The league leaders extended their margin at the top, while things flipped around at the bottom of the table as well. Here are the results from Matchday 24:
Heidenheim 2 – Würzburger 1 (Friday, March 5 – flyeralarm Arena)
Heidenheim ran their unbeaten streak to 5 matches with an away win over Würzburger.
The visitors were the dominant side in the first half, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. Christian Kühlwetter was the danger man, but his left-footed shot in the 13th minute hit the crossbar. The striker then had a 29th minute shot saved by keeper Hendrik Bonmann.
Heidenheim finally grabbed the lead just minutes into the second half from a corner. Denis Thomalla rose highest and headed in Tobias Mohr’s corner from close range. Konstantin Kerschbaumer became the second Heidenheim player to hit the post shortly thereafter, but things went from bad to worse for Würzburger on 64 minutes when center-back Christian Strohdiek deflected in an errant Mohr shot for an own-goal.
David Kopacz halved the deficit just 3 minutes later on the volley, but despite some late chances, the league’s bottom side dropped their 17th decision of the term through 24 matches.
Darmstadt 3 – Paderborn 2 (Friday, March 5 – Benteler-Arena)
A pair of second half goals saw Darmstadt overhaul Paderborn.
Serdar Dursun nearly gave Darmstadt an acrobatic lead, but his bicycle kick struck the post and caromed away to safety. But the visitors didn’t have to wait much longer for the opener, as Paderborn’s Johannes Dörfler tripped Mathias Honsak in the box on 19 minutes and Dursun buried the subsequent spot kick.
Darmstadt would give the lead away just 5 minutes later however, from the same situation. Patrick Herrmann caught Dortmund II loanee Chris Führich in the box, which allowed Dennis Srbeny to equalize from the penalty spot. Führich then put Paderborn in front on 55 minutes with a laser from outside the box that left keeper Marcel Schuhen no chance.
Tim Skarke thought he’d equalized for Darmstadt on 66 minutes, but VAR determined that teammate Fabian Holland had fouled Dörfler in the build-up and it was disallowed. That didn’t stop Darmstadt however, as Marvin Mehlem scored on the break just one minute later to actually tie things up. Dursun then had a goal chalked off for an offside, but he made up for his mistake by scoring the winner on 75 minutes, and a beautiful belter it was.
Karlsruher 0 – St Pauli 0 (Saturday, March 6 – Wildparkstadion)
Karlsruher and St Pauli fought to a scoreless draw in a tightly contested affair.
Daniel-Kofi Kyereh and Guido Burgstaller both had chances in the opening 20 minutes that were saved by KSC keeper Marius Gersbeck. Other than that however, the first half was short on clear-cut goalscoring chances.
Gersbeck continued his good form in the second half and counterpart Dejan Stojanović also made some good saves, particularly a 79th minute stop of a low drive by Karlsruher’s Philipp Hofmann. As a result of the keepers’ fine form, neither side could find a way through and had to be satisfied with a point apiece.
Erzgeburge Aue 1 – Hannover 1 (Saturday, March 6 – Erzgebirgsstadion)
Erzgebirge clawed back from a goal down to claim a point against Hannover.
Florian Krüger forced the first save of the match 12 minutes in, but it was Die Roten who grabbed the lead with their first shot on target in the 24th minute. After Erzgebirge successfully blocked a corner, Philipp Ochs took aim from 20 yards out and buried his shot into the bottom right corner to give Hannover the lead.
The visitors kept the East Germans at bay until after the hour mark, when Pascal Testroet smashed home following an assist from right-back Steve Breitkreuz. Hannover substitutes Florent Muslija and Moussa Doumbouya had good chances to win the match in the waning moments, but Erzgebirge keeper Martin Männel stood in their way and kept Die Roten out, preserving a point for his side.
Bochum 2 – Greuther Fürth 1 (Saturday, March 6 – Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer)
An away win over Fürth kept Bochum at the top of the table.
Anthony Losilla gave Bochum an early 7th minute lead with a tidy left-footed finish into the far corner. But Kleeblätter rallied and equalized against the run of play roughly 10 minutes later. It looked like keeper Manuel Riemann misjudged Anton Stach’s shot, thinking it would sail past the post, but it snuck between the keeper and the woodwork to tie things up at 1.
Riemann redeemed himself by making a smart save to his right to deny Håvard Nielsen a goal on 23 minutes and Branimir Hrgota missed an absolute sitter 15 minutes later, which kept the scoreline even at the break.
Bochum retook the lead at the hour mark, when Fürth’s Abdourahmane Barry caught Danny Blum on the follow-through as he tried to clear the ball from his own box. This resulted in a penalty, which Robert Žulj converted by sending keeper Sascha Burchert the wrong way. Riemann made a last minute save to deny Dickson Abiama in stoppage time and preserve the win for Bochum.
Düsseldorf 3 – Nürnberg 1 (Sunday, March 7 – Merkur Spiel-Arena)
Two goals in the final 15 minutes pushed Düsseldorf ahead of Nürnberg.
Florian Kastenmeier made a fingertip save in the opening 10 minutes to deny Nürnberg’s Georg Margreitter a headed goal from a corner. A series of further missed chances followed, the biggest of which was Düsseldorf’s Kenan Karaman striking the post with a free header in the 40th minute.
Düsseldorf finally broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half. Thomas Pledl crossed from the left and center-back André Hoffmann headed in at the back post. Nürnberg fought back and found an equalizer on 64 minutes, when RasenBall loanee Dennis Borkowski found the back of the net after a splendid run and finish.
Alas, Düsseldorf proved to be too much for the visitors. Substitute Brandon Borrello’s sublime cutback found Marcel Sobottka in stride and the midfielder buried his shot to put the hosts back in front on 77 minutes. An own goal by Nürnberg’s Oliver Sorg, after Rouwen Hennings’s shot hit the post and bounced back into him, sealed the result for Düsseldorf.
Braunschweig 1 – Sandhausen 0 (Sunday, March 7 – Eintracht-Stadion)
A late goal lifted Braunschweig over Sandhausen in a match between the relegation contenders.
The hosts were the dominant side on the day. Nick Proschwitz tested Sandhausen keeper Stefanos Kapino from long range in the 14th minute, but the Sandhausen man got down to make the stop. Ji Dong-won nearly curled one in moments later and Sandhausen’s Kevin Behrens went closest of all, hitting the post from distance just before the half.
Kapino had to use both fists to keep out a Fabio Kaufmann stinger in the 51st minute and later in the half, Behrens thought he’d scored, but was correctly flagged offside in the build-up. It went all the way into stoppage time without a goal, but a minute in, Felix Kroos broke the deadlock with a fantastic free kick that clanged in off the post.
Sandhausen’s Aleksandr Zhirov was sent off later in stoppage time for a foul on Manuel Schwenk, which finished the competitive part of the match. The win not only puts Braunschweig ahead of Sandhausen in the table, but lifts them out of the relegation zone altogether and up to 15th.
Hamburg 1 – Holstein Kiel 1 (Monday, March 8 – Volksparkstadion)
The weekend’s topspiel saw Hamburg and Kiel fight to a 1-1 draw.
Die Störche stunned the hosts by taking the lead in just the 8th minute. Jannik Dehm’s corner found the head of Lee Jae-sung, who beat keeper Sven Ulreich at the back post. HSV answered in the 23rd minute, when Simon Terodde played a nice one-two with Bakery Jatta, and got the ball back to finish from close range.
Hamburg’s Josha Vagnoman headed against the post from close range on 32 minutes and Sonny Kittel ballooned an excellent chance over the bar about 5 minutes later. Keepers Ulreich and Ioannis Gelios made good saves at either end to keep the match tied at the break.
Gelios was called upon again early in the second half, saving smartly from Terodde at close range. Hamburg couldn’t make the most of their chances and Kiel gradually ground the match to a near standstill. Thus, it finished even, which keeps Kiel ahead of HSV in the table.
1. Bochum – 48 points
2. Kiel – 46 points
3. Hamburg – 43 points (+19 GD)
4. Fürth – 43 points (+17 GD)
15. Braunschweig – 24 points
16. Osnabrück – 22 points*
17. Sandhausen – 21 points
18. Würzburger – 15 points
1. Simon Terodde (Hamburg) – 20 goals
2. Christian Kühlwetter (Heidenheim) – 13 goals
T3. Serdar Dursun (Darmstadt) – 12 goals
T3. Robert Žulj (Bochum) – 12 goals
*Osnabrück have played only 23 matches. Their Matchday 24 fixture vs Regensburg was postponed for COVID-19 related protocols.