Würzburger 2 – Düsseldorf 1 (Friday, January 29 – flyeralarm Arena)
Würzburger pulled the shock of the weekend, scoring a come-from-behind win over Düsseldorf.
Düsseldorf dominated the opening 25 minutes, culminating in Rouwen Hennings scoring following a Kevin Danso flicked-on corner. The visitors arguably could’ve had more, but were rather wasteful in front of goal. This allowed the hosts to create chances at the other end and they scored with their first shot on target of the match, Ridge Munsy nabbing his second goal in as many matches.
The second half began similarly to the first; Düsseldorf holding the majority of the possession, but unable to do much with it, while Würzburger looked to take advantage of sloppy play. This was ultimately what happened in the 67th minute, with Marvin Pieringer releasing Munsy through on goal and the striker rounding keeper Florian Kastenmeier to give Würzburger a stunning lead.
Surprisingly, Düsseldorf offered relatively little going forward in the final moments and despite 7 minutes of time being added on at the end, Würzburger held on and took just their third win of the season.
Greuther Fürth 3 – Erzgebirge Aue 0 (Friday, January 29 – Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer)
Fürth registered their second consecutive clean sheet to open the Rückrunde by blanking Erzgebirge at home.
Kleeblätter were on the front foot early, pinning Erzgebirge back in their own end. And by scoring with their first shot on target in the 15th minute, Branimir Hrgota doing the deed, they forced Erzgebirge to play by their rules. Håvard Nielsen almost doubled their lead shortly thereafter, but Fürth kept pushing the East Germans back into their own end, which eventually allowed Hrgota to grab a brace on 34 minutes, putting the hosts 2-0 up at the break.
Erzgebirge did come forward in the second half and actually had a few good chances, but they couldn’t solve keeper Marius Funk, who kept them at bay throughout. The third Kleeblätter goal was the finest, with Julian Green managing to get just the right amount of power and touch to lob over keeper Martin Männel and ice away a thoroughly deserved win.
Hamburg 3 – Paderborn 1 (Saturday, January 30 – Volksparkstadion)
The league leaders put in an impressive display, thoroughly defeating visiting Paderborn.
HSV took the lead inside 10 minutes. On the last of a series of corner kicks, Jeremy Dudziak’s corner was flicked on by Simon Terodde. Moritz Heyer sat waiting at the back post and nodded the ball over the line just before Paderborn keeper Leopold Zingerle could get his hand to it. Sonny Kittel doubled the hosts’ lead on 21 minutes, with a splendid free kick that split the Paderborn wall and snuck in just ahead of the diving Zingerle.
Paderborn pulled one back just before the halftime break, when Sven Ulreich saved Chris Führich’s initial shot, only for the rebound to squirt right to Sven Michel, who scored into an empty net. But Hamburg were not to be denied on this day. They laid siege to the Paderborn goal after the interval and 8 minutes after the restart, Kittel swept home from the left side of the box to restore the two-goal cushion.
Hamburg were able to see off Paderborn’s remaining chances and ease to a comfortable victory, giving them 40 points on the season.
Regensburg 1 – Darmstadt 1 (Saturday, January 30 – Jahnstadion Regensburg)
Regensburg snatched a late point to stun Darmstadt at home.
The first half featured chances at both ends, with Mathias Honsak going close at one end for Darmstadt and Hoffenheim loanee David Otto doing the same for Regensburg at the other. Finally, at the half hour mark, Darmstadt executed a quick counter following a throw-in. Serdar Dursun found Tim Skarke racing clear behind the defense and the Darmstadt winger scored with real aplomb to put them ahead.
Darmstadt looked to be the better side in the second half, but they couldn’t do much in the attacking end, which put it all on their much maligned defense. They managed to hold on until deep in stoppage time, when Regensburg substitute Kaan Caliskaner found just enough of a gap to poke the ball home from close range and claim a point for the hosts. This was to the consternation of Darmstadt, who were unhappy that the referee allowed a further 2 minutes of stoppage time to be played in addition to the 5 indicated by the referee’s assistant.
Nevertheless, a draw it was, which keeps Regensburg two points clear of Darmstadt in the table.
Holstein Kiel 3 – Braunschweig 1 (Saturday, January 30 – Holstein-Stadion)
Kiel jumped on Braunschweig early and often, running away to an easy win over their 10-man opponents.
Fabian Reese opened the scoring just 4 minutes in, blasting in from 22 yards out. Die Störche were off and running from then on and doubled their lead on 28 minutes through Fin Bartels, who scored after teammate Niklas Hauptmann’s shot rebounded straight to him. Janni-Luca Serra made it 3-0 just moments later, when he headed in Mikkel Kirkeskov’s corner.
Despite pulling one back on 63 minutes when midfielder Yassin Ben Balla headed in from a Ji Dong-won cross (yes, that Ji Dortmund fans), Braunschweig really didn’t put Kiel in much danger for the remainder of the second half. Center-back Oumar Diakhité picked up a second yellow card in second-half stoppage time, but by that point, the match had effectively been settled.
The win moves Kiel into a tie for 2nd with Bochum, although they trail on goal difference.
St Pauli 4 – Heidenheim 3 (Sunday, January 31 – Voith-Arena)
St Pauli look like a whole new side, as they beat Heidenheim away to win their third match in their last four.
Defense was optional in this affair from almost the opening kickoff. Guido Burgstaller put St Pauli ahead after just 3 minutes when he knocked the ball in at the back post following a Daniel-Kofi Kyereh cross. But Heidenheim had a new arrival of their own to unleash; last season’s leading goal-scorer Tim Kleindienst, who returned on loan from Belgian club Genk for the remainder of the season. Kleindienst needed just 15 minutes to open his second account for Heidenheim, heading in Kevin Sessa’s corner.
But this was just the beginning of the attacking onslaught.
Kyereh took advantage of a jumpy Heidenheim wall at the half hour mark and simply shot under it and into the net for a 2-1 lead. That’s how it remained at the half, but Heidenheim levelled a second time just after the break. Christian Kühlwetter snuck away from the Kiezkicker defense and dinked the ball over keeper Dejan Stojanović.
St Pauli took the lead for a third time on 73 minutes, with Burgstaller setting up midfielder Finn Ole Becker to smash in from the left hand side. But Heidenheim came right back to tie it 5 minutes later, also for the third time in the match, with Kleindienst heading in his second goal of the affair.
Whoever scored last was likely to win and it ended up being St Pauli, with Frankfurt loanee Rodrigo Zalazar scoring in the 88th minute following a fantastic through ball by substitute Max Dittgen. Heidenheim didn’t have a fourth equalizer in them, and Kiezkicker jubilantly took all 3 points.
Karlsruher 2 – Bochum 1 (Sunday, January 31 – Vonovia Ruhrstadion)
Karlsruher’s impressive run of form continued as they defeated 2nd place Bochum on the road.
Bochum center-back Armel Bella-Kotchap came within inches of giving his side the lead in the 5th minute, but his header sailed just over the bar. 10 minutes later, counterpart Robin Bormuth notched his third goal in as many fixtures with a header that just snuck inside the far post. Bochum pushed hard to find equalizer, but none was coming in the first half, so KSC led at the break.
The hosts pressed on in the second half, with substitute Miloš Pantović shooting just wide on 47 minutes. Finally, on 55 minutes, Bochum got the leveler, when KSC keeper Marius Gersbeck pushed Robert Žulj’s shot into the path of Bochum captain Anthony Losilla, who got just enough on it to beat a diving Gersbeck.
The result was all to play for in the final half hour and although both sides missed chances along the way, it was Karlsruher who ultimately broke through in the 84th minute. Bochum failed to clear their lines and allowed Marvin Wanitzek to cross the ball back into the box to Jérôme Gondorf. The midfielder took a touch, then scored powerfully into the top corner after a wonderful turn toward goal.
The win pushes KSC’s unbeaten run to 6-matches and pulls them up to 5th in the table.
Sandhausen 2 – Nürnberg 0 (Sunday, January 31 – BWT-Stadion am Hardtwald)
Sandhausen took an important 3 points and doomed Nürnberg to a fourth straight defeat.
The opening half hour was rather quiet, with Sandhausen’s Kevin Behrens registering the match’s first shot on target on 29 minutes. That seemed to perk everybody up and Nürnberg’s Manuel Schäffler forced a save at the other end 4 minutes later. Finally, Sandhausen went ahead on 43 minutes, when, after Nürnberg failed to clear a corner, Nils Röseler turned and quickly fired the ball in before keeper Christian Mathenia could react.
Nürnberg pressed for an equalizer throughout the second half, but despite their dominant possession numbers (68%-32%), they once again failed to find the back of the net. Schäffler went the closest, hitting the bar from close range on 76 minutes. Sandhausen gladly took the good fortune and won the match on the counter in stoppage time, when substitute Daniel Keita-Ruel swept home from the center of the box.
Hannover 1 – Osnabrück 0 (Monday, February 1 – HDI-Arena)
Osnabrück’s poor run of form continued as they dropped their second straight 1-0 decision, this time away to Hannover.
Die Roten almost took the lead inside the opening 2 minutes, but Lila-Weiß keeper Philipp Kühn saved Marvin Ducksch’s low shot. Half an hour later, Kühn and counterpart Michael Esser both made outstanding saves at opposite ends of the pitch to keep the match scoreless.
Hannover created more chances on the day and they finally broke through on 55 minutes. Genki Haraguchi’s cross into the box was sublime and the header from center-back Timo Hübers left Kühn with no chance. That single goal proved to be enough, as Osnabrück failed to mount much of a threat across the rest of the second half.
As a result, Lila-Weiß dropped their fifth straight league match.
1. Hamburg – 40 points
2. Bochum – 36 points (+15 GD)
3. Kiel – 36 points (+13 GD)
4. Fürth – 35 points
5. Karlsruher – 32 points (+6 GD)
5. Düsseldorf – 32 points (+4 GD)
15. St Pauli – 19 points
16. Sandhausen – 18 points
17. Braunschweig – 17 points
18. Würzburger – 12 points
1. Simon Terodde (Hamburg) – 16 goals
2. Christian Kühlwetter (Heidenheim) – 11 goals
T3. Robert Žulj (Bochum) – 10 goals
T3. Simon Zoller (Bochum) – 10 goals