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2. Bundesliga Update: Matchday 17 - Hamburg Are Hinrunde Champions

1. FC Nürnberg v Hannover 96 - Second Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

We’ve reached the end of the Hinrunde for the 2020-21 season. Here are the results from Matchday 17:

Düsseldorf 3 – Greuther Fürth 3 (Friday, January 22 – Merkur Spiel-Arena)

Düsseldorf overcame two separate deficits to pull off a draw against Fürth at home.

After a stuttering opening 25 minutes, Kleeblätter grabbed the lead when Düsseldorf’s André Hoffmann turned David Raum’s ball into the box into his own net for an own goal. Branimir Hrgota set up Julian Green for Fürth’s second just 3 minutes later. But Düsseldorf were not about to let their nearly 2 month league unbeaten run go that easily. Kenan Karaman pulled one back for the hosts on 35 minutes, leaving it all to play for in the second half.

Substitute Kristoffer Peterson got the equalizer just 4 minutes after halftime, but Fürth’s Sebastian Ernst put his side back in front on 53 minutes. That ended up being Kleeblätter’s final shot on target in the match and they stubbornly clung to their lead as the match entered its final 10 minutes. But Kevin Danso got to Thomas Pledl’s 83rd minute corner ahead of his marker and placed it perfectly into the bottom right corner to draw Düsseldorf level once more. Neither side could find a winner in the final moments, so it ended all square.

Erzgebirge Aue 1 – Osnabrück 0 (Friday, January 22 – Stadion an der Bremer Brücke)

Erzgebirge made an early lead hold up over the course of 90 minutes to take an away win at Osnabrück.

John-Patrick Strauß gave the visitors a 13th minute lead when he headed in Dimitrij Nazarov’s cross from the right. The remainder of the first half did not see much in terms of action, as Erzgebirge settled back into their typical defensive structure. Osnabrück did manage a couple of chances late in the half, but both went begging.

Things picked up in the second half, with both sides forcing the opposing keepers into saves in the opening 20 minutes. But try as they did, Lila-Weiß just couldn’t find a way past Martin Männel on the day. And then in stoppage time, substitute Luc Ihorst made a boneheaded move when he fouled Strauß in the midfield area, then spat in his opponent’s direction in full view of referee Alexander Sather. Sather duly gave Ihorst a straight red, which reduced Osnabrück to 10-men, and effectively put an end to the competitive part of the match.

Hamburg 4 – Braunschweig 2 (Saturday, January 23 – Eintracht-Stadion)

Hamburg overcame some shoddy defensive play to score 4 unanswered goals against Braunschweig and finish the Hinrunde at the top of the table.

Braunschweig stunned everyone by taking the lead in the 9th minute. HSV didn’t deal with Nick Proschwitz’s cross from the right and allowed Marcel Bär to head it back across the goal line. Felix Kroos was in the right place at the right time to bungle the ball over the line and give the hosts the lead.

Hamburg couldn’t seem to get anything going at the other and conceded again through another defensive lapse. Center-back Toni Leistner tried to head a Braunschweig goal kick back toward HSV keeper Sven Ulreich, but he seemingly didn’t notice Bär lurking behind him and the striker pounced on the wayward header and beat the onrushing Ulreich to give Braunschweig a shock 2-0 lead.

But HSV responded before the halftime break, when Sonny Kittel picked out an onrushing David Kinsombi in the box and the midfielder smashed in to pull one goal back. From then on, it was pretty much all Hamburg. Braunschweig’s defense would let them down shortly after the break, when Brian Behrendt turned an HSV through ball away from keeper Jasmin Fejzić, who would’ve been able to field it cleanly had Behrendt not done so. The ball went straight to Simon Terodde, who was left with a simple tap in to equalize.

Fejzić then let a tame Aaron Hunt shot from the left get through his legs to put Hamburg ahead on 59 minutes. Kinsombi wrapped up the scoring 6 minutes later with another laser from a cutback, this one courtesy of Moritz Heyer. There was no coming back for Braunschweig as HSV saw out the remaining 25 minutes or so and took their 6th win in their last 7 league matches.

Karlsruher 1 – Heidenheim 1 (Saturday, January 23 – Wildparkstadion)

Karlsruher and Heidenheim came into Matchday 17 level on points and a 1-1 draw made sure they stayed that way afterward.

Shortly after Marvin Wanitzek forced an early save, Karlsruher grabbed the lead on 6 minutes. Center-back Robin Bormuth notched his second goal in as many matches, when he headed in Benjamin Goller’s flick on following a corner. Heidenheim created a handful of chances in the first half in their quest to equalize, but they couldn’t find the back of the net.

KSC were unable to find a second goal and were undone at the hour mark, when Heidenheim leading goal-scorer Christian Kühlwetter scored his 11th of the season with a fine shot from outside the box. Karlsruher thought they’d retaken the lead in the final 10 minutes, but Dominik Kother’s goal was disallowed because Philipp Hofmann was offside in the build-up. As a result, it finished as a draw.

Paderborn 1 – Würzburger 0 (Saturday, January 23 – Benteler-Arena)

Like Erzgebirge, Paderborn were able to ride a first-half goal to victory over Würzburger.

Dennis Srbeny got the match’s only goal in the 31st minute via a Sven Michel assist. Paderborn arguably should’ve had more than the 1 goal in the first half, but couldn’t find another way past keeper Hendrik Bonmann.

Würzburger had a few chances, mainly in the second half, but as has been the case with them for the majority of the season, the quality just wasn’t there when they needed it. Paderborn weren’t great, but they were good enough to beat the league’s bottom side, who look to be in a heap of trouble, sitting 7 points below the safety line.

Holstein Kiel 2 – Darmstadt 0 (Sunday, January 24 – Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor)

Kiel bounced back from a disappointing loss in Matchday 16 to shutout Darmstadt, who are struggling of late.

Darmstadt were the better side early, but Kiel keeper Ioannis Gelios saved efforts from Tobias Kempe and Erich Berko in the opening 20 minutes. Die Störche gradually worked their way into the match and took the lead on 40 minutes via a well-placed shot from Fabian Reese. Reese almost got a second goal moments later, but his close range shot struck the inside of the post, skewed across the goal line, and out for a goal kick.

Kiel kept up the pressure early in the second half and got their second in the 55th minute. Darmstadt’s lackluster defensive displays continued as a bouncing corner took a deflection off center-back Immanuel Höhn and ended up in the back of the Darmstadt man’s own net.

Darmstadt ultimately had no answer for Kiel, marking the second consecutive match where they’ve been shut out. That lack of scoring is also big reason why they’ve now lost 4 league matches in a row. Kiel meanwhile, snap a 3 match winless streak and finish a memorable Hinrunde in 3rd.

Sandhausen 1 – Bochum 1 (Sunday, January 24 – BWT-Stadion am Hardtwald)

Bochum blew an opportunity to keep up with Hamburg after dropping points away to Sandhausen.

The visitors were the dominant side possession wise, but failed to do much with it in the first half. Robert Žulj managed to force a save on 33 minutes, but other than that, Bochum failed to trouble Sandhausen all that much. That allowed the hosts to snatch the lead just before the break, when, off a corner, Kevin Behrens headed the ball onto the right-hand post from close range. The ball came right back to the Sandhausen striker and he buried the rebound to put his side in front.

Bochum continued to run up large possession numbers in the second half, but still struggled to do anything against the resilient Sandhausen defense. Finally, inside the last 10 minutes, the visitors used a set piece to equalize. Just moments after coming on as a substitute, Thomas Eisfeld lofted a beautiful free kick into the box and Žulj headed in to tie things up. Sandhausen fought valiantly to hold on for a draw, despite substitute Patrick Schmidt picking up a second yellow card in stoppage time.

The hosts held on to the end and garnered a much needed point. Bochum meanwhile, will undoubtedly be disappointed with their performance.

St Pauli 2 – Regensburg 0 (Sunday, January 24 – Millerntor-Stadion)

It’s two wins in succession for St Pauli as their second consecutive win lifts them out of the relegation zone.

St Pauli’s two attacking additions during the season have paid huge dividends as of late. Both Guido Burgstaller and Omar Marmoush have added immensely to what had been a lackluster attack for most of the Hinrunde. It was Burgstaller who opened the scoring in this match on 27 minutes, although Frankfurt loanee Rodrigo Zalazar did most of the work in the build-up.

Regensburg came out firing in the second half, but after keeper Dejan Stojanović made some big saves in the Kiezkicker goal, St Pauli stormed back at the other end and doubled their advantage on 49 minutes. Zalazar again set it up and this time, it was Wolfsburg loanee Marmoush who got the goal, putting St Pauli 2-0 up. Stojanović kept Regensburg at bay late and St Pauli rode out the final few moments for a much earned victory.

In what has been a terrible Hinrunde, St Pauli will without a doubt hope their performances over the last two matches will be a harbinger of better things in the Rückrunde.

Hannover 5 – Nürnberg 2 (Sunday, January 24 – Max-Morlock-Stadion)

It was a goal-fest in Franconia as Hannover and Nürnberg combined for 7 goals to tie the mark for the highest scoring match thus far in the 2020-21 season.

Snow fell persistently throughout the match, making pitch conditions treacherous. Hannover grabbed the lead from the penalty spot on 19 minutes, after Asger Sørensen fouled Marvin Ducksch in the box. Ducksch took the penalty himself and scored in the bottom left corner. Die Roten doubled their lead 5 minutes later, when Timo Hübers headed in a Dominik Kaiser corner.

Hannover’s defense fell asleep on 35 minutes and lost track of Nürnberg striker Manuel Schäffler. The result was that the big man found himself alone at the back post when a deflected ball lobbed over everyone else in the box. Schäffler headed in from close range and pulled Der Club back within one at the break.

But this was ultimately Hannover’s day and they took control in the second half. Genki Haraguchi restored the two-goal cushion on 58 minutes and substitute Florent Muslija made it 4-1 with a stunning free kick on 72 minutes. In between, keeper Michael Esser made a spectacular point-blank save to deny Sørensen from close range.

Patrick Twumasi got the fifth for Hannover on 83 minutes and Johannes Geis’s deflected free kick just before stoppage time wrapped up the scoring. It was too little, too late for Nürnberg however, and Hannover go into the Rückrunde on a high.


1. Hamburg – 36 points

2. Bochum – 33 points

3. Kiel – 32 points

4. Düsseldorf – 31 points

5. Fürth – 29 points

15. St Pauli – 16 points

16. Sandhausen – 15 points

17. Braunschweig – 14 points

18. Würzburger – 9 points

Top Scorers

1. Simon Terodde (Hamburg) – 16 goals

2. Christian Kühlwetter (Heidenheim) – 10 goals

T3. Serdar Dursun (Darmstadt) – 9 goals

T3. Pascal Testroet (Erzgebirge) – 9 goals

T3. Marvin Ducksch (Hannover) – 9 goals

T3. Robert Žulj (Bochum) – 9 goals