Matchday 15 was a weekend for the underdogs. Here are the results:
Würzburger 1 – St Pauli 1 (Wednesday, January 6 – flyeralarm Arena)
Nothing could separate bottom-side Würzburger from 10-man St Pauli in their makeup fixture from Matchday 12.
The hosts grabbed the lead inside 10 minutes from the penalty spot. Kiezkicker’s Marvin Knoll brought down Würzburger’s Marvin Pieringer in the box. The striker, who was making his professional debut, took the spot kick himself and scored. St Pauli nearly answered back immediately, but Daniel-Kofi Kyereh’s 14th minute effort bounced off the post. Würzburger keeper Hendrik Bonmann then tipped Igor Matanović’s header onto the crossbar just a few moments later.
Knoll picked up a second yellow card in the 41st minute, leaving St Pauli to play the remaining hour or so a man down. But they managed to equalize on 57 minutes when Rico Benatelli reacted fastest to a loose ball in the Würzburger box and smashed home. Neither side were able to create a dangerous chance from then on and it ended all square.
Karlsruher 3 – Greuther Fürth 2 (Friday, January 8 – Wildparkstadion)
The first big upset of the weekend took place in Baden-Württemberg, where Karlsruher scored a come-from-behind win over 3rd placed Fürth.
Benjamin Goller opened the scoring for the second time in as many matches, with a right-footed shot in the 2nd minute. End-to-end action followed as both sides came close to finding the back of the net, but it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that another goal was scored. Håvard Nielsen found the back of the net for Kleeblätter to tie the score.
Fürth were then awarded a penalty 4 minutes later when Philip Heise brought down Jamie Leweling in the box. Luckily for the hosts, keeper Marius Gersbeck saved Paul Seguin’s penalty attempt to keep the score at 1-1. This proved to be only a temporary reprieve, as Sebastian Ernst headed home from the resulting corner to belatedly put Fürth ahead.
KSC managed to fight back and equalize just before halftime and it was Goller who once again put the ball in the net. The second half was short on chances for both sides, despite it being all to play for. Finally, Karlsruher talisman Philipp Hofmann hit the back of the net in the 84th minute via an assist from substitute Malik Batmaz. Fürth ultimately had no answer and Karlsruher hung on for the win.
Sandhausen 4 – Heidenheim 0 (Friday, January 8 – BWT-Stadion am Hardtwald)
Both matches on Friday were played in Baden-Württemberg and in both instances, the host team scored an upset win.
Sandhausen had not won a league match in over a month, enduring a 5-match losing streak. But they jumped in front of Heidenheim in the 9th minute via a Julius Biada strike. Then, after a period of back-and-forth action featuring saves at both ends, Heidenheim were reduced to 10-men when Kevin Sessa committed a last-man foul on Biada as he bore down on goal. Center-back Nils Röseler headed in from a 32nd minute corner and from then, the route was on.
Alexander Rossipal scored from a direct free kick in the 59th minute and substitute Kevin Behrens ended the scoring on a fast break in the 82nd minute. Heidenheim didn’t play badly on the day, but the man disadvantage ultimately proved to be too much for them to overcome, even against a Sandhausen squad that had been struggling coming in.
Nürnberg 1 – Hamburg 1 (Saturday, January 9 – Max-Morlock-Stadion)
A battle between league heavyweights saw Nürnberg hold league-leaders Hamburg to a draw.
Nürnberg were on the front foot early, with Robin Hack hitting the crossbar inside 10 minutes. Hack turned provider for the opener just 4 minutes later, squaring to Fabian Nürnberger who passed the ball into an open net. Hamburg began to assert themselves thereafter and pulled even on 33 minutes. Bakery Jatta set up Simon Terodde to nutmeg keeper Christian Mathenia and tie the score.
Both Mathenia and counterpart Sven Ulreich were busy at the start of the second half. Both made excellent saves to keep the score-line at 1-1 and as the match entered the final 20 minutes, things seemed to slow down considerably, with neither side looking particularly dangerous. As it stood, one goal apiece would be the final result.
Würzburger 3 – Osnabrück 2 (Saturday, January 9 – Stadion an der Bremer Brücke)
Würzburger grabbed just their second win of the season away to Osnabrück.
After the visitors missed an early chance, neither side created anything particularly dangerous over the following half hour. Finally, Lila-Weiß grabbed the lead on 41 minutes through leading scorer Sebastian Kerk. It looked like Osnabrück would keep Würzburger in their rear-view mirror, but Niklas Schmidt missed two good chances to extend the lead, which kept the visitors in the match.
Sure enough, Marvin Pieringer nabbed the equalizer on 67 minutes. The Freiburg loanee then scored his third goal in just his second professional match 12 minutes later to give Würzburger the lead. They made it 3-1 four minutes later via David Kopacz, who scored brilliantly from a difficult angle.
Osnabrück substitute Luc Ihorst pulled one back in the 85th minute, but Lila-Weiß couldn’t get any closer. Würzburger thus took a vital 3 points on the road.
St Pauli 1 – Holstein Kiel 1 (Saturday, January 9 – Millerntor-Stadion)
Kiel’s draw away to St Pauli ensured that none of the top 3 going into Matchday 15 came out of the weekend with a win.
Omar Marmoush tested Kiel inside 10 minutes, but overall the first half saw very little in terms of actual chances. Marmoush continued to be the danger man for Kiezkicker on the day however, and he forced another save early in the second half, before finally finding the back of the net on 52 minutes. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh provided the assist to the Wolfsburg loanee who was making his first start of the season for St Pauli.
Kiel were able to claw their way back into things over the following minutes and tied the score on 62 minutes. Fin Bartels did the dirty work and set up substitute Joshua Mees for an easy headed finish. From then on, it was all defense and fouls as neither side was able to put together any clear scoring chances. Thus, 1-1 it finished.
Hannover 2 – Darmstadt 1 (Sunday, January 10 – Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor)
Hannover outlasted hosts Darmstadt in the second half to claim all 3 points in a tightly contested affair.
Marvin Ducksch missed a golden opportunity to give Die Roten a first half lead, but his left-footed shot missed just to the right. Darmstadt’s Serdar Dursun missed a chance of his own at the opposite end, and sent his effort high into the stands. Ducksch however, would make up for his earlier miss, by curling in a free kick from outside the box in the 45th minute. The spectacular set piece goal gave Hannover the lead at the break.
Darmstadt went 2-0 behind early in the second half. Genki Haraguchi pressured center-back Lars Lukas Mai into a mistake deep in his own half, and Ducksch got to the loose ball fastest. The striker carefully picked out his spot and scored his second of the match. Dominik Kaiser nearly made it 3-0 just moments later, but was denied by keeper Marcel Schuhen.
The hosts turned up the wick in the final half hour to try and get back into the match. They got one back in the 68th minute, when Hannover keeper Michael Esser pushed Tim Skarke’s effort directly into the path of Aaron Seydel, who buried the rebound. Darmstadt pushed hard for an equalizer, but Esser made save after save over the final 10 minutes to keep them at bay, and secure the win for Hannover.
Paderborn 2 – Erzgebirge Aue 1 (Sunday, January 10 – Benteler-Arena)
A second half goal powered Paderborn past Erzgebirge and gave the hosts their second league win in 3 matches.
Leading scorer Dennis Srbeny hit the bar with a header in just the 2nd minute, but teammate Sven Michel sprung the offside trap just a minute later and scored to give Paderborn the lead, after VAR overturned an initial ruling of offside. It was a short-lived one however, as Florian Krüger responded just 3 minutes later with a long-range laser to pull Erzgebirge back even.
Chima Okoroji became the second Paderborn player to hit the bar in the 19th minute from a free kick. Neither side could find the breakthrough before the half, so it was all to play for in the final 45 minutes. And shortly after Julian Justvan hit the side netting from close range, a deflected ball fell to the Paderborn man in acres of space in front of goal. He took his time and put the ball just out of keeper Martin Männel’s reach to put Paderborn back out in front.
Michel hit the woodwork for the second time in the match on 64 minutes and Paderborn keeper Leopold Zingerle somehow managed to keep Pascal Testroet’s 78th minute header out to preserve the lead, which his side would not relinquish.
Bochum 2 – Regensburg 0 (Sunday, January 10 – Jahnstadion Regensburg)
With the top 3 dropping points in the days prior, 4th place Bochum took advantage and scored two late goals to beat Regensburg and move up the table.
The opening 20 minutes didn’t feature a shot, but then Regensburg keeper Alexander Meyer made a beautiful double save to deny first Robert Žulj and then Simon Zoller. Bochum were the better side on the day, but just couldn’t find the back of the net in the first half, spurning several more chances in the opening 45 minutes.
Regensburg were largely ineffective in attack, which allowed Bochum to keep the initiative deep into the second half. Finally, 10 minutes from time, Bochum took advantage of a quick free kick and caught the Regensburg defense napping. Žulj picked out Zoller in space and the striker made no mistake to put his side ahead. Bochum very nearly gave it right back with sloppy defensive work, but keeper Manuel Riemann was quick to stop substitute André Becker’s effort.
Substitute Thomas Eisfeld put the match to bed deep into stoppage time with a curling free kick and Bochum ran out deserved winners.
Braunschweig 0 – Düsseldorf 0 (Monday, January 11 – Eintracht-Stadion)
Matchday 15 ended with a whimper as Braunschweig and Düsseldorf fought to a nil-nil draw.
Braunschweig keeper Jasmin Fejzić made two saves in the opening 10 minutes and there would be only 1 further shot on target in the remaining 80 minutes of play. The match ended with twice as many cards given out as shots on target.
1. Hamburg – 30 points
2. Bochum – 29 points (+13 GD)
3. Kiel – 29 points (+10 GD)
4. Fürth – 27 points (+10 GD)
5. Düsseldorf – 27 points (+2 GD)
15. Sandhausen – 14 points
16. Braunschweig – 13 points
17. St Pauli – 10 points
18. Würzburger – 8 points
1. Simon Terodde (Hamburg) – 16 goals
T2. Christian Kühlwetter (Heidenheim) – 9 goals
T2. Serdar Dursun (Darmstadt) – 9 goals
T2. Pascal Testroet (Erzgebirge) – 9 goals