Bielefeld has to exist because there will be a Bundesliga team there in the 2020-21 season! Here are the results from Matchday 32:
Greuther Fürth 0 – Heidenheim 0
Starting off with a bang!
Heidenheim missed an opportunity for 3 huge points toward the promotion fight, but they managed to battle Fürth to a scoreless draw at the Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer on Tuesday evening.
The match wasn’t very pleasing on the eyes, as the sides combined for more cards (8) than shots on target (4) over the 90 minutes. Heidenheim keeper Kevin Müller saved Julian Green’s 3rd minute effort from range, and counterpart Sascha Burchert saved similarly from Tim Kleindienst a minute later. Heidenheim’s Timo Beermann had the only other shot on target in the first half, off a 27th minute free kick, but it didn’t trouble Burchert.
Kleeblätter ended up with more possession on the day (57%-43%), but they didn’t put anything on target after Green’s early chance. Heidenheim’s tactical organization can be really difficult for opponents to break down, and it showed on this evening. But their offensive inefficiencies continued and they didn’t offer much of a threat going forward either. Substitute Denis Thomalla had the only shot on goal in the second half in the last moments of stoppage time, but Burchert saved it.
Heidenheim will have to be satisfied with a point, though they wanted more. Fürth meanwhile are 8th, comfortably in mid-table.
Hamburg 1 – Osnabrück 1
The inconsistent form that has defined Hamburg’s season thus far bit them again, as they had to settle for a draw with visiting Osnabrück at the Volksparkstadion.
David Kinsombi has impressed for Hamburg since returning to the starting lineup in recent fixtures and he went close in the 6th minute, but Lila-Weiß keeper Philipp Kühn made a fine save. Osnabrück were content to allow HSV to have an enormous amount of possession (they finished with 70% on the day) and look for opportunities on the counter. They got one in the 22nd minute when Felix Agu, who will join Bremen after the season, was played through behind the Hamburg defense. Agu squared the ball for teammate Assan Ceesay, but the Gambian international wasted his chance and shot wide.
Hamburg’s possession advantage paid off in the 35th minute when Kinsombi set up Martin Harnik with a beautiful pass and the old veteran dinked the ball over Kühn to give the hosts the lead. Osnabrück had a decent chance from a corner in the last moments of the first half, but keeper Julian Poillersbeck was able to gather the ball.
Lila-Weiß came out hungry in the second half and they finally managed to execute a counter to near perfection in the 58th minute. Pollersbeck could only parry Sebastian Klaas’ cross into the path of Moritz Heyer, who scored into an empty net. The visitors would have the better chances after the equalizer, as HSV were unable to put together anything of real consequence in their attacking end. Sven Köhler’s header from an 84th minute corner was dealt with by Pollersbeck, who then saved Niklas Schmidt’s effort just two minutes later. HSV was able to see out the result and get a point on the day.
The draw, coupled with Heidenheim’s equivalent result on the same day, means that the Matchday 33 fixture between these sides in Heidenheim will likely determine which of them will finish in the promotion spots. Heidenheim, 2 points behind, really need to win, while any other result favors Hamburg.
Nürnberg 6 – Wiesbaden 0
What had been billed as an important fixture for the relegation fight turned into a laugher as Nürnberg took Wiesbaden apart at the BRITA-Arena.
The hosts actually had the first chance on goal in the 3rd minute. Stefan Aigner got his head to a Daniel-Kofi Kyereh cross, but Nürnberg keeper Christian Mathenia made the stop. Just 4 minutes later however, Robin Hack got on the end of Michael Frey’s pass just outside the box and fired into the bottom left corner to give Nürnberg the lead.
Aigner put the ball on target again in the 8th minute, but Mathenia was there once more. It was to be the story of the first half for Wiesbaden. They were able to create opportunities, but couldn’t put the ball in the net. Nürnberg on the other hand, were absolutely clinical. Asger Sørensen nabbed Der Club’s second in the 38th minute when he headed in Johannes Geis’ corner, and Hack made it 3-0 three minutes later, pouncing on a rebound after keeper Heinz Lindner saved Hanno Behrens’ initial effort.
The rapid fire strikes seemed to sap the energy from Wiesbaden and the second half was a rather painful watch. Sørensen matched Hack with his second of the match from a 58th minute corner, but Hack went back in front in the 65th minute when he completed his hat trick with a left footed shot from the center of the box. Substitute Adam Zreľák scored the final goal of the match in the 83rd minute, but the result had been set in stone long before that.
The big win moves Nürnberg back above the relegation zone and gives them a big assist in terms of goal difference. Wiesbaden meanwhile will lament their dreadful performance and now find themselves staring down the relegation barrel in 17th.
Bochum 2 – Erzgebirge Aue 1
Bochum maintained their impressive form since the season’s restart by taking a further 3 points at the Erzgebirgsstadion on Wednesday evening.
It was a hotly contested affair from the opening kickoff and the sides easily combined for more fouls (36!) than shots (16). Jan Hochscheidt went close for the hosts in the 15th minute, but couldn’t get past keeper Manuel Riemann, who would have himself a fine match. Bochum took advantage and scored with their first attempt on goal 15 minutes later. Arsenal loanee Jordi Osei-Tutu was the table setter, dribbling past everyone in his path before putting the ball on a plate for teammate Thomas Eisfeld who couldn’t miss.
Hochscheidt had another great chance in the 37th minute, but Riemann made an equally great save to keep him out. Eisfeld then turned provider five minutes later. His cross eluded keeper Robert Jendrusch and Bochum captain Anthony Losilla was on hand to head home and double the visitors’ lead.
Erzgebirge tried to make a match out of things in the second half, but Riemann proved a tough nut to crack. He saved a Louis Samson header in the 57th minute and then did himself one better ten minutes later, when he saved Dennis Kempe’s stinging effort and then secured the rebound before Hochscheidt could get to it. And then when Riemann stopped Dimitrij Nazarov in the 80th minute, it appeared that Bochum would hang on, but then things got silly.
Samson got himself booked in the 84th minute for petulantly throwing Danilo Soares’ boot away after the Bochum man won a foul off him. Then just two minutes later the Erzgebirge defender picked up a second yellow card when he fouled Bochum’s Miloš Pantović. Barely a minute had passed after that dismissal when Pantović himself was sent off with a straight red after fouling Nazarov to stop a counterattack.
Both sides finished with 10 men and Erzgebirge were able to grab a consolation goal in the 5th minute of stoppage time when Njegos Kupusovic scored from close range, but it was too little, too late.
Bochum stay 6th while Erzgebirge drop to 11th.
Jahn Regensburg 2 – Karlsurher 1
A back and forth affair at the Arena Regensburg saw the hosts run out winners over visiting Karlsruher.
KSC’s leading scorer Philipp Hofmann had the first shot on target just seconds after kickoff, but he couldn’t surprise keeper Alexander Weidinger. The sides spent the next 25 or so minutes feeling each other out, but once the match reached the half hour mark, the chances started coming with more frequency.
Weidinger was busy at first. He saved from Jérôme Gondorf on 28 minutes and then stopped Daniel Gordon’s header shortly after. The action then moved to the other end of the pitch with Regensburg’s Marcel Correia and Sebastian Stolze testing KSC keeper Benjamin Uphoff. The hosts opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, when Benedikt Gimber won possession of the ball on the edge of the KSC penalty area and the midfielder found teammate Erik Wekesser, who flicked the ball into the net with his left foot.
Karlsruher needed a result badly in their fight for survival, but they couldn’t seem to find a way past Weidinger, who saved from Änis Ben-Hatira late in the first half and then denied Hofmann again early in the second. Stolze made things more difficult for the visitors when he scored in the top right corner on 62 minutes. KSC pulled one back in the 77th minute through substitute Babacar Guèye, but were unable to find an equalizer in the waning moments.
Regensburg move up to 10th, while Karlsruher fall back into 16th, three points from safety.
Stuttgart 5 – Sandhausen 1
Stuttgart took advantage of Hamburg’s slip up the day before by trouncing Sandhausen at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
The hosts were on the front foot from practically the opening kickoff. Sandhausen keeper Martin Fraisl was a busy man and had to save attempts by Silas Wamangituka and Philipp Klement in the opening 11 minutes. He could do nothing to stop Nicolás González’s 12th minute header however and Stuttgart had the lead early. Gonzalo Castro doubled it on 20 minutes with a well taken effort from distance.
Things went from bad to worse for Sandhausen when center-back Tim Kister deflected Wamangituka’s 28th minute shot into his own net for Stuttgart’s third. Fellow defender Aleksandr Zhirov then gave away a penalty by fouling Stuttgart’s Philipp Förster less than a minute later. González scored from the spot and Stuttgart were up 4-0 by the 30th minute.
From then on, Stuttgart were essentially content to sit back and play defense. Sandhausen, to their credit, were able to create some scoring chances over the remaining minutes, but the gap was too much to make up. Enrique Peña Zauner pulled one back for the visitors on 68 minutes, but that was cancelled out by Hamadi Al Ghaddioui at the other end in second half stoppage time.
The big win moves Stuttgart back into 2nd place in the table and gives them control of their fate. A win against Nürnberg in Matchday 33 clinches a Top 3 finish.
Hannover 4 – St Pauli 0
Hannover took their third league win in their last four against visiting St Pauli at the HDI-Arena.
Die Roten were in control early and often. Kiezkicker defender Leo Skiri Østigård slipped on a wet pitch in the 6th minute, which allowed Hannover’s Hendrik Weydandt all the time in the world to pick out teammate Marvin Ducksch, who slid the ball home past keeper Robin Himmelmann for the early lead. Weydandt got on the score sheet himself ten minutes later when he headed home Julian Korb’s cross from the right.
St Pauli’s away form this season has been pretty abysmal, with their only win coming against their city rivals in the Hamburg Derby. It continued in the first half of this match, as Die Roten enjoyed 70% possession in the opening 40 minutes. Ultimately, St Pauli failed to put a single shot on target in the entire match.
Genki Haraguchi extended Hannover’s lead in the 61st minute with a shot that deflected in off a defender. Substitute and Smurf loanee Cedric Teuchert scored on the counter in the 80th minute to wrap things up.
Hannover’s good run of form sees them up to 6th in the table, level with Bochum on points, goal difference, and goals scored. The two sides face off on the final day of the season to determine who will finish ahead.
Holstein Kiel 2 – Dynamo Dresden 0
Dresden’s slide toward relegation seems all but certain now as the 10-man visitors lost to Kiel at the Holstein-Stadion on Thursday evening.
Dresden were actually on the front foot early, with Nürnberg loanee Ondřej Petrák testing Kiel keeper Ioannis Gelios in the 10th minute. Both sides found chances hard to come by for the remainder of the first half, bar a speculative Chris Löwe effort from 35 yards out that Gelios dealt with easily.
But then Dresden center-back Jannik Müller picked up two yellow cards in the span of 4 minutes and Dresden had to finish the match out with 10 men. Then in stoppage time, from nowhere, Düsseldorf loanee Emmanuel Iyoha hit the target from 20 yards out to give Die Störche the lead.
That double blow was too much for Dresden to overcome. Kiel dominated the remainder of the match and put the result to bed in the 80th minute when substitute Lion Lauberbach finished off a counter via an assist from fellow substitute David Atanga.
Kiel break a bad run of form and move up to 9th with the win, but Dresden stay bottom, now unable to finish higher than 16th. The relegation playoff is their best hope, but they’re 5 points away from that spot with just two matches left.
Arminia Bielefeld 1 – Darmstadt 0
It was quite a week for Bielefeld.
They clinched a top 3 finish on Monday, secured promotion on Tuesday thanks to other results, and on Thursday, they secured their fourth 2. Bundesliga title by beating Darmstadt at the Schüco Arena.
With top flight status already booked, Bielefeld manager Uwe Neuhaus chose to rest Fabian Klos and Andreas Voglsammer and let his other players try to secure the league title. Cebio Soukou had a chance in the 4th minute, but Darmstadt keeper Marcel Schuhen made the stop.
The visitors weren’t about to roll over for the presumptive champions and Fabian Schnellhardt tested keeper Stefan Ortega at the other end, but the Bielefeld keeper saved comfortably. Reinhold Yabo then nearly scored at the other end a minute later, but Schuhen made a fine save. Darmstadt would end up with the majority of chances in the first half, but neither side was able to find a goal before the break.
Bielefeld took the lead in the 52nd minute, when Manuel Prietl headed in from Marcel Hartel’s cross at the back post. Yabo nearly doubled their advantage shortly after, but his shot missed just to the right.
Darmstadt fought back and Ortega had to save from Schnellhardt again in the 57th minute. But as has been the case throughout much of the Rückrunde, Bielefeld’s defense was stout.
Needing only a point for the championship, Bielefeld were content to let Darmstadt have the ball late. Neuhaus brought on both Klos, Voglsammer, and Jonathan Clauss later in the half to try and ice the match away. Try as they might, the visitors couldn’t find a goal and when Ortega saved Patric Pfeiffer’s effort in the 4th minute of stoppage time, the referee decided enough was enough, and Bielefeld took the win and the league title.
Both promotion and the league title were richly deserved. While they might not have the best roster in the division, Bielefeld have been easily the most consistent throughout the season. They took full advantage of stronger sides’ inconsistencies, namely Stuttgart and Hamburg, and left them in the rear view mirror.
Their side might not contain familiar names, but they have great stories.
Neuhaus, a former Borussia Dortmund II manager who had successful runs with Union Berlin and Dynamo Dresden in the past, finally breaks through after a decade of managing in the second division.
Klos, the league’s leading goal scorer through 32 matches, reaches the Bundesliga for the first time in his career, a decade and 150 goals after signing with Bielefeld as a 23-year old back in 2011. He’s been with the club since their days in the 3. Liga and he’ll now wear the captains arm band for a Bundesliga side.
Hartel, who was a key contributor to Union Berlin’s successful promotion campaign last season, has now been a part of two newly promoted sides in as many seasons.
Amos Pieper, a graduate of the BVB youth academy and II squad who joined Bielefeld in the winter window last season, now finds himself about to make his debut in the top flight as an anchor to Bielefeld’s league leading defense.
And Voglsammer, a former Bayern Munich youth player who has spent the previous decade in the lower divisions, will finally get the chance to face off against his former club in the top flight.
Now the question is, who will join Bielefeld in the Bundesliga next season?
1. Arminia Bielefeld – 64 points (champions, promoted)
2. Stuttgart – 55 points
3. Hamburg – 54 points
4. Heidenheim – 52 points
14. Osnabrück – 36 points (-5 GD)
15. Nürnberg – 36 points (-7 GD)
16. Karlsruher – 33 points
17. Wiesbaden – 31 points
18. Dresden – 28 points
1. Fabian Klos (Arminia Bielefeld) – 19 goals
2. Manuel Schäffler (Wiesbaden) – 18 goals
T3. Serdar Dursun (Darmstadt) – 14 goals
T3. Tim Kleindienst (Heidenheim) – 14 goals
Key Upcoming Matches – Matchday 33 (June 21, 9:30 am EST)
Arminia Bielefeld @ Karlsruher
Kiel @ Osnabrück
Wiesbaden @ Darmstadt
Stuttgart @ Nürnberg
Dynamo Dresden @ Sandhausen
Hamburg @ Heidenheim