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2. Bundesliga Update - Matchday 30

Bielefeld’s Magic Number is 2 and Dresden Try to Salvage Their Season

Hamburger SV v Holstein Kiel - Second Bundesliga Photo by Christian Charisius/Pool via Getty Images

The league title and promotion fights didn’t change much in Matchday 30. The relegation battle did however. Here are the results:

Bochum 2 – St Pauli 0

Bochum took an easy win over visiting St Pauli at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion on Friday evening and in the process seem to have put to rest any relegation fears they might’ve had.

The hosts were on the front foot early, winning 4 set pieces in the first 12 minutes. They jumped out in front in the 14th minute after Kiezkicker’s Leo Østigård tripped Miloš Pantović in the box. Robert Žulj sent keeper Robin Himmelmann the wrong way and Bochum took a 1-0 lead. They nearly made it 2-0 just a minute later, but Himmelmann kept out Danilo Soares’ stinging shot from distance.

St Pauli struggled to get anything going in the first half and Himmelmann had to bail them out several more times before the break. They also got an assist from VAR just before the halftime whistle, when Hamburg loanee Manuel Wintzheimer put the ball in the the net, only for it to be disallowed for a Pantović handball in the buildup.

Bochum keeper Manuel Riemann only had to make one save on the day, a 63rd minute effort by Waldemar Sobota. Wintzheimer again put the ball in the net, but it was chalked off again, this time due to an offside. The hosts finally nabbed a second in the 73rd minute, when center-back Maxim Leitsch volleyed in from a Žulj corner. St Pauli had no answer and Bochum saw out the remaining minutes with ease.

The win moves Bochum 9 points clear of the relegation spots, and with only 4 matches remaining, practically assures them of safety. St Pauli meanwhile drop to 14th in the table, just 5 points clear.

Sandhausen 2 – Greuther Fürth 1

Sandhausen went into Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer and took their third consecutive league win at the expense of a disappointing Fürth side.

A feisty opening 15 minutes produced several fouls, but a handball by Kleeblätter’s David Raum gave the visitors a chance to take the lead from the spot. Kevin Behrens made no mistake on the penalty and Sandhausen were on top. Keeper Martin Fraisl kept them ahead when he stopped Jamie Leweling’s effort just a minute later.

Fürth pushed to get back to level terms, but got caught out at the other end in the 39th minute when Julius Biada scored from the edge of the penalty area with his left foot. Keeper Sascha Burchert then had to save from Leart Paqarada moments later to keep the match from getting out of hand before halftime.

Sandhausen continued their disciplined play in the second half and Fraisl stopped every Fürth shot that came his way until the 71st minute, when he was beaten by a Daniel Keita-Ruel header. Kleeblätter upped the intensity and tried to find an equalizer in the remaining 20 minutes, but Sandhausen were able to hold on until the final whistle.

Like Bochum, Sandhausen move 9 points clear of the relegation zone, likely assuring themselves of another season in the second division. Fürth drop to the bottom half of the table temporarily, but they had a match in hand due a postponement against Dresden from Matchday 27, which we’ll get to later.

Arminia Bielefeld 1 – Nürnberg 1

The league leaders were looking to move one step closer to a league title and promotion at the Schüco-Arena on Saturday afternoon, but a determined Nürnberg side had other ideas.

The visitors had the first chance in the 7th minute, when Arsenal loanee Konstantinos Mavropanos headed straight at keeper Stefan Ortega. But Bielefeld marched down to the other end and took the lead shortly thereafter, with star man Fabian Klos notching his 18th goal of the season from Jonathan Clauss’ cross.

Bielefeld had an opportunity to go 2-0 up in the 21st minute, but Marcel Hartel couldn’t beat Christian Mathenia from distance. Clauss headed over from the subsequent corner and Klos hit the post in the 25th minute from close range. Der Club managed to slow things down and take control of the match for the remainder of the second half. Mikael Ishak and Georg Margreitter both went close before Patrick Erras got them on the board with a header from Philip Heise’s corner just before halftime.

The second half was an exciting back and forth affair with chances at both ends of the pitch. Nürnberg, looking to put some much needed distance between them and the relegation fight, were every bit the match for the league leaders. Both Ortega and Mathenia were called into action on multiple occasions. Andreas Voglsammer came close for Bielefeld with two efforts in the later stages and Fabian Schleusener and Michael Frey did the same for Nürnberg. No one could find another goal however and the match ended with shared spoils.

Both sides likely came away disappointed, Bielefeld unable to extend their lead at the top of the table and Nürnberg missing out on a chance to get some more breathing room between themselves and Karlsruher, who are in 16th, the relegation playoff spot, just 3 points behind.

Regensburg 3 – Darmstadt 0

Ten man Regensburg took their first win since February with a clinical display against Darmstadt at the Arena Regensburg.

Darmstadt were looking to keep their slim hopes for promotion alive and Tobias Kempe tested Regensburg keeper Alexander Meyer in the 4th minute, but Meyer was up to the task. The hosts capitalized just 3 minutes later, when Marcel Correia scored with a header from Chima Okoroji’s corner. Darmstadt upped the pressure at the other end and Meyer was a busy man the remainder of the first half, saving from Kempe twice more and then from Felix Platte.

Set pieces have been Darmstadt’s strength this season, but it was their downfall in this match, as they conceded from another in the 52nd minute. Darmstadt couldn’t clear the ball from their area following another Okoroji corner and in the melee, Max Besuschkow somehow managed to push the ball over the line to make it 2-0.

Regensburg went down to 10 men in the 57th minute when Erik Wekesser received a second yellow card after a clash with Darmstadt’s Patrick Herrmann. The visitors then won a penalty in the 65th minute when Sebastian Stolze kicked Nicolai Rapp in the box. But when Kempe skied the spot kick over the bar, it was clear that this just wasn’t going to be Darmstadt’s day. Jann-Christopher George wrapped up the result in the 78th minute when he scored Regensburg’s third.

Regensburg’s win put to rest any relegation fears they might’ve had, while the loss means that Darmstadt’s promotion hopes look increasingly remote.

Dynamo Dresden 3 – Wiesbaden 2

The battle between the two sides in the relegation zone resulted in Dresden take a huge win at the BRITA-Arena.

Dresden, needing to get some sort of momentum going if they want to have any hope of staying in the second division, got a boost early when Wiesbaden’s Dominik Franke turned Godsway Donyoh’s cross into his own net in the 9th minute. Wiesbaden flipped the script over a two minute stretch later in the half. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh scored in the 23rd minute from a Manuel Schäffler pass and teammate Moritz Kuhn gave them the lead in the 25th minute, beating keeper Kevin Broll with his right foot.

Things went back and forth for the remainder of the half, but Dresden managed to claw back to level terms just before halftime when Heidenheim loanee Patrick Schmidt headed in a corner by Chris Löwe (remember him BVB fans?).

Both sides desperately needed to find a winner and the chances started flying in the last 15 minutes. Broll stopped Maximilian Dittgen at one end and Heinz Lindner saved Simon Makienok’s header at the other end shortly after. Makienok was the danger man for Dresden going forward and he had another header saved in the 84th minute. Finally, Makienok decided to try with his feet and beat Lindner with his right foot in the 89th minute to give Dresden the lead and the win.

Despite remaining at the bottom of the table, Dresden pull to within 1 point of Wiesbaden in 17th and 3 points of Karlsruher in 16th.

Erzgebirge Aue 1 – Karlsruher 0

Erzgebirge scored early and kept visiting Karlsruher at bay the remainder of the match at the Erzgebirgsstadion on Sunday afternoon.

Florian Krüger scored in the 10th minute from Jan Hochscheidt’s cross and Erzgebirge nearly made it 2-0 moments later, but Benjamin Uphoff stopped Calogero Rizzuto’s effort. Lukas Fröde had a chance at the other end for KSC, but Martin Männel made the stop. That was pretty much all the action in the first half as Erzgebirge looked happy to sit back and hold onto their one goal lead.

Karlsruher tried to get something going, but Erzgebirge are a notoriously difficult side to break down, particularly at home and they weren’t threatened until second half stoppage time when KSC threw everything forward in a desperate quest for an equalizer. Marvin Wanitzek had a good chance, but Männel made the save and the visitors ultimately came up empty on the day.

Erzgebirge remain in the top half of the table in 7th, while KSC will need to find points somewhere along the way if they want to get out of the relegation playoff spot.

Hannover 2 – Heidenheim

Heidenheim’s promotion quest hit a stumbling block at the HDI-Arena as Hannover took a deserved win.

Die Roten were in the ascendancy in the first half and Marvin Ducksch signaled their intentions early when he forced Kevin Müller to make a 5th minute save. Genki Haraguchi also tested Müller in the 23rd minute and Hannover continued to push the visitors back into their own half. Their persistence paid off when John Guidetti’s cross from the right found Ducksch and the striker scored with his right foot.

Heidenheim’s offensive struggles have been a recurring theme all season and they couldn’t seem to get anything going in the opening 45 minutes. Edgar Prib made their task that much harder when he blasted in from long range in the 41st minute. Things looked better for the visitors in the second half, but neither Tim Kleindienst nor Jonas Föhrenbach could find the target on early chances.

Konstantin Kerschbaumer finally put a shot on target, but Ron-Robert Zieler handled it easily. Heidenheim at last got on the scoreboard in the 75th minute when substitute Stefan Schimmer headed in from a corner, but Hannover ultimately never looked under very much of a threat. They handled Heidenheim’s pressure calmly and saw out the remaining minutes to seal the win.

Hannover move up to 6th while Heidenheim remain 4th.

Stuttgart 0 – Osnabrück 0

Did you hear that? That was me sighing at another nil-nil draw.

Stuttgart couldn’t take advantage of Bielefeld dropping points the day before and were held by Osnabrück at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Lila-Weiß put only one shot on target the whole match, a 5th minute effort by Etienne Amenyido, but Stuttgart’s attacking issues flared up again and they could do nothing at the other end to take advantage. They put only 3 of their 11 shots on target and couldn’t find a way past Osnabrück keeper Philipp Kühn.

Manager Pellegrino Matarazzo has earned praise from some for his performance with Stuttgart in the Rückrunde, but statistically the squad’s attack isn’t performing any better than it was under predecessor Tim Walter. As a result, they wasted a fine defensive effort and had to settle for a single point at home against a side fighting to stay out of the relegation zone.

Osnabrück however will likely be pleased with the result, as they are now 5 points clear of the relegation zone.

Hamburg 3 – Holstein Kiel 3

Hamburg’s maddeningly inconsistent season continued as they dropped points to visiting Kiel at the Volksparkstadion on Monday evening.

The opening 25 minutes of this match were crazy. With both Bielefeld and Stuttgart drawing on previous days, HSV had a chance to close the gap on the top two, but they went behind in the 9th minute. Köln loanee Salih Özcan set up Alexander Mühling and the midfielder beat keeper Julian Pollersbeck with a curled effort just outside the penalty area. The hosts looked to have equalized six minutes later, but Rick van Drongelen’s header was wiped out by VAR, which flagged Bakery Jatta offside in the buildup.

Die Störche’s good fortune didn’t last however, as defender Phil Neumann fouled HSV’s Sonny Kittel in the box and a penalty was awarded. Aaron Hunt slotted home to keeper Ioannis Gelios’ left in the 21st minute. Hamburg then jumped in front just 3 minutes later through Leverkusen loanee Joel Pohjanpalo, who has been the key man for HSV since his arrival in the winter window. Tim Leibold raced onto a long-ball over the top and the left-back squared to the Finnish striker who tapped in for a 2-1 lead.

Phew!

The second half got off to a hot start as well. Referee Bastian Dankert awarded Hamburg a second penalty in the 48th minute, when Lee Jae-sung appeared to bring down Timo Letschert, but upon consultation with VAR, he waved it off, as the South Korean international had clearly gotten the ball, rather than the man. Kiel kept up the pressure in their bid for an equalizer and they got it in the 64th minute. Fabian Reese’s cross was flicked on by Lee, and Düsseldorf loanee Emmanuel Iyoha reacted fastest and scored at the back post.

But just 3 minutes later, HSV was back out in front as Pohjanpalo scored his second of the match with a header from a David Kinsombi cross. Once back out in front, Hamburg fought desperately to hold onto their lead, but Die Störche would not go quietly. Pollersbeck saved from Mühling in the 82nd minute and Kiel were all over the hosts going into second half stoppage time.

Center-back Hauke Wahl came oh so close with a header in the second minute of stoppage time and Kiel then had four successive corners, but couldn’t find the back of the net. It looked like HSV would hold on, but from out of nowhere, Stefan Thesker found Lee with a through ball and Kiel’s #7 rounded Pollersbeck and slid in the equalizer at the death!

The draw means that Hamburg remain 3rd in the table, 2 points adrift of Stuttgart and 7 behind Bielefeld. Effectively, the top 3 remain in exactly the same position they were going into Matchday 30. Bielefeld’s magic number to clinch promotion is now 2 (wins).

Dynamo Dresden 1 – Greuther Fürth 1

Dresden were able to get another point in their makeup fixture against Fürth at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion on Tuesday evening.

Kleeblätter took a 13th minute lead when Daniel Keita-Ruel headed in Maximilian Wittek’s cross from close range. The visitors were on the front foot throughout the first half, but that was the only shot on target they managed in the opening 45 minutes. Dresden meanwhile, failed to register much of a threat at the other end.

Things changed at halftime, when Dresden manager Markus Kauczinski brought on Simon Makienok, the hero from Dresden’s win over Wiesbaden on Saturday. Keeper Kevin Broll saved from Hans Nunoo Sarpei in the 46th minute and the Danish striker paid back his keeper by equalizing with a 54th minute header from Brian Hämäläinen’s corner.

That would ultimately be Dresden’s only shot on target in the 90 minutes, as they tenaciously held on at the other end of the pitch. Julian Green came close for the visitors in the 82nd minute, but Broll made the stop. Makienok had a chance to win it for Dresden late again, but his 86th minute shot drifted just wide of the right hand post.

The point moves Dresden level with Wiesbaden in the table, but they remain bottom on goal difference. Fürth meanwhile sit 9th in the table.

Table

1. Arminia Bielefeld – 57 points

2. Stuttgart – 52 points

3. Hamburg – 50 points

4. Heidenheim – 48 points

5. Darmstadt – 43 points

14. St. Pauli – 35 points

15. Nürnberg – 33 points

16. Karlsruher – 30 points

17. Wiesbaden – 28 points (-15 GD)

18. Dresden – 28 points (-20 GD)*

Top Scorers

T1. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 18 goals

T1. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 18 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 31 (June 12 – 15)

Hamburg @ Dynamo Dresden – Friday 6/12, 12:30 pm EST

Arminia Bielefeld @ Sandhausen – Friday 6/12, 12:30 pm EST

Jahn Regensburg @ Heidenheim – Saturday 6/13, 7:00 am EST

Stuttgart @ Karlsruher (Derby) – Sunday 6/14, 7:30 am EST

Dynamo Dresden @ Arminia Bielefeld – Monday 6/15, 2:30 pm EST*

*Dresden and Bielefeld’s matchup is a makeup fixture from Matchday 28 that was postponed due to Dresden’s COVID-19 mandated quarantine.