Do you like draws? So did the majority of the 2. Bundesliga in Matchday 20. Here are the results:
Greuther Fürth 2 – Jahn Regensburg 0
Visiting Fürth took their second win in four days by upending Regensburg at the Continental Arena on Friday evening, jumping up to 4th in the table in the process.
Both sides looked to snatch the lead in the opening minutes with Andreas Geipl going close for Regensburg and Marvin Stefaniak forcing Regensburg keeper Alexander Meyer into a low save just a moment later. Meyer’s counterpart, Sascha Burchert, was called into action in the 9th minute to stop Andreas Albers’s effort.
Kleeblätter raced into the lead shortly after their keeper’s fine save. A mistake by the Regensburg defense saw the ball make its way to left-back Maximilian Wittek, whose thunderous shot from the edge of the box found the back of the net, leaving Meyer with no chance. Fürth doubled their lead just 4 minutes later, with Branimir Hrgota setting up fellow Scandinavian Håvard Nielsen for an easy finish.
Regensburg tried hard to get back into the match, but despite creating some good opportunities as the match went on, Fürth looked to be in comfortable control. Utilizing fast counterattacking in the second half, the visitors ended up creating more chances although Regensburg were able to keep the ball out of the net for the remainder of the match.
The win vaults Kleeblätter ahead of Regensburg in the table, the hosts dropping to 7th.
Erzgebirge Aue 0 – Arminia Bielefeld 0
Did anyone watch the Hertha v Smurfs match on Friday evening?
First off, why?
Second, that match was on par with the match at the Erzgebirgsstadion that same day, as Erzgebirge held league leaders Bielefeld to a nil-nil draw.
The hosts utilized a stubborn defense to keep Bielefeld at bay throughout the match, although keeper Martin Männel should get the lion’s share of the credit for several fine saves, one of which was a goalline clearance to keep out league leading scorer Fabian Klos.
Bielefeld ended up with a massive possession advantage (73%-27%), but Erzgebirge somehow ended up with more shots on goal (4-3). Neither side could fine the breakthrough however and it ended scoreless.
Hannover 2 – Wiesbaden 2
Hannover came from behind to take the lead against Wiesbaden in the final ten minutes at the HDI-Arena on Saturday afternoon, only for the visitors to force a draw with a stoppage time equalizer.
Die Roten held a huge possession advantage (70%-30%) over the 90 minutes, but Wiesbaden looked dangerous on the counter and, like Erzgebirge the day before, ended up putting more shots on target (5-4). Hannover couldn’t seem to find the finishing touch they needed to convert the many chances they had in the first half and, as a result, it allowed Wiesbaden to take the lead in the 37th minute.
Stefan Aigner got to Daniel-Kofy Kyereh’s corner at the back post and beat keeper Ron-Robert Zieler, much to the consternation of the home crowd, who have had to suffer through Hannover’s putrid home form all season.
Wiesbaden were content to try and see the match out from here and play counterattacking football, but doing so invited tons of pressure from the home side. Hannover finally found the back of the net in the 82nd minute, when Genki Haraguchi beat keeper Heinz Lindner after center-back Felipe headed on. Substitute Cedric Teuchert gave Die Roten the lead just 4 minutes later after good work from Linton Maina.
But Wiesbaden center-back Benedikt Röcker converted a corner kick in the 90th minute, to the dismay of Hannover and the joy of Wiesbaden, who saw out the final minutes and came away with a deserved point.
St Pauli 1 – Stuttgart 1
Stuttgart couldn’t close the gap to league leaders Bielefeld and had to dig deep to secure even a point against a determined St Pauli side on the road at the Millerntor-Stadion.
Stuttgart had to play the majority of the 90 minutes without captain Marc-Oliver Kempf who had to be substituted early after a heavy collision resulted in a broken jaw for the Stuttgart defender.
Kiezkicker looked the better side in the first half, with Ryo Miyaichi and Hank Veerman testing Stuttgart keeper Gregor Kobel. Miyaichi really should have scored in the 34th minute when Veerman sent him through 1-on-1 with Kobel, but the winger could only shoot straight at the opposing keeper. Stuttgart almost snatched the lead just before halftime, but St Pauli keeper Robin Himmelmann was able to turn a Philipp Klement header onto the crossbar.
It was Veerman who finally broke the deadlock in the 56th minute. Miyaichi again did good work and his cutback allowed the Dutchman to find the bottom corner with a left-footed shot. Stuttgart turned up the wick after conceding, with Mario Gómez getting several sniffs at goal that Kiezkicker were able to thwart. Alas for the hosts, they allowed Gómez too many opportunities and the former German international found the back of the net in the 81st minute from a Silas Wamangituka cross.
Neither side could find a winner in the remaining minutes, so Stuttgart stay 3rd in the table while St Pauli are 12th.
Holstein Kiel 2 – Karlsruher 0
A home loss to visiting Kiel heaped more pressure on Karlsruher, whose side are winless in their last 5 league matches.
Kiel keeper Ioannis Gelios was called into action in the opening minutes to deny KSC leading scorer Philipp Hofmann from close range. Hofmann was the danger man in the opening 25 minutes, but he couldn’t convert on several further chances.
Counterpart Fabian Reese made KSC pay in the 26th minute. An Alexander Bieler cross from the right eluded everyone except Reese and the striker made no mistake at the back post to give Die Störche the lead. Reese then turned provider just 5 minutes later, when his pinpoint cross gave Finn Porath a free header into an open net for 2-0.
Karlsruher were able to create several good chances in the second half, but their finishing let them down each time. Left-back Damian Roßbach was sent off in second half stoppage time, which compounded to the home side’s misery.
Kiel took their first win in 4 matches, while Karlsruher drop into the relegation zone as a result of Wiesbaden’s draw on the same day.
KSC manager Alois Schwartz took the fall for his club’s poor performances thus far and was sacked on the Monday following the match. Christian Eichner takes over as caretaker manager.
Heidenheim 0 – Dynamo Dresden 0
Heidenheim and Dresden combined for more fouls than shots in a scoreless draw at the Voith-Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The first 45 minutes featured few chances, but things kind of opened up in the second half. The hosts squandered a double chance in the 52nd minute when first Tim Kleindienst couldn’t get past Dresden keeper Kevin Broll after being played through, and Robert Leipertz couldn’t convert on an inviting cross from captain Marc Schnatterer.
Dresden seemed content to play defense for most of the match, but they came perilously close to a surprise winner in the final minutes. Substitute Josef Hušbauer rattled the crossbar from twenty yards away in the 87th minute and teammate René Klingenburg just missed from a corner a moment later.
Heidenheim fall to 5th, still searching for their first win of 2020, while Dresden remain bottom.
Darmstadt 2 – Osnabrück 2
Osnabrück were able to escape the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor with a point after having to play the final 25 minutes with 10 men.
The hosts came out of the gate flying with both Serdar Dursun and Tobias Kempe testing Osnabrück keeper, and Hertha loanee, Nils Körber. The Lila-Weiß keeper was let down by his defense in the 35th minute however, as a mix-up between teammates allowed Darmstadt’s Victor Pálsson to steal the ball deep in opposing territory and find Dursun, who’s finish was ice cold.
But Darmstadt gave the lead right back by committing a silly foul on Osnabrück’s Felix Agu in their box in the 41st minute, which allowed Marcos Álvarez to equalize from the penalty spot.
Things kicked up a notch in the second half and just two minutes after Darmstadt center-back Joost van Aken hit the crossbar from a set piece, Lila-Weiß midfielder David Blacha was sent off with a second yellow card for a foul on substitute Felix Platte after a costly turnover by his defense.
Surprisingly, it was Lila-Weiß who took the lead in the 77th minute, against the run of play. Niklas Schmidt’s ball into the box missed its intended target, Marc Heider, but teammate Benjamin Girth got to it before any Darmstadt defender could and escorted the ball over the line to give the visitors a shock lead.
But Platte equalized for Darmstadt off a Dursun assist just 6 minutes later. Neither side could find a winner and the entertaining affair ended in a draw.
Nürnberg 2 – Sandhausen 0
Nürnberg took a vital 3 points with a win over visiting Sandhausen at the Max-Morlock-Stadion.
Norwich loanee Philip Heise was the danger man early for Der Club and his cross from the left found striker Michael Frey ahead of his marker and the Fenerbahçe loanee touched in his 4th goal of the season in the 12th minute.
The visitors ended up with the majority of the possession on the day (62%-38%), but Sandhausen were only able to put 2 of their 15 shots on target and neither got past keeper Christian Mathenia, newly returned from injury. Nürnberg were the more clinical side on the day and Robin Hack doubled their lead in the 52nd minute after an outstanding pass in the buildup by Johannes Geis.
Sandhausen had a glorious chance to get back in the match in the 64th when they were awarded a penalty, but for the second consecutive match, Leart Paqarada had a penalty saved and this time the ref didn’t come to his rescue. Frey didn’t help his side’s cause by picking up a second yellow card in the 77th minute, but Nürnberg saw out the remaining minutes rather comfortably.
The win allowed Der Club to haul themselves out of the relegation zone and all the way up to 13th, while Sandhausen fall to 10th with the loss.
Hamburg 3 – Bochum 1
Hamburg staged a late rally to take a key win on the road at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion on Monday evening.
Bochum had an early chance in the 10th minute, but HSV keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes denied Vitaly Janelt with a fine save. After a chaotic opening 25 minutes, the visitors began to assert themselves. Janelt did well to deny Sonny Kittel from close range with a vital block, shortly before Adrian Fein struck the right-hand post in the 39th minute.
HSV continued their good play into the second half, but it was Bochum who took an unexpected lead in the 65th minute. Simon Zoller scored past Heuer Fernandes with a fine curled effort, after a flick-on from teammate Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy. Hamburg would answer just two minutes later when, after Bochum failed to clear a Kittel corner, Tim Leibold blasted in on the volley from the edge of the area.
Leibold then turned provider 7 minutes later, setting up Leverkusen loanee Joel Pohjanpalo to score a fine goal on his debut from 10 yards out. The Finn almost added a second, but his 84th minute effort ricocheted off the woodwork. Kittel finished off the scoring 3 minutes later, after good work from teammates Gideon Jung and Louis Schaub.
The win means that HSV now find themselves only a point behind Bielefeld in the table, while Bochum fall to 16th.
1. Arminia Bielefeld – 38 points
2. Hamburg – 37 points
3. Stuttgart – 35 points
4. Fürth – 31 points (+6 GD, 30 GF)
5. Heidenheim – 31 points (+6 GD, 27 GF)
6. Erzgebirge Aue – 30 points
1. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 14 goals
2. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 12 goals
3. Sonny Kittel (Hamburg) – 11 goals
Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 21 (February 7 – February 10)
Heidenheim @ Sandhausen – Friday 2/7, 12:30 pm EST
Karlsruher @ Hamburg – Saturday 2/8, 7:00 am EST
Erzgebirge Aue @ Stuttgart – Saturday 2/8, 7:00 am EST
Hannover @ Fürth – Sunday 2/9, 7:30 am EST
Jahn Regensburg @ Arminia Bielefeld – Sunday 2/9, 7:30 am EST