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2. Bundesliga Update - Matchday 10: Kiel Go Top, Hamburg Gonna Hamburg, Who’s Good in the Second Division?

Holstein Kiel v VfL Bochum 1848 - Second Bundesliga Photo by Cathrin Mueller/Getty Images

Through 10 matchdays, it’s pretty difficult to say who the best teams are in the 2. Bundesliga. The bad teams are pretty obvious at this point, but the good ones, not so much.

Here are the results from Matchday 10:

Düsseldorf 3 – Darmstadt 2 (Friday, December 4 – Merkur Spiel-Arena)

Düsseldorf erased two second-half deficits and grabbed all 3 points in the final minutes against Darmstadt.

The visitors had two good chances early in the first half, only to be denied by an excellent save and the post. Gradually however, Düsseldorf worked their way into the match and kept it scoreless at the break. Things would pick up in the second half.

Serdar Dursun maintained his scoring form and gave Darmstadt the lead in the 50th minute with a cheeky flick from Patrick Herrmann’s cross. Düsseldorf responded just 6 minutes later, when Rouwen Hennings scored from a fine free kick just outside the box. But Darmstadt would take the lead right back in the 67th minute, when Tobias Kempe scored from the penalty spot after teammate Fabian Holland had been fouled in the box.

But while Darmstadt’s offensive prowess has been obvious thus far this season, so has their defensive frailty. This was made clear when they gave Düsseldorf’s Kenan Karaman too much space and allowed him to flick a header in for a 77th minute equalizer. Then in the 89th minute, Darmstadt’s defense reacted too slowly to a loose ball in their own box and Dawid Kownacki managed to scoop the ball into the net for the winner for the hosts.

Holstein Kiel 3 – Bochum 1 (Friday, December 4 – Holstein-Stadion)

A strong second-half display lifted Kiel to not only a win, but the top of the table.

Bochum had the early chances in this one, but they somehow failed to score in the 21st minute on a fast break. Instead, it was Die Störche who took the lead in the 31st minute from the penalty spot. Bochum’s Armel Bella-Kotchap was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box and Kiel’s Alexander Mühling, the side’s top scorer thus far, bagged his 6th of the season.

The visitors responded almost immediately when the hosts failed to clear a subsequent corner. Maxim Leitsch got the ball back into the Kiel box and Simon Zoller was in the right place at the right time to equalize. But Kiel would not be denied on this day and a quick-fire brace just past the hour mark put them ahead for good. Fin Bartels grabbed the first and Lee Jae-sung scored their third just barely a minute later.

Kiel could’ve had more, were it not for desperate Bochum defending late, but they’d done more than enough to secure the win.

Braunschweig 2 – St Pauli 1 (Saturday, December 5 – Eintracht-Stadion)

Two of the division’s weaker sides squared off with Braunschweig taking a come-from-behind win.

St Pauli took an early 2nd minute lead when Daniel-Kofi Kyereh released teammate Max Dittgen down the left and Dittgen scored from a tough angle into the far corner. The remainder of the first half featured little action as neither side could make much of an impression on the other.

The second half looked to be much of the same, but then from nowhere Braunschweig leveled in the 67th minute through striker Marcel Bär. That seemed to put Kiezkicker against the ropes and Braunschweig gradually pushed them back. Substitute Fabio Kaufmann gave the hosts the lead in the 82nd minute and despite a late flurry of chances for the visitors, they ultimately couldn’t find an equalizer.

Hannover 1 – Hamburg 0 (Saturday, December 5 – Volksparkstadion)

What has happened to Hamburg over the past 5 matchdays?

After winning their first 5 league matches to begin the season, HSV have now failed to win any of their next 5. They went behind to Hannover in the 13th minute when a corner deflected off HSV’s Khaled Narey, straight to Hannover’s Hendrik Weydandt who more or less tapped in from close range.

Then Hamburg’s Sonny Kittel committed two stupid fouls in the space of 10 minutes to earn two yellow cards and a sending off. But despite being at a man disadvantage, HSV were actually the better side the remainder of the match. The problem was Hannover keeper Michael Esser put in a worldly performance between the sticks and stopped everything that came his way.

Die Roten ultimately held on, but Hamburg’s recent downturn was the biggest takeaway from the match. They haven’t played badly, but they haven’t played like a team pushing for a promotion spot either.

Like last season, a disappointing Derby result has led to a downturn in results and the defensive woes that plagued the side in the second part of last season have reared their ugly heads once more.

What can manager Daniel Thioune do to stop the slide? It remains to be seen, but Hamburg appears to be Hamburging pretty hard at the moment.

Karlsruher 2 – Osnabrück 1 (Saturday, December 5 – Stadion an der Bremer Brücke)

Two late second half goals saw Karlsruher steal an away win over Osnabrück.

Lila-Weiß were on the front foot early on, forcing KSC keeper Marius Gersbeck into several early saves. The visitors couldn’t seem to get out of their own half for long stretches and they finally went behind in the 28th minute. Sebastian Kerk crossed from a set piece situation and center-back Timo Beermann got his head to it and guided the ball into the far corner to give Osnabrück the lead.

It looked like Karlsruher would have nothing on this day, but then out of nowhere, KSC got a gift when Osnabrück couldn’t clear their lines following a corner and the ball fell to substitute Dominik Kother who couldn’t believe his luck and managed to push the ball over the line for an equalizer.

Osnabrück went back on the attack, but Gersbeck kept the score level. This then gave KSC talisman Philipp Hofmann the opportunity to score the winner in the 89th minute. Karlsruher held on to the final whistle and notched their fourth consecutive league win, although they were not the better side on the day.

Heidenheim 1 – Greuther Fürth 0 (Saturday, December 5 – Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer)

Uh-oh. Here come Heidenheim.

After another slow start to the season, Frank Schmidt’s charges are starting to make noise once more, and beating the league leaders on the road will certainly make everyone else in the division take notice.

It was a hard-fought match from the opening whistle. Fürth maintained the majority of the possession, but Heidenheim’s well-organized defense kept them far away from their penalty box for long stretches. Other than a few tame chances through the first 45 minutes, neither side looked particularly dangerous in front of goal.

In the second half, Heidenheim began to turn the screws and put pressure on the hosts. Kleeblätter keeper Sascha Burchert badly misplayed a 55th minute corner and gave Heidenheim’s Robert Leipertz a free shot, but the ball struck the post and flew away to safety. But the visitors smelled blood and 5 minutes later, they took the lead when Norman Theuerkauf made a deep run into the box and turned in Tobias Mohr’s cross from the left.

Fürth pushed for an equalizer, but Heidenheim looked just as dangerous on the counter. Both keepers made excellent saves to keep the score at 1-0, but the visitors were ultimately too much for Kleeblätter on this day.

Sandhausen 3 – Würzburger 2 (Sunday, December 6 – flyeralarm Arena)

Another showdown between two of the division’s weaker sides saw Sandhausen outlast 10-man Würzburger.

Daniel Keita-Ruel put the visitors ahead in the 18th minute after a corner fell to him on the right of the six-yard box. Sandhausen stomped on the accelerator and tried to find a second, but Würzburger keeper Fabian Giefer kept them out long enough for his side to equalize just before halftime through Mitja Lotrič.

Sandhausen’s Ivan Paurević, who came on as a halftime substitute, headed them back out in front in the 54th minute from a free kick. Keita-Ruel nabbed a brace in the 70th minute and shortly thereafter, Würzburger defender Ewerton was shown a straight red card for a bad challenge on Sandhausen’s Dennis Diekmeier.

The visitors had a fourth goal disallowed by VAR for offside and despite their man disadvantage, Würzburger managed to pull one back in the 88th minute through Daniel Hägele. Nevertheless, Sandhausen managed to run out the clock and take a vital 3 points.

Regensburg 2 – Erzgebirge Aue 0 (Sunday, December 6 – Erzgebirgsstadion)

Nobody apparently told Regensburg it’s difficult to win in Aue.

The visitors were on the front foot from the way go and opened the scoring before the 10-minute mark. Andreas Albers side-footed home from close range after being set up by teammate Erik Wekesser. Regensburg then had an opportunity to go 2-0 up just minutes later when Erzgebirge’s Pascal Testroet was whistled for a handball in his own box. But Erzgebirge keeper Martin Männel saved Max Besuschkow’s penalty and kept it a one-goal match.

Regensburg were not to be denied however and finally scored a second just before halftime, when they won a second penalty after Erzgebirge’s Philipp Riese fouled Kaan Caliskaner. Sebastian Stolze took this penalty and scored it. Erzgebirge made a concerted effort to get back into the match in the second half, but were profligate in front of goal, and as a result, Regensburg left East Germany with a clean sheet and 3 points.

Nürnberg 2 – Paderborn 0 (Sunday, December 6 – Benteler-Arena)

Nürnberg rebounded from a derby loss by taking a gutsy away win over Paderborn.

The hosts were largely the dominant team on the day, but Der Club made the most of their fewer opportunities. Robin Hack gave them the early lead in the 8th minute with a close-range effort. Paderborn laid siege to Nürnberg’s end and almost equalized 5 minutes later, but Sebastian Schonlau’s header struck the post. Paderborn then had a goal disallowed on 18 minutes for a handball in the build-up.

With the lead, Nürnberg looked to play the counter and executed it to perfection in the 49th minute, Felix Lohkemper making it 2-0 with a header from fellow striker Manuel Schäffler’s cross. Paderborn kept pushing to get back into the match, but were ultimately thwarted by a stingy Nürnberg defense that saw out the final moments and gave the Franconians a win.

Table

1. Kiel – 19 points

2. Fürth – 18 points

3. Bochum – 17 points (+6 GD)

4. Hamburg – 17 points (+4 GD)

15. Sandhausen – 11 points (-6 GD)

16. Braunschweig – 11 points (-11 GD)

17. St Pauli – 7 points

18. Würzburger – 4 points

Top Scorers

1. Simon Terodde (Hamburg) – 9 goals

2. Christian Kühlwetter (Heidenheim) – 8 goals

3. Serdar Dursun (Darmstadt) – 7 goals

4. Alexander Mühling (Kiel) – 6 goals