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2. Bundesliga Update - Matchday 29

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Things Settling Down? Maybe

1. FC Heidenheim 1846 v FC Erzgebirge Aue - Second Bundesliga Photo by Tom Weller/Pool via Getty Images

It looks like the promotion spots will come down to 4 or 5 teams after Matchday 29. Here are the results:

Darmstadt 1 – Greuther Fürth 1

Fürth needed a late goal in order to salvage a point against Darmstadt at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor on Friday evening.

Daniel Keita-Ruel had the first real chance of the match, but his 7th minute header sailed wide of the Darmstadt goal. Serdar Dursun hit the side netting for the hosts in the 19th minute and other than another Keita-Ruel header that narrowly missed in the 32nd minute, the first half didn’t have much in the way of action.

Things began to heat up in the second half as referee Sven Waschitzki issued yellow cards to Kleeblätter’s Branimir Hrgota and Darmstadt’s Marcel Schuhen after a disagreement in the 54th minute. And just a minute later, the hosts took the lead through Fabian Schnellhardt. Mathias Honsak did most of the work in the buildup and his delivery left Schnellhardt just to roll it home.

Darmstadt had a chance to make it 2-0 just 6 minutes later when Fürth keeper Sascha Burchert fouled substitute Paik Seung-ho in the area. Luckily for the visitors, Felix Platte’s penalty hit the post and was scrambled away to safety. The miss would come back to bite Darmstadt, as Kleeblätter upped the pressure in the waning moments and were able to find an equalizer in the 87th minute. Schuhen stopped Keita-Ruel’s initial effort, but couldn’t control the rebound, leaving Wolfsburg loanee Marvin Stefaniak with an easy tap in.

Darmstadt remain 5th, while Fürth remain 5 points behind them in 6th.

Osnabrück 2 – Regensburg 2

Osnabrück continued their quest for survival with a 2-goal comeback against a struggling Regensburg side at the Stadion an der Bremer Brücke.

Things got off to a bad start for the hosts when Sebastian Stolze put Regensburg ahead in the 8th minute. Osnabrück’s Kevin Wolze somehow failed to clear a rather tame Benedikt Saller cross from the right, and Stolze was left with a rather easy finish. Wolze’s day went from bad to worse in the 38th minute when he gave away a penalty with a handball. Referee Nicolas Winter awarded the spot kick after consulting with VAR. Max Besuschkow took the penalty for Regensburg and sent keeper Philipp Kühn the wrong way to double the visitors’ lead.

Lila-Weiß had a chance to pull one back when Regensburg defender Tim Knipping conceded a penalty at the other end just 2 minutes later, but Alexander Meyer saved Assan Ceesay’s penalty and Etienne Amenyido couldn’t direct the rebound on target.

It seemed like it just wasn’t the hosts’ day, but leading goal scorer Marcos Álvarez had other ideas.

Álvarez needed just 3 minutes to tie the match in the second half. He scored first in the 67th minute, with a nifty touch and shoot from the right side of the box. Then Ceesay set him up perfectly with a cross from the left and Álvarez coolly shot past Meyer to level the match. It was the German’s 13th goal of the season.

Osnabrück suddenly had Regensburg on their heels and Bashkim Ajdini nearly gave them the lead, but his effort from an Álvarez free kick sailed harmlessly across the goalmouth. Sebastian Klaas then hit the bar in the 87th minute, which seemed to signal that there would be no more goals scored in this match.

Regensburg fall another place to 12th. Osnabrück are 14th, four points above the relegation playoff spot.

Arminia Bielefeld 2 – Holstein Kiel 1

Consistency has been a key to Bielefeld’s success this season and it continued with a late win against Kiel at the Holstein-Stadion on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors started the match off well, with Fabian Klos and Marcel Hartel forcing saves out of Kiel keeper Ioannis Gelios in the opening 20 minutes. Klos then turned provider in the 25th minute, doing well to hold the ball up and draw defenders to him, before squaring to an unmarked Jonathan Clauss, who beat Gelios from the penalty spot to give Bielefeld a deserved lead.

Die Störche slowed things down after conceding and were able to get to halftime without letting in another. They took advantage of their defensive stubbornness and found an equalizer just 6 minutes into the second half. Fabian Reese crossed from the left, and Alexander Mühling was able to get good position on his marker and head past a helpless Stefan Ortega.

The goal put a charge into the hosts and they came very close to taking the lead on two occasions over the next 20 minutes, but the bar bailed Bielefeld out both times. First, Ortega managed to push Jonas Meffert’s long range effort onto the bar in the 56th minute, and then Emmanuel Iyoha found Lee Jae-sung all alone in front of goal, but the South Korean international’s sliding effort also caromed off the bar.

Bielefeld were able to compose themselves and retake control of the match in the waning moments. They desperately wanted the winner and in the second minute of stoppage time, they got it. Hartel’s lofted cross from the left soared majestically into the box and substitute Sven Schipplock raced under it and powered a header past Gelios to give Bielefeld their league leading 15th win of the season.

Kiel played well, but Bielefeld showed why they’ve been at or near the top of the table practically all season. They’ve gotten points in all but 2 matches thus far.

Karlsruher 1 – St Pauli 1

Hosts Karlsruher desperately needed points of any kind against St Pauli, as they fight to attain a place in the second division next season, and they came away with 1 at the Wildparkstadion.

Marvin Wanitzek forced Keizkicker keeper Robin Himmelmann into an early save and Dimitrios Diamantakos did the same to KSC keeper Benjamin Uphoff at the other end minutes later. Those were the only two real chances of the first half. But things would pick up early in the second half.

James Lawrence fouled KSC striker Philipp Hofmann in the box just 3 minutes after the restart, but Himmelmann got down and saved Änis Ben-Hatira’s subsequent penalty to keep the match goalless. Lawrence thanked his keeper for the assist with one of his own 8 minutes later. His header forward split the Karlsruher defense and allowed Diamantakos to flick the ball over an onrushing Uphoff to give Kiezkicker the lead.

KSC didn’t wait long to equalize however, with Jérôme Gondorf putting the ball in the net just two minutes later. VAR double checked and allowed the goal to stand. The hosts had the lion’s share of possession and chances in the remaining minutes, but couldn’t find a way past Himmelmann. Uphoff managed to keep St Pauli from nicking it at the other end just minutes from time when he denied Brighton loanee Viktor Gyökeres’ effort.

Karlsruher remain 16th, but are now 2 points ahead of Wiesbaden in 17th. St Pauli fall to 13th.

Nürnberg 0 – Bochum 0

It was 90 minutes of futility and profligacy at the Max-Morlock-Stadion between Nürnberg and Bochum, with neither side finding the back of the net.

There were more cards in the match than shots on goal, which pretty much tells you how this all went. Bochum had the only two shots on target, but couldn’t get past keeper Christian Mathenia. Robin Hack came the closest of anyone on the day, but his 83rd minute shot hit the bar and bounced away to safety.

Bochum jump up into the top half of the table in 9th, while Nürnberg remain 15th, still 2 points above the relegation playoff spot.

Sandhausen 3 – Hannover 1

Sandhausen appear to have found form at the right time as they ran out deserved winners over visiting Hannover at the BWT-Stadion am Hardtwald.

The match was active almost from the opening whistle. Denis Linsmayer hit the post with a curled effort in the 6th minute and teammate Aleksandr Zhirov forced Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler into a leaping save from a corner 10 minutes later. Die Roten’s Marcel Franke hit the post at the opposite end in the 29th minute, but despite several more chances in the opening 45, the match went into halftime scoreless.

It felt like that wouldn’t last, and it didn’t. Kevin Behrens created all sorts of problems with a run toward the right byline and his cutback found Julius Biada alone in the box. The midfielder didn’t miss and gave Sandhausen a 51st minute lead. Center-back Gerrit Nauber made it 2-0 five minutes later, with a perfectly placed header following Leart Paqarada’s corner.

Alavés loanee John Guidetti continued his fine form for Hannover by pulling one back in the 58th minute. Genki Haraguchi’s delightful pass put the Swede through on goal and he coolly scored past keeper Martin Fraisl. But this was Sandhausen’s day and substitute Philip Türpitz put the result to rest in the 82nd minute when he beat Zieler from a tight angle for his side’s third of the match.

Sandhausen leap up to 10th, while Hannover fall to 11th.

Stuttgart 2 – Dynamo Dresden 0

Stuttgart put in a thoroughly dominant display against hosts Dresden at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion on Sunday afternoon to pick up their second consecutive league win.

The hosts were making their return to live match play after a municipality enforced 14-day quarantine, and they looked very rusty at times. Stuttgart were able to create chances early on, with Thursday’s hero Gonzalo Castro forcing a save from Dresden keeper Kevin Broll in the 9th minute. They took the lead in the 18th minute through Hamadi Al Ghaddioui, but the goal was initially flagged by the referee assistant for offside. Luckily, VAR intervened and the goal was correctly awarded.

Stuttgart put three more shots on target in the first half, but none of them went in. Dresden’s Patrick Schmidt notched his side’s only shot on target in the match just before halftime, but Stuttgart’s Gregor Kobel held his shot. The visitors ended up with the possession advantage on the day (60%-40%) and were able to put 7 total shots on target.

But the lack of a second goal meant that the match was tense until late in the second half. Broll managed to keep Dresden in it up until the 88th minute, when substitute Darko Churlinov beat him from close range to make it 2-0 and ice the match.

Stuttgart remain 2nd, five points behind Bielefeld, while Dresden stay bottom, but with 3 matches to make up.

Hamburg 3 – Wiesbaden 2

Hamburg made it difficult for themselves, but were finally able to put visiting Wiesbaden away at the Volksparkstadion.

Despite being clearly the better team on the day, HSV conceded first in the 12th minute when they gave the ball away cheaply in their own half. Wiesbaden worked the ball to leading scorer Manuel Schäffler, who turned toward goal and chipped past keeper Julian Pollersbeck, who replaced Daniel Heuer Fernandes between the posts for this match.

HSV didn’t wait long to equalize however. Just two minutes later, Sonny Kittel played in teammate David Kinsombi, who controlled the ball well and hammered in with his left foot past keeper Heinz Lindner. Hamburg seized the initiative and bagged another on 27 minutes. Joel Pohjanpalo has been on a tear lately and after the Wiesbaden defense failed to deal with Tim Leibold’s chipped ball into the area, the Leverkusen loanee snuck in and headed between the keeper’s legs for 2-1.

Wiesbaden were not cowed however. Pollersbeck was busy at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second. He saved from Daniel-Kofi Kyereh and Marvin Ajani to keep his side ahead, but he was put on the spot in the 56th minute, when HSV’s Timo Letschert fouled Ajani in the box and the referee awarded a penalty kick. Pollersbeck could do nothing to stop Schäffler, who stutter stepped his way to an easy finish for his league leading 18th goal of the season.

With it all to do again, Hamburg held their ground and then seized the lead for good in the 76th minute when Kittel served up Kinsombi yet again and the midfielder finished calmly past Lindner for his second of the match. Pollersbeck saved from Ajani again in stoppage time and HSV were able to see out the remaining minutes to take a valuable 3 points.

Hamburg keep pace with Bielefeld and Stuttgart to stay 3rd, while Wiesbaden drop two points behind Karlsruher for 16th place.

Heidenheim 3 – Erzgebirge Aue 0

4th place Heidenheim were able to stay within striking distance of the promotion spots with a big win over Erzgebirge at the Voith-Arena.

Jan Hochscheidt had an early chance for the visitors, but keeper Kevin Müller had little trouble with it. Erzgebirge then gave away a penalty at the other end of the pitch when John-Patrick Strauß fouled Hoffenheim loanee David Otto. But keeper Martin Männel guessed the correct way on Marc Schnatterer’s penalty and kept it out. Erzgebirge then missed two further long range efforts before halftime.

Heidenheim seized control of the match in the second half. Otto played a corner back to Schnatterer at the edge of the penalty area and the Heidenheim captain sent it back toward the goal mouth. Erzgebirge defender Calogero Rizzuto slid in to try and hoist it away, but only ended up smashing the deflected ball into the roof of his own net for an own goal.

Müller saved from Pascal Testroet in the 53rd minute as Erzgebirge looked for an equalizer, but the hosts held firm and doubled their lead in the 58th minute. Tobias Mohr crossed from the left and the Erzgebirge defense didn’t deal with it, allowing it to bounce all the way across to Konstantin Kerschbaumer, who headed in past Männel at the far post.

Erzgebirge were unable to find the back of the net despite valiantly trying, and Stefan Schimmer sealed the result in the 87th minute with a fast break goal.

Heidenheim remain only a point behind Hamburg for the promotion playoff spot, while Erzgebirge stay 7th.

Table

1. Arminia Bielefeld – 56 points

2. Stuttgart – 51 points

3. Hamburg – 49 points

4. Heidenheim – 48 points

5. Darmstadt – 43 points

14. Osnabrück – 34 points

15. Nürnberg – 32 points

16. Karlsruher – 30 points

17. Wiesbaden – 28 points

18. Dresden – 24 points*

Top Scorers

1. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 18 goals

2. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 17 goals

T3. Philipp Hofmann (Karlsruher) – 13 goals

T3. Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy (Bochum) – 13 goals

T3. Serdar Dursun (Darmstadt) – 13 goals

T3. Marcos Álvarez (Osnabrück) – 13 goals

Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 30 (June 5 – 8)

Nürnberg @ Arminia Bielefeld – Saturday 6/6, 7:00 am EST

Heidenheim @ Hannover – Sunday 6/7, 7:30 am EST

Osnabrück @ Stuttgart – Sunday 6/7, 7:30 am EST

Holstein Kiel @ Hamburg – Monday 6/8, 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.