli. Dæhli chalked up his third assist in 30 minutes, when he played a delightful pass to Diamantakos, who secured his brace from close range.
The hosts did not go quietly into the night however. Midfielder Jannis Nikolaou, normally a defender, pulled one back in the 40th minute after heading in from a corner. Nikolaou then scored again on the other side of halftime, thrilling the home supporters packed into the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion.
However, Nikolaou looked to have dashed any hopes his side had when he rashly challenged St Pauli substitute Christian Conteh in the 82nd minute. He was originally given a yellow, but referee Benjamin Cortus double checked with VAR, and once it became clear that Nikolaou had gotten none of the ball, he corrected his decision and instead flashed a red card.
But then just a minute later, Dresden substitute Moussa Koné scored from nowhere, levelling things at 3 apiece! St Pauli tried to exploit their man advantage in the final minutes, but James Lawrence missed his chance for a winner by only a few inches. Dresden held on, preserving a precious point, and frustrating St Pauli.
Osnabrück 3 – Karlsruher 0
Lila-Weiß bounced back from a disappointing result in Matchday 4 and enjoyed a comfortable win over fellow promotion side Karlsruher at the Stadion an der Bremer Brücke on Sunday afternoon.
Sacramento born Marc Heider left two KSC defenders in his wake in the 22nd minute, and his deflected cross was flicked on by the onrushing Kevin Wolze. Marcos Álvarez then scored on the half volley to give the hosts the lead.
Álvarez would score again in the 48th minute, after KSC fullback Damian Roßbach stupidly fouled Osnabrück midfielder Ulrich Taffertshofer long after the ball had gone. The penalty marked Álvarez’s 4th goal of the season, making him the division’s joint top scorer through 5 matches.
Center back Joost van Aken wrapped up the points in the 80th minute after heading in from a free kick. The win moves Osnabrück up to 4th in the table, while Karlsruher fall to 10th, after their third straight defeat.
Holstein Kiel 1 – Erzgebirge Aue 1
New Erzgebirge manager Dirk Schuster started his reign off with a point in a back and forth affair at the Holstein-Stadion.
The first half was rather dull, as Kiel tried patiently to break down a determined Erzgebirge, but things picked up in the second half.
Erzgebirge midfielder Jan Hochscheidt gave his side the lead in the 48th minute. Three minutes later, the visitors had a chance to double their lead from the penalty spot, but Kiel keeper Dominik Reimann came to the rescue and saved Dimitrij Nazarov’s spot kick.
South Korean international Lee Jae-sung maintained his fine form by heading in a Kiel equalizer in the 72nd minute. Both sides pushed for a late winner, but none was coming. The result keeps Erzgebirge in the Top 6, while Kiel remain in the bottom half in 15th.
Hamburg 3 – Hannover 0
The weekend’s clash of titans saw Hamburg continue their excellent run of form and put themselves firmly at the top of the league.
A rocking Volksparkstadion crowd saw HSV test Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler early, with Khaled Narey and Sonny Kittel each forcing a save from the Die Roten keeper. The hosts finally broke through in the 35th minute when Narey beat Hannover wingback Jannes Horn to the byline and cut it back to Kittel, who netted his third goal in two matches.
Hannover came out strong in the second half, looking to get back into the match, but their forward movement created openings at the back, which Hamburg duly exploited. Narey’s stinging shot from the right was saved by Zieler, but the rebound fell to David Kinsombi, who tapped in from close range.
The visitors continued to push, and came agonizingly close to scoring, only to be denied by a fantastic double save from HSV keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes. Minutes later, Hamburg put the match away as Bakery Jatta scored on the counter.
The result marks HSV’s fourth straight league win and puts them alone at the top of the table on 13 points.
The day after the match, a controversy regarding goalscorer Jatta’s age and identity was resolved by the Hamburg district office. Previous Hamburg wins against Nürnberg, Bochum, and Karlsruher, had been protested, as it was not clear whether Jatta, a Gambian refugee who emigrated to Germany in 2015, was 21 years of age as he claimed, or if he was even the person he claimed to be. Hamburg were finally able to obtain Jatta’s valid birth certificate, confirming his age and identity. As a result, the three other clubs withdrew their protests and the district office declared the matter closed.
Stuttgart 2 – Bochum 1
Bochum’s winless start to the league season, which resulted in the sacking of manager Robin Dutt after Matchday 4, continued on Monday evening in Stuttgart.
Daniel Didavi opened the scoring for the hosts in the 19th minute, darting in from the left and shooting past Bochum keeper Manuel Riemann. Bochum striker Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy levelled things in the 39th minute with a fine strike from 16 yards out that left Stuttgart keeper Gregor Kobel no chance.
Stuttgart substitute Nicolás González gave his side the lead once more just after halftime with a beautiful shot past Riemann. Kobel then produced a fine save to deny Ganvoula and preserve the lead in the 80th minute. A last gasp penalty shout by the visitors was waved off and Stuttgart held on to take 3 points, move into sole possession of 2nd place in the table, and keep pace with Hamburg.
Here is how the top of the table stacks up through Matchday 5:
1. Hamburg – 13 points
2. Stuttgart – 11 points
3. Sandhausen – 10 points
4. Osnabrück – 9 points (+5 GD)
5. Arminia Bielefeld – 9 points (+4 GD)
A new feature this week is a look at the league’s top goal scorers through Matchday 5:
1. Philipp Hofmann (Karlsruher) – 4 goals
1. Sonny Kittel (Hamburg) – 4 goals
1. Marcos Álvarez (Osnabrück) – 4 goals
Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 6 (September 13 – September 16)
Sandhausen @ Karlsruher – Friday, September 13, 12:30 pm EST
Arminia Bielefeld @ Hannover – Saturday, September 14, 7:00 am EST
Osnabrück @ Erzgebirge – Sunday, September 15, 7:30 am EST
Hamburg @ St Pauli (The Hamburg Derby!!) – Monday, September 16, 2:30 pm EST