Matchday 22 looked at Matchday 21 and said, “I’ll see your 3-way tie for first place and raise you a 4-way tie!” Here are the results:
Braunschweig 2 – Regensburg 0 (Friday, February 19 – Eintracht-Stadion)
Two second half goals propelled Braunschweig to a much needed win over Regensburg.
Hoffenheim loanee David Otto had Regensburg’s first chance of the match, but his header from a 7th minute corner was well saved by Braunschweig keeper Jasmin Fejzić. Fabio Kaufmann then had a chance at the other end 10 minutes later, but was denied by Regensburg’s Alexander Meyer. Regensburg had two further chances before the break, but were denied by Fejzić and the post respectively.
Braunschweig finally broke the deadlock on 58 minutes. Felix Kroos’ cross from the right was flicked on by center-back Oumar Diakhité, and midfielder Jannis Nikolaou was in the right place at the right time to head just inside the far post. Striker Nick Proschwitz gave his side a two-goal lead 7 minutes later, with a diving header just beyond Meyer’s reach.
Regensburg ultimately had no answer and Braunschweig took a potentially vital 3 points in their quest to avoid relegation.
Erzgebirge Aue 1 – Bochum 0 (Friday, February 19 – Erzgebirgsstadion)
Hosts Erzgebirge outlasted second placed Bochum in an entertaining affair.
Bochum put a couple of tame chances on goal early, but Erzgebirge came closest to scoring in the opening quarter of an hour. Keeper Manuel Riemann got just enough on Clemens Fandrich’s curler to tip it onto the post. Moments later, Jan Hochscheidt nearly caught Riemann out with a long-range lob, but Erzgebirge would score from the subsequent corner. An unmarked Gaëtan Bussmann got enough on his header to beat Riemann and give the hosts the lead.
There could’ve been more goals in the first half, but Ben Zolinski, Robert Tesche, Hochscheidt, and Anthony Losilla all failed to best the opposing keeper, so 1-0 it stayed at the half. Unfortunately for Bochum, that was also how it would stay in the second half as well. Despite having several good chances, the best of which was a 73rd minute header by substitute Silvère Ganvoula M’boussy that clattered the crossbar, Bochum were unable to find the back of the net on the night.
Thus, Erzgebirge took a deserved win.
Paderborn 2 – Sandhausen 1 (Saturday, February 20 – Benteler-Arena)
Paderborn scored a come from behind win over still struggling Sandhausen.
After sacking manager Michael Schiele following Matchday 21, Sandhausen took an early lead in the 15th minute. Paderborn failed to clear a corner and Besar Halimi’s long-range effort snaked through a sea of legs and snuck in at the near post. Paderborn however would equalize 20 minutes later, when Dennis Srbeny latched onto a long-ball forward and shot across keeper Stefanos Kapino and in at the far post.
It stayed tied up until the 76th minute, when Paderborn’s Christopher Antwi-Adjei lashed in a marvelous effort from a tight angle. Paderborn duly saw out the remaining minutes and took the win. This, coupled with Braunschweig’s win the day before, dropped Sandhausen into the direct relegation zone in 17th.
St Pauli 3 – Darmstadt 2 (Saturday, February 20 – Millerntor-Stadion)
St Pauli’s 4th win in succession, and 6th in their last 7, propelled them over Darmstadt and solidly into mid-table.
After a dull opening 25 minutes, Guido Burgstaller continued his hot run of form for Kiezkicker by sticking in the rebound created by teammate Sebastian Ohlsson’s initial shot. Center-back Philipp Ziereis thought he’d made it 2-0 on 40 minutes, but the goal was chalked off for a foul by Daniel-Kofi Kyereh in the build-up.
Tobias Kempe came within inches of levelling things for Darmstadt just after the start of the second half, but his hammered shot struck the crossbar. Darmstadt kept coming forward, but this opened things up for St Pauli at the other end, and Omar Marmoush made the visitors pay with a slick dummy and finish just past the hour mark.
But Darmstadt finally hit back moments later, with Tim Skarke angling a shot into the far corner to cut the lead to one. Two minutes later, Serdar Dursun tied the score with a smart finish from close range. With it all to play for now, there were great chances at both ends, but it was St Pauli who ultimately found a third goal the last 10 minutes. And it was Burgstaller again who provided the magic, bringing down a long-ball from James Lawrence and smashing it just enough to get the ball past keeper Marcel Schuhen.
Darmstadt were not beaten yet however, but for the second time in the match, they were denied by the crossbar, this time on 86 minutes when Dursun’s header smacked against the woodwork. Kiezkicker managed to hang on and score yet another win, leapfrogging Darmstadt in the table in the process.
Heidenheim 2 – Osnabrück 1 (Saturday, February 20 – Stadion an der Bremer Brücke)
Osnabrück’s winless run stretched to 8 matches thanks to Heidenheim.
Manager Marco Grote was sacked by Lila-Weiß the previous Monday, so Osnabrück had interim manager Florian Fulland on the touchline for kickoff. Heidenheim nearly grabbed the lead in the opening 10 minutes, but Florian Pick’s left-footed shot hit the post. Sebastian Kerk and ex-Heidenheim man Timo Beermann both had chances in the first half for Lila-Weiß, but neither could beat keeper Kevin Müller.
Instead, it was the visitors who grabbed the lead just before the break. Right-back Marvin Rittmüller found space on the flank and lofted in a beautiful cross towards Tim Kleindienst, who headed in the opener at the back post. Kleindienst scored for the third match running since his return to Heidenheim.
Heidenheim came out looking for more in the second half and after forcing two saves, they got their second in similar fashion to their first. This time it was left-back Norman Theuerkauf who provided the cross and center-back Oliver Hüsing who scored with his head. Now down two goals, Osnabrück tried valiantly to get back in the match, but their form and finishing continued to let them down.
Christian Santos’ 88th minute goal proved to be no more than a consolation and Heidenheim ran out the clock to take the win.
Würzburger 3 – Hamburg 2 (Sunday, February 21 – flyeralarm Arena)
Yes, you did read that scoreline correctly. Bottom side Würzburger held on for a dramatic home win over the league leaders.
Sonny Kittel hit the post with a 10th minute free kick, but a nervy moment from keeper Sven Ulreich, in which a loose touch forced him into a goal line clearance to avoid an embarrassing own goal, was a sign of things to come for Hamburg. The hosts would strike first in the 19th minute, when Martin Hašek went for goal from range, and the ball seemed to go through Ulreich’s hands and into the net.
Going behind to the last place team was bad enough for Hamburg, but then they went behind 2-0 at the half hour mark. Würzburger center-back Douglas raced onto a loose ball in the HSV box and blasted a fabulous shot in off the far post. And then Hamburg conceded again on 54 minutes, Patrick Sontheimer scoring from long-range to put Würzburger up 3-0!
With their side’s defensive woes rearing their ugly head once more (regular starters Stephan Ambrosius and Toni Leistner didn’t feature), Hamburg’s attack needed to step up, but by the time they did, they only had a short time to make things happen. Jeremy Dudziak put them on the scoreboard on 74 minutes with a finish off a half-volley. Then substitute Bobby Wood headed in from close range following a set-piece in the 89th minute and all of sudden, the result looked in question.
But a mistake at the back forced HSV midfielder Amadou Onana to commit a tactical foul to prevent a Würzburger break. It resulted in the Hamburg man’s second yellow card of the match, which resulted in his dismissal. Now down a man, Hamburg couldn’t find an equalizer in the remaining minutes, and Würzburger scored a historic upset that shocked the league leaders and the rest of the league.
Düsseldorf 3 – Hannover 2 (Sunday, February 21 – Merkur Spiel-Arena)
10-man Düsseldorf somehow managed to overcome visiting Hannover and take an important win.
The opening 25 minutes featured few chances, but things broke open when Hannover’s Kingsley Schindler fouled Düsseldorf’s Felix Klaus in the box while going for a loose ball. A penalty was given and Rouwen Hennings scored from the spot to put Düsseldorf ahead. Die Roten struck back ten minutes later, when the Düsseldorf defense slacked off and let Florent Muslija waltz into the box unperturbed following a poor clearance. The midfielder coolly scored on the turn and levelled things up at 1.
Things went bad for Düsseldorf just before the half, when left-back Florian Hartherz, already on a yellow card, stupidly fouled Schindler on the break and was duly dismissed. Now forced to play the entire second half with 10-men, Düsseldorf surprised Hannover by re-taking the lead on 52 minutes. Keeper Michael Esser should’ve done better, but Klaus did very well to put a difficult ball on target and was rewarded with a goal.
Hannover failed to create many chances despite their man advantage and Düsseldorf took advantage, with substitute Shinta Appelkamp scoring on the break to make it 3-1 on 76 minutes. This seemed to finally wake Die Roten up and they pulled one back just 3 minutes later, substitute Mick Gudra scoring into an open net after good work from fellow sub Moussa Doumbouya. Alas, they were unable to get a third in the waning moments, which gave Düsseldorf a surprising, but deserved win.
Nürnberg 1 – Karlsruher 0 (Sunday, February 21 – Wildparkstadion)
A goal at the death saw Nürnberg take an important win and end Karlsruher’s unbeaten run in the league.
Benjamin Goller saw an early chance for KSC saved by keeper Christian Mathenia, while at the other end, Marius Gersbeck did just enough to keep Johannes Geis’s cross from reaching striker Manuel Schäffler. Gersbeck then one-upped himself by getting just enough of a leg to Fabian Nürnberger’s shot, which allowed center-back Christoph Kobald the time he needed to clear the ball off the line.
Both sides made it difficult for each other on the day and when Karlsruher substitute Malik Batmaz saw an 89th minute shot blocked, it looked as if this affair was headed for a dreaded nil-nil draw. But the KSC defense seemed to fall asleep out of nowhere and suddenly Schäffler was through on goal! Gersbeck stopped him, but midfielder Mats Møller Dæhli followed up his striker’s run and was on hand to bury the rebound and give Nürnberg a last-minute win.
The loss marks Karlsruher’s first in 2021, but they remain 5th in the table, while Nürnberg move up to 12th.
Greuther Fürth 2 – Holstein Kiel 1 (Monday, February 22 – Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer)
Fürth managed only a single shot on target against Kiel, but somehow came away with the win.
Die Störche were in command at the start and Joshua Mees gave them the lead just 4 minutes in. Fabian Reese did good work down the left and found Mees, who scored with his left-foot into the bottom corner.
Kiel had several more chances go begging in the opening quarter of an hour and this allowed Kleeblätter to take advantage and level things on 27 minutes. David Raum racked up his league-leading 10th assist when his cross from the right was headed in by Håvard Nielsen. Reese tried to put Kiel back in front minutes later, but keeper Sascha Burchert denied him twice.
Things were tight into the second half, but Fürth thought they’d gone ahead on 66 minutes when Nielsen put the ball in the net after a one-two with Dickson Abiama. But VAR showed that the Nigerian striker was offside for Nielsen’s initial pass, so the goal was waved off. Fürth were determined to press home their advantage however, and they were rewarded on 83 minutes, when Alexander Mühling turned a Raum cross into his own net for an own goal.
(Raum doesn’t get credit for another assist on an own goal)
Kleeblätter held on to the final whistle, taking the win and 3 points, which puts them level with Kiel, Bochum, and Hamburg at the top of the table.
1. Hamburg – 42 points (+20 GD)
2. Fürth – 42 points (+18 GD)
3. Bochum – 42 points (+17 GD)
4. Kiel – 42 points (+15 GD)
15. Osnabrück – 22 points
16. Braunschweig – 20 points
17. Sandhausen – 18 points
18. Würzburger – 15 points
1. Simon Terodde (Hamburg) – 19 goals
2. Christian Kühlwetter (Heidenheim) – 12 goals
3. Simon Zoller (Bochum) – 11 goals