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2. Bundesliga Update - Matchday 27

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Heading Down the Stretch

SV Darmstadt 98 v FC St. Pauli - Second Bundesliga Photo by Uwe Anspach/Pool via Getty Images

Do ya like nil-nil draws?

Me neither, but that’s how 3 of Matchday 27’s 8 fixtures ended up. Here are the results:

Heidenheim 1 – Wiesbaden 0

It took a lot of time and a lot of patience, but hosts Heidenheim finally managed to break through against a determined Wiesbaden side and take a much needed win.

Both sides created chances in the early part of the first half, but neither could seem to put the ball on target. Captain Marc Schnatterer and striker Tim Kleindienst spurned chances for Heidenheim, while Max Dittgen and Manuel Schäffler missed for Wiesbaden. But as the first 45 wound down, the hosts began to assert control of the match and ended up with the advantage in terms of possession (62%-38%) and shots on target (8-1).

Wiesbaden keeper Heinz Lindner managed to keep the match scoreless for the first 70 minutes, saving from Kleindienst, Niklas Dorsch, and Robert Leipertz, before Heidenheim finally broke through on a set piece. Tobias Mohr’s left footed curler from just outside the penalty box snaked over the wall and just inside the post, leaving Lindner with no chance.

The visitors thought they’d equalized ten minutes later, but VAR chalked off the goal due to an offside in the build-up. And after Daniel-Kofi Kyereh’s free kick sailed wide to the right in the 84th minute, Heidenheim were able to see out the remaining minutes and take the win.

Heidenheim cut the gap between them and the promotion spots to just a single point, while Wiesbaden drop back into the direct relegation zone.

Nürnberg 1 – Erzgebirge Aue 1

Two second-half goals saw hosts Nürnberg finish level with visiting Erzgebirge at the Max-Morlock-Stadion on Friday evening.

Der Club were looking for a good result in their fight for survival and they had the majority of chances throughout the match, helped by a hefty possession advantage (65%-35%). Hanno Behrens and Johannes Geis tried their luck in the first half, but Erzgebirge keeper Martin Männel was up to the task and kept them out. Jan Hochscheidt then went close for the East Germans on the cusp of halftime, but Felix Dornebusch made the stop for Nürnberg.

It was Erzgebirge who opened the scoring just 6 minutes into the second half. Florian Krüger’s incisive run down the left gave him enough time to pick out Dimitrij Nazarov at the back post, and the Azerbaijani striker scored his second goal in as many matches to give his side the lead. But Erzgebirge gave the lead back just 8 minutes later when center-back Sören Gonther turned Adam Zreľák’s low cross into his own net.

Behrens nearly gave the hosts the lead in the 80th minute, but his shot from the middle of the box rattled off the left-hand post. Despite having most of the ball for the remaining minutes, Der Club couldn’t find a second and had to settle for a point on the day.

Erzgebirge drop to 6th while Nürnberg remain 15th, but were able to increase the gap between them and the relegation zone to 2 points.

Darmstadt 4 – St Pauli 0

Hosts Darmstadt took the lead early and ran away from visiting St Pauli late in the second half to take the win at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor on Saturday morning.

Darmstadt seized the initiative in just the 8th minute. Victor Pálsson found space along the byline and his cutback from the right found Mathias Honsak. Honsak, who had forced St Pauli keeper Robin Himmelmann into a save in just the first minute, took a touch and guided a bouncing shot past Himmelann to give his side the lead.

Kiezkicker made a concerted effort to get back into the match, and were able to create several scoring opportunities in the first half, but they couldn’t find a way past Darmstadt keeper Marcel Schuhen. The second half was much the same, with Darmstadt content to play organized, disciplined defense and St Pauli unable to do anything in response.

The hosts put the match to bed in the last 15 minutes with some clinical finishing. Yannick Stark, possibly looking to make amends for a bad miss in Matchday 26 against Bochum, blasted in from 15 yards out in the 74th minute. Marvin Mehlem made it 3-0 in the 81st minute with a tame effort that snuck inside the far post, after good work from Tobias Kempe and Serdar Dursun. Pálsson then wrapped things up in the 89th minute with a rocket that bounced in off the crossbar.

St Pauli’s misery was compounded when Dimitrios Diamantakos shot wide from the penalty spot in second half stoppage time. It was that kind of day for Kiezkicker, as Darmstadt scored on each of their 4 shots on the day.

Darmstadt jump up to 5th in the table, while St Pauli fall to 11th.

Hannover 4 – Osnabrück 2

After having their Matchday 26 fixture with Dresden postponed, Hannover returned to action and came from behind twice to beat hosts Osnabrück at the Stadion an der Bremer Brücke.

Lila-Weiß, still seeking their first win of 2020, took the lead in the 6th minute from the penalty spot. After Hannover’s Dominik Kaiser fouled Etienne Amenyido in the area, Assan Ceesay just managed to get the ball past keeper Ron-Robert Zieler to give the hosts the lead. Alas, it took Die Roten just 5 minutes to equalize, when Osnabrück center-back Joost van Aken unwittingly headed John Guidetti’s unsighted free kick into his own net.

Amenyido would put Osnabrück back in front at the opening of the second half with a sizzling shot from the left that gave Zieler no chance. But he then gave Hannover the opportunity for an equalizer from the spot when he brought down Genki Haraguchi in the box as the Japanese international tried to race onto a long ball forward. Marvin Ducksch beat keeper Philipp Kühn from the spot and the match was tied again.

Ducksch gave Die Roten their first lead in the 80th minute when he turned in Hendrik Weydandt’s cross from the right and Haraguchi put the result to rest in the 85th minute with a mazy solo run that he finished off with aplomb.

Hannover’s third straight league win takes them up to 9th in the table, while Osnabrück are 13th.

Sandhausen 0 – Regensburg 0

Nil-nil draws are the bane of a football fan’s existence.

Nil-nil draws in which one side fails to put a single shot on target in 90 minutes are even worse.

It seemed as if hosts Sandhausen were the only side that wanted to try and score at the BWT-Stadion am Hardtwald. Visiting Regensburg looked content to sit back and play defense and rely on keeper Alexander Meyer to keep Sandhausen out, which he was able to do.

Still, Sandhausen will take the point, as it keeps them above the relegation zone in 14th. Regensburg are 10th.

Hamburg 0 – Arminia Bielefeld 0

The weekend’s topspiel took place at the Volksparkstadion on Sunday afternoon, when second-place Hamburg welcomed league leaders Bielefeld.

The scoreline doesn’t reflect it, but the match was pretty entertaining in spots. HSV were the dominant side in terms of chances (6-2) and possession (61%-39%), but Bielefeld seemed content to let them have most of the ball and play a disciplined, counterattacking style.

Bielefled keeper Stefan Ortega was busy early, saving from Joel Pohjanpalo and Martin Harnik in the opening 10 minutes. Harnik was the danger man early for the hosts, but he couldn’t find a way past Ortega in the 12th minute either. Bielefeld looked dangerous on the counter at times however, with Fabian Klos testing keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes in the 27th minute.

Hamburg kept up the pressure in the second half and Harnik had another chance in the 62nd minute, only to be denied by Ortega yet again. Teammate Tim Leibold then hit the post just 5 minutes later to add to HSV’s frustrations on the day. Bielefeld however were in the ascendancy in the latter part of the second half, particularly after the return of one of their key players, Andreas Voglsammer, making his first appearance for the club since breaking his foot in January.

Voglsammer caused problems for HSV practically from his first touch, and came close on two chances in the 75th minute. Hamburg’s defense had to be on its toes as Bielefeld were seeing more and more of the ball in the HSV half. Fortunately, they managed to snuff out all of Bielefeld’s chances bar one, which Heuer Fernandes handled in the 78th minute.

HSV’s Timo Letschert had a chance to win it in second half stoppage time, but Ortega was on hand yet again to make the save.

The shared points mean that Bielefeld maintained their 7 point advantage over Hamburg. With 7 matches remaining, Bielefeld look on course for promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time since 2009.

Holstein Kiel 3 – Stuttgart 2

Stuttgart just can’t seem to find any sort of form at the moment, as they dropped their third league match in their last four to hosts Kiel at the Holstein-Stadion.

Needing a win to maintain any real chance at the league title, the visitors instead went behind in just the 9th minute. Düsseldorf loanee Emmanuel Iyoha outraced Stuttgart defender Marcin Kamiński on a fast counter and shot past keeper Gregor Kobel to give Die Störche a surprise early lead. Stuttgart looked to respond immediately, but Kiel keeper Ioannis Gelios made a succession of saves to keep his side in the lead.

Stuttgart’s situation went from bad to worse when Daniel Didavi was sent off in the 44th minute after picking up a second yellow card with a petulant foul. Already on a yellow for badgering the official earlier in the match, Didavi’s selfish action forced Stuttgart to play the entire second half a man down.

The visitors managed to draw level in the 59th minute from the penalty spot. Philipp Förster crossed tamely from the right, but as Gelios tried to fall onto the ball, he tripped up Hamadi Al Ghaddioui, making the referee’s decision easy. Nicolás González sent the keeper the wrong way to level the scoreline.

But from then on, Kiel’s man advantage became apparent. Kobel managed to keep Die Störche at bay for the following 20 minutes, saving from Alexander Mühling twice along the way, but Kiel finally broke through in the 78th minute. Kobel parried away Lion Lauberbach’s initial attempt, but Jannik Dehm was in the right place at the right time to blast in the rebound. Lauberbach then made it 3-1 just to minutes later after teammate David Atanga selflessly played him through on goal.

Silas Wamangituka pulled one back for Stuttgart in the 86th minute with a cheeky flick over Gelios, but it was too little, too late for Stuttgart, who fall further behind Bielefeld as a result of the defeat.

They remain 3rd, while Kiel move up to 7th.

Karlsruher 0 – Bochum 0

It was a goalkeeping showcase between Karlsruher and Bochum at the Wildparkstadion.

KSC’s Benjamin Uphoff and Bochum’s Manuel Riemann stopped every shot that came their way and both sides had to be content with a point on the day.

Bochum remain 12th, but the point sees Karlsruher move out of the direct relegation zone to 16th on goal difference.

Table

1. Arminia Bielefeld – 53 points

2. Hamburg – 46 points

3. Stuttgart – 45 points

4. Heidenheim – 44 points

5. Darmstadt – 39 points

6. Erzgebirge Aue – 38 points

14. Sandhausen – 30 points (-5 GD)

15. Nürnberg – 30 points (-12 GD)

16. Karlsruher – 28 points (-11 GD)

17. Wiesbaden – 28 points (-12 GD)

18. Dresden – 24 points*

Top Scorers

1. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 17 goals

2. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 16 goals

T3. Tim Kleindienst (Heidenheim) – 12 goals

T3. Philipp Hofmann (Karlsruher) – 12 goals

T3. Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy (Bochum) – 12 goals

Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 28 (May 26 – 28)

Darmstadt @ Erzgebirge Aue – Tuesday 5/26, 12:30 pm EST

Heidenheim @ St Pauli – Wednesday 5/27, 12:30 pm EST

Hamburg @ Stuttgart – Thursday 5/28, 2:30 pm EST

*Because of their side being in municipal enforced 14-day quarantine due to COVID-19, Dresden’s Matchday 26-28 fixtures will be made up at later dates.