BUNDESLIGA REPORT CARD

Summary grades and analysis of the 2014/15 Bundesliga sides. (Better late than never!)

1st Bayern München (M, P) 34 25 4 5 80:18 +62 79

GRADE: A

I’m almost tempted to give Bayern an A-, as they basically phoned things in after the winterbreak. Ostensibly they had wrapped up another title already, and were concentrating on other things. But they ended up failing in the Cup and the Champions League, so their season is almost a ho-hum. “Robbery” (Ribery and Robben) have been outstanding performers for Bayern, but were hampered by injury this season. On the positive side, Lewandowski is scoring, and they’ve got so much firepower that they seemingly can win at will. Motivation is generally OK.

Best: Arjen Robben
The Dutchman was brilliant, although his injury cut his appearances. He scored 17 goals in 21 matches, and had the best marks in the Bundesliga.

Suckiest: Probably Juan Bernat, since he seems to have been Guardiola’s pet. He wasn’t overly impressive on defense, but got a lot of playing time. Dante was equally unimpressive, but the veteran had less playing time.

Manager: Pep Guardiola probably deserves a B. The club seems to have regressed somewhat and he has yet to deliver a Champions League title. On the other hand, at times they were truly overpowering. If his tiki-taka doesn’t win everything next season, his ass needs to be fired. Given this star studded lineup, if you’re at least not doing the double, it’s a failure.

2nd VfL Wolfsburg 34 20 9 5 72:38 +34 69

GRADE: A

A fine season by the VWs, who are back in contention as one of the Bayern chasers. They’ve been here before, lets see if they can keep it going. Ceertainly a very entertaining side.

Best: Kevin de Bruyne
He’s proven himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in the league and is sought after by many clubs, having restablished himself after being tossed aside by Chelski. Honorable mention to Bas Dost, who after some crappy seasons has shown that he can indeed score, notching 16 goals.

Suckiest: Niklas Bendtner
Not much of a surprise. 1 goal in 18 appearances. I forget if he’s still on the books at Arsenal, but he’s been with so many teams now – all sucking – you wonder if he shouldn’t just pack it in and play for some 2nd division Danish club.

Manager: Dieter Hecking, clearly deserves an A. There were some signs that the VWs could have a nice season, but Hecking put the pieces together and gets the kudos.

3rd Bor. Mönchengladbach 34 19 9 6 53:26 +27 66

GRADE: A

Gladbach largely exceeded most expectations, as the young squad developed quickly and impressed. Of course, they’ve been in this position before, and by selling off talent have fallen back into the pack.

Best: A lot of candidates. Patrick Hermann is one of the best young midfielders in Germany. Max Kruse was an effective forward, as was Raffael. GK Yann Sommer was a solid replacement for ter Stegen.

Suckiest: None really, although forward Branimir Hrgota could have shown more.

Manager: Lucien Favre (A). Did a fine job in marshalling talent, they showed steel when they needed too. Favre is certainly repairing his reputation, having had some ho-hum results at other clubs.

4th Bayer 04 Leverkusen 34 17 10 7 62:37 +25 61

GRADE: B+

Leverkusen is often considered one of the clubs that could challenge Bayern, but they almost always flatter to deceive. They had some good results, but often dropped points with lame performances. It doesn’t seem that they have enough to really challenge, but they can be annoying.

Best: Several candidates. Gonzalo Castro was outstanding, but injuries slowed him down. Karim Bellrabi was excellent and has made the jump into the national squad.

Suckiest: None. Perhaps more was expected from veteran Sebastian Boenisch in defense, but he didn’t play very much. A lot of expected solid players were in-and-out of the squad, often due to nagging injuries.

Manager: Roger Schmidt (B) did a decent job keeping the Aspirins on track. Not well known, he managed to keep Leverkusen humming for most of the season, with an occasional strong result.

5th FC Augsburg 34 15 4 15 43:43 0 49

GRADE: B

For much of the season, Augsburg was clearly “A” quality, but towards the end they fell off and limped home.
It’s hard to mark them down, since they appear to be doing it with mirrors. The collective is certainly greater than the sum of the parts.

Best: Raul Bobadilla was excellent in attack, Daniel Baier solid in midfield.

Suckiest: The rest of the attack. Bobadilla could have used some scoring punch to help out.

Manager: Markus Weinzierl (A). It’s hard to imagine anyone doing a better job. He’s brought them into Europe, with a side that could potentially struggle with. He’s kept them steady. motivated and believing that they can achieve.

6 FC Schalke 04 34 13 9 12 42:40 +2 48

GRADE: C

Best: GK Ralf Fährmann had a fine season and seems to have established himself as Germany’s next GK talent. Benedikt Höwedes had a strong campaign in defense

Suckiest: You have to give it to Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sidney Sam, as not only did they suck, but they have been blamed for toxic spill in the team and have basically been kicked out. There are other candidates, but these two take the cake – at least according to Schalke management, who hardly have covered themselves with glory either.

Manager: Jens Keller (C-) was jettisoned after 7 matches. Roberto di Matteo (C-) was basically ineffective. Perhaps his success at Chelski was because he had a bunch of motivated veterans rather than wankers. In any case, the squad look tired and unmotivated.

7 Borussia Dortmund 34 13 7 14 47:42 +5 46

GRADE: C-

The Neons had an almost disastrous season. They were free-falling throughout most of the first half, but eventually solidified after the winterbreak. Injuries were a huge problem, and despite a decent performance in the Champions League, they weren’t able to carry that over into the Bundesliga. The return of Kagawa and Gündogan didn’t bring the desired boost, only flashes of brilliance. High point of the season was probably knocking out Bayern München in the Cup semi-finals, on the road no less.

Best: Pierre Aubemeyang scored 16 times and was consistently good, but he lacked sufficient support. He is however beginning to look like an at least adequate fill-in for Lewandowski. Marco Reus deserves Honorable mention, as he was generally outstanding, but missed a third of the season with his usual injury problems.

Suckiest: The defense. Although they had injuries, and often when they did play, individuals like Hummels and Subotic were quite good, they consistently had brain farts that cost goals at critical moments. I suppose if you were to single out an individual however it would be forward Ciro Immobile, who was generally terrible (only 3 goals)

Manager: Jürgen Klopp accepted responsibility for Dortmund’s struggles and resigned. Overall, he probably deserves a B-, since injuries truly made things difficult with constant lineup changes. But the squad lacked focus and sharpness, which has to come down to the coach as well.

8th TSG Hoffenheim 34 12 8 14 49:55 -6 44

GRADE: B

Hoffenheim is a long way from the “moneybags” squad of the Rangnick era when Dietmar Hopp funded their rise. They now are developing a good nucleus of young players and seem to have established themselves.

Best: Kevin Volland was excellent as an attacking midfielder and ended up leading scorer. His next step is probably a jump into the national squad.

Suckiest: Veteran Sejad Salihovic was disappointing in limited appearances.

Manager: Markus Gisdol (B) has the club playing attractive attacking football. They sometimes seem to lack focus.

9th Eintracht Frankfurt 34 11 10 13 56:62 -6 43

GRADE: C

Frankfurt potentially could do well, but I think they finished about where most expected, mediocre in the middle of the pack.

Best: Alex Meier. Despite not being appreciated by some in management, the veteran led the Bundesliga with 19 goals, despite missing about 25% of the matches.

Suckiest: Too many inconsistent players. Previously reliable Takashi Inui was weak in midfield, defender Tim Chandler often out of his league – but the alternatives were generally worse. The defense had too many holes.

Manager: Thomas Schaaf (C). He joined with a lot of fanfare, but Frankfurt only showed glimpses of getting better, and Schaaf has apparently thrown in the towel.

10th Werder Bremen 34 11 10 13 50:65 -15 43

GRADE: C

Werder was expected to have problems and they sucked out of the gate. However management actually made a good move, brought in a new coach, and things got stabilized. They were pretty decent from then on, and even might have had some slight chances of sneaking into Europe.

Best: Austrian MF Zlatko Junuzovic was excellent, and Argie forward Franco di Santo scored 13.

Suckiest: It has to start with the defense. GK Raphael Wolf wasn’t very good, and eventually got replaced. The defenders were almost all crap, only Jannick Vestergaard looks good for the future.

Manager: Robin Dutt (F) had Bremen in free-fall, but Viktor Skripnik (B) managed to pull things together and get Werder back on track so they were generally floating above relegation.

11th 1. FSV Mainz 05 34 9 13 12 45:47 -2 40

GRADE: C-

Mainz has had outstanding managers in Klopp and Tuchel, but they didn’t follow up with their track records and slipped into trouble, They eventually straightened things out, but I think they were expecting better.

Best: Forward Shinji Okazaki bagged 12 and is the Bundesliga’s all-time leading Japanese scorer. Midfielder Johannes Geis was good. Defender Nico Bungert got the best marks on the squad.

Suckiest: Forward Sami Allagui was disappointing, only scoring twice.

Manager: Kasper Hjulmand (D+) struggled to get Mainz going. Martin Schmidt (C) got them back on track in about 1/3 of the season.

12th 1. FC Köln (N) 34 9 13 12 34:40 -6 40

GRADE: C

You knew Köln would have trouble scoring. But they were very disciplined on defense and fought their way to many a standstill; they set the record for most 0-0 draws.

Best: The defensive collective. GK Timo Horn was excellent, and Kevin Wimmer and Dominick Maroh marshalled a tight defense. MF Mathhias Lehmann was solid. Forward Anthony Ujah did manage 10 goals, pretty amazing considering.

Suckiest: None really. Perhaps more from midfielder Daniel Halfar, but everyone was a workhorse.

Manager: Peter Stöger (C+). He organized well what he had, not clear if the squad can really advance though. Overall, he accomplished the needed to at least survive the first year.

13th Hannover 96 34 9 10 15 40:56 -16 37

GRADE: D

The 96ers were a major disappointment. They expected better, but never really got started. Seemed chaotic and bored at the same time.

Best: Lars Stindl played well in midfield and led with 10 strikes.

Suckiest: Lots of disappointments. Joselu was generally weak, although he did get 8 goals. The defense was full of holes. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was favorite Didier Ya-Konan, who returned from Saudi Arabia but was ineffective, only 1 goal in 7 matches.

Manager: Tayfun Korkut (D) was unable to rally the troops, the players seemingly tuned him out. Michael Frontzceck (B-) had five games to secure the 96ers, and he did.

14th VfB Stuttgart 34 9 9 16 42:60 -18 36

GRADE: C-

Stuttgart had sucked last year, and they would obviously suck this season as well. But they actually played half-way decently at times, only stupid mistakes costing them crucial points.

Best: MF Flip Kostic looks promising. Daniel Didavi was very good in limited action

Suckiest: Too many to blame. GK Sven Ulreich had for him a weak season. Martin Harnik scored some important goals, but was often missing in action. Florian Klein and Daniel Schwab were among the worst defenders in the league. Lots of nagging injuries took their toll.

Manager: Armin Veh (D) got VfB off to a crap start in 12 matches. Looked relegated. Another re-tread, Huub Stevens (B-) put in enough to get them safe.

15th Hertha BSC Berlin 34 9 8 17 36:52 -16 35

GRADE: D

One of the most boring teams in the league, they often seemed like they were trying to bore their opponents to death, although it was usually the fans that went first.

Best: Nobody. Well, the fewer games you played, perhaps the better you looked. Defender Sebastian Langkamp appeared in about half the games, and was good.

Suckiest: Everybody

Manager: Jos Luhukay (D) had brought his “Itchy & Scratchy Fight-Fight-Fight” methods to Berlin. It worked last year, but his methods obviously fell on deaf ears as the players tuned him out this season. Pal Dardai (D+) did better in his 15 matches, but there is a ton of work left to do.

16th Hamburger SV 34 9 8 17 25:50 -25 35

GRADE: F

They sucked! They should have gone down, but they saved their ass in the playoffs. Things started bad and got worse, the club seemed rudderless and the players should have been arrested for “Arbeitsverweigerung” (Refusal to work). Well, at least *some* of the players, others seemed to at least try, but were totally off base.

Best: Nobody, although Heiko Westermann tried to keep the defense together. On paper GK Rene Adler had some good marks, but he made enough errors that he lost his starting job to Pavel Drobny, who was generally weak.

Worst: Too many candidates. The disappointment was Rafael van der Vaart, who is a Hamburg legend, and sucked. Lewis Holtby was once a promising youngster and was horrible. Nicolai Müller may have been the worst regular in the Bundesliga. Pierre-Michel Lassogga was terrible, the Bundesliga’s worst forward (after he had a fine season on loan from Hertha previously)

Manager: Mirko Slomka was canned after 3 matches (F). Josef Zinnbauer was given a chance (D-), they showed some brief life signs, but then was clearly out of his league. Peter Knabel filled in for two matches (F) and Bruno Labbadia (B) rallied the troops and saved the club by a whisker because Karlsruhe had no balls.

17th SC Freiburg 34 7 13 14 36:47 -11 34

GRADE: D

You expect Freiburg to struggle, and they looked like sure drop candidates. But then they put things together and looked like they would slip through, only to fall away at the end.

Best: Swiss GK Roman Bürki was consistently good, but the prize has to go to super-sub Nils Petersen, whose 9 goals in only 12 appearances almost kept the club up.

Suckiest: Hard to pick, as collectively they all tried hard. I suppose I’d pick Christian Günter or Oliver Sorg on defense, since you need to be rock solid.

Manager: Christian Streich probbaly deserves a B-, as he did rally thr troops and almost did the impossible.

18th SC Paderborn 07 (N) 34 7 10 17 31:65 -34 31
GRADE: C-

You can’t really fault Paderborn, as they met everybody’s prediction by going down. However, they fought really hard in almost every match, it’s just that they are a 2.Liga squad. The main knock is perhaps that they really made no attempt to strengthen their team before embarking upon the Bundesliga adventure.

Best: Moritz Stoppelkamp. The midfielder was solid for most of the season. Honorable mention to Suleyman Koc, who was decent, having recently been released from prison, and proved he is Bundesliga material.

Suckiest: Srdjan Lakic. He had a Budesliga pedigree and could have been an addition on attack where they needed goals, but he was crap. A few goals might have saved SCP…

Manager: Andre Breitenreiter deserves a B+. He did the best he could with what he had, a 2.Liga squad. And he impressed others enough as well, as he just got the Schalke job.

Survival playoffs: HSV, 1860 triumphant!

The playoff series ended in dramatic fashion for both the Bundesliga and Zweite Liga.

After first round draws, both HSV (against Karlsruhe) and 1860 München (against Kiel) left drama until the last second to save their lives! The “dinosaurs” prevail…

In the Bundesliga playoff, HSV once again had to fight on against the 2.Liga 3rd place finisher. Last season they barely survived on away goals afater a pair of draws against SpVgg Greuther Fürth. This year was even more dramatic, as the “eternal Bundesliga clock” in Hamburg was within seconds of getting shut down.

Hamburger SV – Karlsruher SC 1-1

The first match in Hamburg was a lucky one for HSV. The home side was largely outplayed by KSC, and Hennings put the visitors in front after only 4 minutes. The 2.Liga club seemed closer to the decisive 2nd goal than the home side, but in the 78th minute Ilicevic was able to equalize. The 56,615 fans in attendance watched nervously as Hamburg struggled throughout the match, coming close to dropping out on a couple of occasions.

Karlsruher SC – Hamburger SV 1-2 aet

The re-match in Karlsruhe was pure drama. The rafters were packed with 27,896 in the Wildpark, and a scoreless draw was all KSC needed. However, this might have been the poison pill for the home side. Coach Markus Kauczinski decided on a overly defensive strategy, withdrawing back and packing the back. At first, the plan seemed to be working, as HSV was totally incompetent to get anything done, and the match went scoreless into the half. On the restart, HSV got a bit bolder and opened up. Taking more chances, they began to create some opportunities that were totally lacking in the 1st half. Ironically, as was true to their whole season, they were caught with their pants down as Yabo scored on a counter for KSC in 78th minute. Karlsruhe withdrew back into their shell, but this proved to be their undoing. HSV was now desperate, launching fierce attacks, and actually coming close – they were deserving a goal, hitting the post, having ball cleared off the line, missing point blank. Then the goal happened. In injury time, the ref gave a somewhat dubious handball freekick, and Marcelo Diaz curled in the direct free-kick for the equalizer. Overtime! After a rather boring first period, HSV counter and Nico Müller got the winner at 115. The ref had another poor call, as he gave KSC a handball penalty (which Adler stopped), but with Karslruhe having now to win outright, it was basically over. A heroic salvation for Bruno Labbadia’s squad, and he certainly made the right move, as all three players that made the winning goal were subs he sent on late in the match. Karlsruhe grumbled about the freekick, but HSV deserved an equalizer. Frankly, KSC blew it with their stupid defensive strategy, kind of like the “prevent defense” in the NFL, so good riddance. The end result means that the eternal clock gets another 3,060 minutes of Bundesliga play added next season…

The 2.Liga playoff was just as dramatic.

Holstein Kiel – 1860 München 0-0

The first match in Kiel didn’t draw huge interest, as only 9,816 fans showed up. Kiel was the dominant side, as 1860 was tight on defense and relying on counters. However the Holsteiners were unable to get much out of their control, as they were weak up front and not willing to take many chances. Therefore it remained scoreless and perhaps 1860 gets an advantage for the rematch.

1860 München – Holstein Kiel 2-1

The München Allianz-Arena wasn’t sold out, but 57,000 did show up to see the decisive match. The home side was completely lame in the first period, but Kiel was another story. The Holsteiners were quick and aggressive, and grabbed a deserved early lead in the 16th minute via Kazior. With the Lions bereft of ideas, things were looking grim. The second half had 1860 running harder, but still without a clue. Kiel had a couple of golden chances to decide the match, but blew it. Then Adlung got the equalizer in the 78th minute for the home side, which started off a furious finish. With the 1-1 result, Kiel would qualify on away goals. The Lions threw everything into a last second assulat…and it paid off. In injury time, Rama danced into the box and placed one off the post, Bülow re-acted fastest and rammed home the rebound. 1860 was saved! The Kielers were stunned and had nothing left in the tank to mount their own desperation attack in the last couple of minutes.

Regionalliga

The 4th division Regionalliga finished up with playoffs to determine who is going up. The unfortunate trend of the U23 sides playing strong roles largely continued, but I suppose you can be conformted by the fact that this adds as feeders of youth talent into the top flight, which of course was the foundation of Germany’s World Cup win.

Things are not quite finished for next season though, as if 1860 München drops from the 3.Liga, then 1860-II will automatically get dumped into the 5th division.

Club home attendance averages are listed in the last column of the final table. Attendance is generally pretty low, with the exception of some “traditionals” that have fallen on hard times.

Regionalliga Nord

 1  Werder Bremen II          34    19  10   5     84:39  +45     67       701
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 2  VfL Wolfsburg II (M)      34    19   7   8     74:40  +34     64       339
 3  Hamburger SV II           34    19   5  10     74:41  +33     62       510
 4  TSV Havelse               34    16   7  11     49:35  +14     55       594
 5  ETSV Weiche Flensburg     34    14  10  10     53:37  +16     52       594
 6  Eintracht Norderstedt     34    16   4  14     47:56  -9      52       554
 7  VfB Lübeck (N)            34    12  14   8     43:44  -1      50     1,722
 8  SV Meppen                 34    13  10  11     50:47  +3      49     1,388
 9  FC St. Pauli II           34    12  11  11     39:43  -4      47       233
10  VfB Oldenburg             34    12   9  13     39:44  -5      45     1,489
11  BSV SW Rehden             34    10  14  10     46:48  -2      44       453
12  Lüneburger SK Hansa (N)   34    11  10  13     41:55  -14     43       918
13  Eintracht Braunschweig II 34    10  12  12     59:56  +3      42       353
14  Hannover 96 II            34    11   8  15     52:48  +4      41     1,331
15  Goslarer SC 08            34    10   9  15     50:60  -10     39       479
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16  BV Cloppenburg            34    10   9  15     44:59  -15     39       504
17  VfR Neumünster            34     8   9  17     37:60  -23     33       525
18  FT Braunschweig (N)       34     2   6  26     22:91  -69     12       334

The Regionalliga Nord was dominated by the U23 sides of the Bundesliga clubs, as none of the “normal” squads had much of a chance. The best known traditionals, such as Lübeck, Meppen and Oldenburg have all had 2.Liga experience, but finished in mediocre mid-table positions.

Attendance: 220,177 in 305 matches, averaging 722
This is the crappiest of all, but a lot of blame has to go to the U23 squads and their puny numbers. The only respectable side is Hannover 96-II. To give some perspective, the Frauen-Bundesliga (Women’s) averages a little over 1,000 per match.

Most interesting club: For me, it’s probably Meppen. This small town lasted in the 2.Liga several seasons. Runner-up would probably be FT Braunschweig, since I’ve never even heard of them.

Most worthless club: Tough choice, but I suppose Werder Bremen II. Dishonrable mention to Wolfsburg-II, maybe it’s the Dasher (or maybe Fox) division of VW.

Regionalliga Nordost

 1   1. FC Magdeburg          28    19   3   6     61:22  +39     60     8,577
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 2   FSV Zwickau              28    16   9   3     45:21  +24     57     1,773
 3   Wacker Nordhausen        28    14   6   8     43:38  +5      48       998
 4   Carl Zeiss Jena          28    12   9   7     46:38  +8      45     3,600
 5   BFC Dynamo Berlin (N)    28    11  12   5     34:26  +8      45     1,702
 6   Hertha BSC Berlin II     28    12   6  10     50:41  +9      42       625
 7   Berliner AK 07           28    13   3  12     36:35  +1      42       635
 8   TSG Neustrelitz (M)      28    11   5  12     46:41  +5      38       935
 9   Germania Halberstadt     28    11   4  13     43:44  -1      37       755
10   1. FC Union Berlin II    28    11   3  14     49:49   0      36     1,102
11   SV Babelsberg 03         28     7  10  11     32:34  -2      31     2,314
12   VfB Auerbach             28     9   4  15     28:56  -28     31       729
13   Budissa Bautzen (N)      28     6   9  13     23:40  -17     27       938
14   ZFC Meuselwitz           28     5   7  16     27:52  -25     22       856
15   Viktoria 1889 Berlin     28     4   8  16     25:51  -26     20       655
16   VFC Plauen                0     0   0   0      0:0     0      0       787

The Nordost is basically regionally the same as the old DDR-Oberliga, with the addition of (West) Berlin. Of course the better ex-GDR sides play higher. Neustrelitz was defending champion, having failed in last season’s promotion, but were not a factor. VFC Plauen basically went into insolvency and withdrew from competition. However the league forced them to play their matches as “friendlies”, not really sure about the logic.

Attendance: 404,289 for 240 matches, averaging 1,687 per game.
A couple of interesting facts is that Plauen didn’t too badly, considering their matches were worthless. Also note that in a direct comparision of the Berlin clubs, Union is more popular than Hertha, as both “B” squads played in the 4th division, and Unions attendance was almost double that of Hertha.

Most interesting side: Tough choice between Magdeburg and Jena, two ex-GDR traditionals. Berliner Athletik-Klub 1907 should change their name to Berliner AK-47. Another candidate is Viktoria 1889, which was one of Germany’s powerhouses in Kaiser days (two titles, two runner up and several semi and quarterfinal appearances in the 1900s up to WWI)

Most worthless side: BFC Dynamo, the old ex-GDR cheater. A bit unfair since the DDR collapsed a long time ago and it’s basically a new club. And of course the players themselves were not to blame anyway. But legacy of this club is a stain on German football. To top things off, today they have a reputation of having the highest neo-Nazi fanbase and are enemies of virtually every other eastern club.

Regionalliga West

 1  Bor. Mönchengladbach II   34    21   6   7     77:43  +34     69        569
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 2  Alemannia Aachen          34    19  11   4     56:20  +36     68     10,724
 3  FC Viktoria Köln          34    19   9   6     70:29  +41     66      1,068
 4  Rot-Weiß Oberhausen       34    15  12   7     54:37  +17     57      2,536
 5  Rot-Weiss Essen           34    16   8  10     58:38  +20     56      8,208
 6  Sportfreunde Lotte        34    13  15   6     55:34  +21     54        770
 7  SC Verl                   34    15   9  10     53:32  +21     54        640
 8  SV Rödinghausen (N)       34    14   7  13     48:44  +4      49      1,218
 9  Fortuna Düsseldorf II     34    14   7  13     39:52  -13     49        481
10  1. FC Köln II             34    11   9  14     38:47  -9      42        724
11  FC Schalke 04 II          34    10  11  13     38:41  -3      41        447
12  SC Wiedenbrück 2000       34    11   7  16     39:54  -15     40        777
13  SG Wattenscheid 09        34    11   6  17     42:58  -16     39        845
14  FC Kray (N)               34     9  12  13     39:61  -22     39        852
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15  KFC Uerdingen 05          34     8  10  16     34:63  -29     34      2,182
16  VfL Bochum II             34     8   6  20     46:58  -12     30        480
17  Sportfreunde Siegen       34     7   9  18     33:56  -23     30      1,436
18  FC Hennef 05 (N)          34     3   9  22     26:80  -54     18        603

Five ex-Bundesliga clubs (can you name them?) clearly make the West one of the more interesting divisions. Unfortunately it was a Bundesliga B squad that took the title, but there is definitely interest in this league…at least at some of the traditional clubs.

Attendance: 585,002 in 306 matches, averaging 1,912
Although the league as a whole was the highest of all the 4th division, obviously Aachen and Essen skew the
numbers. Drop those sides, and the average drops below 1,000.

Most interesting club: Lots of contenders. Obviously Aachen and Essen, two traditional “giants”. Uerdingen could be a contender.

Most worthless side: Probably Schalke-II, given their crappy attendance, but any of the B sides qualify. You can see how they drag down overall financical capabilities of the leagues. It’s good for the “quality”, in the sense that the German top sides have excellent pipelines to bring in young domestic talent. But it sucks for the smaller clubs, because fans don’t won’t to pay to watch B sides.

Regionalliga Südwest

 1  Kickers Offenbach         34    24   7   3     55:22  +33     79      6,396
 2  1. FC Saarbrücken (A)     34    21   6   7     51:27  +24     69      4,400
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 3  SV Elversberg (A)         34    20   5   9     60:28  +32     65      1,338
 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern II   34    18   7   9     57:28  +29     61        533
 5  Wormatia Worms            34    18   4  12     59:44  +15     58      1,199
 6  FC 08 Homburg             34    16   9   9     48:31  +17     57      1,729
 7  SC Freiburg II            34    15   8  11     66:46  +20     53        246
 8  FC Astoria Walldorf (N)   34    15   8  11     51:40  +11     53        682
 9  TSG Hoffenheim II         34    15   6  13     44:46  -2      51        463
10  Hessen Kassel             34    13   8  13     43:35  +8      47      1,782
11  Eintracht Trier           34    11  11  12     31:33  -2      44      1,532
12  SpVgg Neckarelz           34    13   5  16     47:55  -8      44        457
13  Waldhof Mannheim          34    11  10  13     36:33  +3      43      2,891
14  FK Pirmasens (N)          34    11   9  14     40:44  -4      42      1,284
--------------------------------------------------------------------
15  FC Nöttingen (N)          34    11   4  19     50:67  -17     37        806
16  TuS Koblenz               34     6   7  21     24:58  -34     25      1,261
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  KSV Baunatal              34     5   1  28     22:82  -60     16        688
18  SVN Zweibrücken           34     4   3  27     17:82 - 65     15        419

Objectively speaking, the RWS is the toughest division. Made up of three states, Rheinland-Pfalz, Hessen and Baden-Württemburg, it resents more clubs and therefore receives two playoff spots. Ex-Bundeslga sides like Offenbach, Saarbrücken, Homburg and Waldhof along with attractive traditionals such as Worms, Trier, Kassel make for interesting matches. Offenbach powered through the league and easily claimed 1st. Not too surprising, since they were only dropped down two seasons ago due to financial punishment.

Attendance: 477,390 in 305 matches, averaging 1,565

Most interesting club: Just about all of them.

Most worthless club: Hoffenheim-II. SAP already basically funds the Bundesliga side. Maybe they should give some of their money to Walldorf, after all, that’s where SAP HQ is.

Regionalliga Bayern

 1  Würzburger Kickers        34    24   8   2     67:15  +52     80      2,482
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 2  Bayern München II (M)     34    22   6   6     60:28  +32     72      1,450
 3  1860 München II           34    19   6   9     60:34  +26     63      1,654
 4  TSV Buchbach              34    14  12   8     47:41  +6      54        905
 5  FC Ingolstadt 04 II       34    13  11  10     47:39  +8      50        297
 6  SpVgg Bayreuth (N)        34    14   8  12     48:47  +1      50      1,164
 7  FC Memmingen              34    12  11  11     45:51  -6      47        837
 8  1. FC Nürnberg II         34    12  10  12     39:39   0      46        361
 9  FV Illertissen            34    12   9  13     56:55  +1      45        513
10  FC Augsburg II            34    11  12  11     41:47  -6      45        296
11  Wacker Burghausen (A)     34    11   9  14     36:43  -7      42      1,367
12  SV Schalding-Heining      34    10  10  14     43:52  -9      40        928
13  1. FC Schweinfurt 05      34    10   9  15     46:55  -9      39      1,671
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth II   34    10   8  16     47:50  -3      38        243
--------------------------------------------------------------------
15  SV Heimstetten            34     8  10  16     40:58  -18     34        458
16  VfR Garching (N)          34     8   9  17     42:64  -22     33        457
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SV Seligenporten          34     6  10  18     34:61  -27     28        348
18  FC Eintracht Bamberg 2010 34     4  14  16     38:57  -19     26        788

Nobody really cares about the Bayernliga, as most of the teams are villages..unless they are the “B” squads of bigger teams. As a result, attendance numbers tend to be pretty low.

Attendance: 275,866 in 306 matches, averaging 902.
Actually, both the big München clubs did quite well.

Most interesting club: Schweinfurt, because of the great name. Honorable mention to Würzburg and perhaps Bayreuth, who have seen better days.

Most worthless club: Everybody else.

Promotion playoffs

The first match was on Wed 5/27, with return game on Sun 5/31
The winner of each series is promoted into the 3.Liga.

After the first match, there was still all to play for.

Würzburg had a dose of luck, getting a huge away win on a 37th minute goal by Nico Herzig. Saarbrücken will feel hard done by as they had the tying goal disallowed near the end of the match. TV replays showed that Peter Chrappan pushed the ball over the line in the 4th minute of injury time, and it was then cleared away by a defender. No goal-line technology, so too bad for FCS. On the other hand, it also seemed like Chrappan may have been offside, and that was also missed.

The hardest match is probably Magdeburg and Offenbach, and a large crowd watched FCM eek out a win over the Kickers. The replay in Offenbach – the Bieberer Berg was sold out – turned into a scandal. The Kickers equalized the series after 24 minutes, but Magdeburg quickly seized control in the next 10 minutes and scored twice, giving them an almost unbeatable advantage. They wrapped things up early in the 2nd period and near the end, the match turned into a scandal. About 40 Kicker-Hooligans climbed the fences and invaded the pitch with smokebombs and fireworks, causing a 20 minute interruption as the FCM players fled to the locker rooms. The police finally chased down the delinquents and hopefully introduced them to a billy-club. But Offenbach undoubtedly will face some huge fines when the case is reviewed. FCM moves up to the 3.Liga for the first time, a nice improvement for the DDR’s only European success (1974 Euro Cup Winners Cup)

Nobody really cares which Bundesliga-B gets promoted, although more than the usual showed up. Perhaps they had a free beer night. In the rematch, a respectable 10,000+ showed up. Both matches ended scoreless in regulation time. Bremen scored twice in overtime to gain promotion

Promoted sides: Würzburg, Magdeburg, Bremen-II

	
1. FC Saarbrücken    -   Würzburger Kickers	0:1 (0:1)   10,247
Würzburger Kickers   -   1. FC Saarbrücken	0:1 (0:0)   10,540
Würzburg wins 5-4 on penalties. 			

1. FC Magdeburg	     -   Kickers Offenbach	1:0 (1:0)   23,139
Kickers Offenbach    -   1. FC Magdeburg	1:3 (1:2)   20,500		

Werder Bremen II     -   Bor. M'gladbach II	0:0 (0:0)    3,785
Bor. M'gladbach II   -   Werder Bremen II	0:0 (0:0)   10,217 	
Bremen wins 2-0 in overtime

DFB Cup Final: Wolfsburg triumphant

VfL Wolfsburg crowned a fine season with a solid 3-1 victory against Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokalfinale.
This ruined what could have been a glorious end to coach Jürgen Klopp’s Dortmund reign, but the VWs deserved the win.

The Neons got a dream start as Kagawa fired in a quick cross to an open Aubameyang, who finished easily.
Wolfsburg wasn’t bothered too much by the early goal, and quickly forced Langerak to make a couple of fine saves. Marco Reus then missed a sitter after another perfect lead-in by Kagawa, but was the last real chance for Dortmund to seize control of the match. The VWs then turned the match in a 15 minute period.

After a thumping Naldo freekick was parried by Langerak, Luiz Gustavo slammed home the rebound as the BVB defense was slow to react. Then Kevin de Bruyne, Wolfsburg’s most brilliant player all season, fired in a rocket for the VW lead.

Dortmund had a couple of decent chances to get back in the 2nd period, but Wolfsburg was also denied from finishing off the match by Langerak and a save off the line.

At the end, a deserved win for Wolfsburg, their first DFB-Pokal title. Of course the VWs are already directly qualified for the Champions League group phase as Bundesliga runner-up, so the Euroliga spot is left behind. Dortmund receives the spot, but since they don’t go as winners, they have to go into the Euroliga qualification, which is probably as worthless as the old Intertoto. (Not to mention that the Euroliga itself is totally worthless). Ironically, since Dortmund drops to qualification, their rival Schalke gets bumped up into the Euroliga group phase.

Borussia Dortmund:
Langerak - 
Durm, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - 
Kehl, Gündogan - 
H. Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, Reus - 
Aubameyang    

Subs:
68. Blaszczykowski ("Kuba") for Kehl
68. Piszczek for Durm
79. Immobile for Reus

VfL Wolfsburg:

Benaglio - 
Vieirinha, Naldo, Klose, Rodriguez - 
Arnold, Luiz Gustavo - 
Perisic, De Bruyne, D. Caligiuri - 
Dost    

Subs:
74. Guilavogui for Perisic
81. Schürrle for Arnold
85. Träsch for D. Caligiuri

Scoring:

1:0  Aubameyang (5., Kagawa)
1:1  Luiz Gustavo (22., Naldo)
1:2  De Bruyne (33., D. Caligiuri)
1:3  Dost (38., Perisic)


Yellow cards:

Dortmund: H. Mkhitaryan, Schmelzer
Wolfsburg: De Bruyne, Vieirinha

Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (München)

Attendance: 75,815 (sold out), Olympia-stadion, Berlin

2.Liga, Round 34: FINAL

Round 34, May 24

Last day drama, but very few surprises. All the promotion contenders were at home, and all the relegation candidates were on the road. Only FSV Frankfurt got the needed away result to change their destiny.

Darmstadt completed their sensational march to return to the Bundesliga. Two years ago, the 98ers were relegated into the Regionalliga. But they were saved at the last minute because Kickers Offenbach had incompetent accountants and were forcibly relegated. They got promoted, and now have amazingly made it into the Bundesliga. Since basically all the lower sides were losing as well, St.Pauli managed their own mini-miracle, staying up due to their strong endspurt of the season.

Karlsruhe claimed the promotion playoff spot with Hamburg as they easily beat 1860. The Lions needed a result to avoid the drop, but they were completely flat. They’ll have another chance as they face Kiel in a playoff.

Kaiserslautern is the odd man out, but they didn’t get the help they needed. They had their chances to win against champions Ingolstadt, but in reality, it wouldn’t have mattered. Darmstadt had a better goal difference, and it was unlikely that even a 98er loss would have changed that enough. And KSC got the early goal that pretty much left Lautern in the cold.

FSV Frankfurt was the only bottom side that seized the moment. The Bornheimers had been in free-fall into the drop zone, and in desperation had fired long standing coach Benno Mohlmann. The Mini-Hot Dogs came through with a hard fought win at Düsseldorf, who despite having nothing to play for tried hard to win outright. A late goal by Slovenian international Zlatko Dedic assured their survival, although as events happened, a draw would have just been enough.

Erzgebirge Aue needed a win at Heidenheim, but were in trouble. The hosts built up a lead, and the “Veilchen” desperation comeback was too late, and they only got a draw. It wasn’t enough and they go down.

Total attendance 233,507 (avg 25,945), 75.7% capacity, sellouts in K’lautern, Karlsruhe, Berlin, Heidenheim, Darmstadt

1. FC Nürnberg	      -   VfR Aalen	        2:1 (1:0)   30,433

                     1:0  Bulthuis (28., Schöpf)
                     1:1  J. Gjasula (50., Chessa)
                     2:1  G. Burgstaller (87., Kerk)

1. FC Kaiserslautern  -   FC Ingolstadt 04	1:1 (1:0)   49,780 *

                     1:0  Er. Thommy (41., Löwe)
                     1:1  Christiansen (82., P. Groß)

Karlsruher SC	      -   1860 München	        2:0 (1:0)   27,750 *

                     1:0  Bülow (9., own goal, Torres)
                     2:0  Torres (69., Valentini)

Fortuna Düsseldorf    -   FSV Frankfurt	        2:3 (2:2)   30,000

                     0:1  Kapllani (11., Grifo)
                     1:1  Schmitz (13., Hoffer)
                     2:1  Bebou (19.)
                     2:2  Kapllani (21.)
                     2:3  Dedic (83., Golley)

1. FC Union Berlin    -   Eintr. Braunschweig	2:0 (0:0)   21,717 *

                     1:0  Schönheim (48.)
                     2:0  Polter (59., M. Thiel)

VfL Bochum	      -   SV Sandhausen	        0:0 (0:0)   15,560

1. FC Heidenheim      -   Erzgebirge Aue	2:2 (0:0)   15,000 *

                     1:0  K. Kraus (55., Heise)
                     2:0  Leipertz (72., Morabit)
                     2:1  Schönfeld (80., penalty)
                     2:2  Männel (88., Alibaz)

RasenBall. Leipzig    -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	2:0 (2:0)   27,117

                     1:0  Frahn (29., Poulsen)
                     2:0  D. Kaiser (45., direct freekick)

SV Darmstadt 98	      -   FC St. Pauli	        1:0 (0:0)   16,150 *

                     1:0  Kempe (71., direct freekick)



 1  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	34   17  13  4 	   53:32  +21 	  64 
 2  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	34   15  14  5 	   44:26  +18 	  59
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Karlsruher SC	  	34   15  13  6 	   46:26  +20 	  58
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern	34   14  14  6 	   45:31  +14 	  56 
 5  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	34   13  11  10    39:31  +8 	  50 
 6  Eintracht Braunschweig (A)	34   15   5  14    44:41  +3 	  50 
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	34   12  11  11    46:51  -5 	  47 
 8  1. FC Heidenheim (N)        34   12  10  12    49:44  +5 	  46 
 9  1. FC Nürnberg (A)	  	34   13   6  15    42:47  -5 	  45 
10  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	34   11  11  12    48:52  -4 	  44 
11  VfL Bochum	  	        34    9  15  10    53:55  -2 	  42 
12  SV Sandhausen	  	34   10  12  12    32:37  -5 	  39 
13  FSV Frankfurt	  	34   10   9  15    41:53  -12 	  39 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	34    8  13  13    34:42  -8 	  37 
15  FC St. Pauli	  	34   10   7  17    40:51  -11 	  37
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  1860 München	  	34    9   9  16    41:51  -10 	  36
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Erzgebirge Aue	  	34    9   9  16    32:47  -15 	  36 
18  VfR Aalen	  	        34    7  12  15    34:46  -12 	  31



Aalen deducted two points for being wankers, err, financial shenanigans.
Sandhausen deducted 3 points for same issue. 
If Sandhausen survives in 2.Liga, they get subtracted 3 points next season as well

1st line: Promotion to Bundesliga
2nd line: Playoff with 16th Bundesliga
3rd line: Playoff with no.3 of 3.Liga
4th line: Relegation to 3.Liga

A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

BUNDESLIGA, Round 34, FINAL: HSV has another chance, shock for Freiburg

Round 34, May 23

Drama in the last round as the relegation battles feature great escapes and tears.

Hamburger SV was a winner as they still are alive, and will face the 2.Liga 3rd place finisher Karlsruhe in a playoff. Last year they did the same, barely surviving over Greuther Fürth.

The big loser was Freiburg. The Briesgauer travelled to hannover needing only a draw. In reality, the way things turned out, the 96ers could have settled for a point as well. But they didn’t know that at the start, and immediately jumped out to the lead. Things went back and forth until a late own goal sealed SCF’s fate. Nils Petersen pulled one back in injury time, but it wasn;t enough and SCF takes the bitter road down.

Stuttgart was the big winner, and Daniel Ginczek the hero keeping them in the Bundesliga. In the match at Paderborn, it was clear that the loser was going down, and Paderborn jumpe first getting the goal that kept hope alive. Stuttgart equalized, and the rest of the match was a tense battle, since a draw meant both were finished. In the end, VfB grabbed the win and a miracle escape.

Hertha lost in Hoffenheim, but events made the result moot. Berlin survives barely, mainly because Hannover and Freiburg didn’t draw.

Borussia Dortmund had an entertaining match against Bremen, as the fans said goodbye to Sebastian Kehl and coach Jürgen Klopp. The Neons attacked like in old times, Bremen countered like they have done most of the season.

Bayern München had an easy time winning against Mainz, neither having anything to play for.

Gladbach laid an egg against Augsburg. They had already done the hard work for Champions League, and were pretty flat. The Fuggers needed a result to ensure their Euroliga status, and went out and grabbed it. Despite trailing, the visitors came to life when Gladbach’s Nordveit got his ass tossed after an hour, and the home side lost the lead and the match.

Big crowds for the final week of action:
Total attendance 461,527 (avg 51,281), 99.8% capacity. Only match not a sellout in Köln!

 	
Bayern München	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05	2:0 (1:0)   75,000 *

                     1:0  Lewandowski (25., Hand penalty)
                     2:0  B. Schweinsteiger (48., Lewandowski)

Borussia Dortmund     -   Werder Bremen	        3:2 (3:1)   80,667 *

                     1:0  Kagawa (15., Gündogan)
                     2:0  Aubameyang (17., Kagawa)
                     2:1  Öztunali (26., Junuzovic)
                     3:1  H. Mkhitaryan (42., Kagawa)
                     3:2  Gebre Selassie (85., Junuzovic)

Bor. Mönchengladbach  -   FC Augsburg	        1:3 (1:0)   54,010 *

                     1:0  Raffael (36., Herrmann)
                     1:1  Höjbjerg (72.)
                     1:2  Matavz (77., S. Parker)
                     1:3  Mölders (90. + 5, Matavz)

TSG Hoffenheim	      -   Hertha BSC	        2:1 (1:0)   30,150 *

                     1:0  Modeste (8., Roberto Firmino)
                     1:1  Beerens (72.)
                     2:1  Roberto Firmino (80., Abraham)

Hannover 96	      -   SC Freiburg	        2:1 (1:0)   49,000 *

                     1:0  Kiyotake (3., Albornoz)
                     2:0  Krmas (84., own goal, Briand)
                     2:1  Petersen (90. + 2, Mitrovic)

Eintracht Frankfurt   -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	2:1 (2:1)   51,500 *

                     1:0  Seferovic (4., Russ)
                     1:1  Bellarabi (6., Brandt)
                     2:1  Madlung (39.)

Hamburger SV	      -   FC Schalke 04	        2:0 (0:0)   57,000 *

                     1:0  Olic (49., Djourou)
                     2:0  Rajkovic (58., Holtby)

1. FC Köln	      -   VfL Wolfsburg	        2:2 (1:2)   49,200

                     1:0  Osako (3., Risse)
                     1:1  Luiz Gustavo (8., Perisic)
                     1:2  Perisic (15., D. Caligiuri)
                     2:2  Knoche (61., own goal, Risse)

SC Paderborn 07	      -   VfB Stuttgart	        1:2 (1:1)   15,000 *

                     1:0  Vucinovic (4., Lakic)
                     1:1  Didavi (36.)
                     1:2  Ginczek (72., Maxim)



 1  Bayern München (M, P)	34   25   4  5 	   80:18  +62 	  79 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg	  	34   20   9  5 	   72:38  +34 	  69 
 3  Bor. Mönchengladbach	34   19   9  6 	   53:26  +27 	  66
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	34   17  10  7 	   62:37  +25 	  61
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Augsburg	  	        34   15   4  15    43:43   0 	  49 
 6  FC Schalke 04	  	34   13   9  12    42:40  +2 	  48
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Borussia Dortmund	  	34   13   7  14    47:42  +5 	  46 
 8  TSG Hoffenheim	  	34   12   8  14    49:55  -6 	  44 
 9  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	34   11  10  13    56:62  -6 	  43 
10  Werder Bremen	  	34   11  10  13    50:65  -15 	  43 
11  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	34    9  13  12    45:47  -2 	  40 
12  1. FC Köln (N)	  	34    9  13  12    34:40  -6 	  40 
13  Hannover 96	  	        34    9  10  15    40:56  -16 	  37 
14  VfB Stuttgart	  	34    9   9  16    42:60  -18 	  36 
15  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	34    9   8  17    36:52  -16 	  35
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hamburger SV	  	34    9   8  17    25:50  -25 	  35
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SC Freiburg	  	        34    7  13  14    36:47  -11 	  34 
18  SC Paderborn 07 (N)	  	34    7  10  17    31:65  -34 	  31


M = Meister, defending Champion
P = Pokalsieger, Cup winner
N = Neuling, just promoted

3.Liga, Round 38, FINAL: Haching down

Round 38, May 23

The final round of the 3.Liga had only one question left, and Unterhaching answered with a Bronx-cheer and “claim” the final relegation spot. The mini-Münch(en)kins needed a win on the road at Erfurt, which wasn’t an impossible task, considering that RWE had lost something like 9/10. And Hansa Rostock cooperated by losing at Dresden. However Haching didn’t seem like they were really prepared. Injuries and other factors meant they actually had to start six U19 players, and it took a while to get going. After Erfurt took the lead, they really did nothing until the final 15 minutes, when they created several decent chances. But they failed and get relegated. Probably a good thing for the 3.Liga finances, since Rostock is a big draw and the relegated sides are largely non-interesting. Hansa was at Dresden for a big eastern derby, and despite Dynamo needing nothing, it was hotly contested. Rostock came out strong but started winding down as the match progressed. But since news from Erfurt indicated they would stay up regardless, they probably weren’t too worried.

Mainz-II got a draw against Chemnitz to secure their status.

Bielefeld secured promotion as 3.Liga champion as they won away to Großaspach. Arminia probably should have wrapped things up a couple of weeks ago, but dicked around. Still, overall they deserve the title as the most consistent side, and are back on their elevator ride. The Bavarian side had a strong middle run to secure their stay in the 3.Liga.

Duisburg had some chances to take the title if Bielefeld slipped up, but the Zebras were pretty flat at Wehen and ended up losing. Not that they care too much, since they gained promotion.

Kiel’s warm up for the promotion playoff went south, as they couldn’t break down a disciplined Stuttgarter Kickers defense, and then got caught with their pants down on counters.

Dortmund-II was already relegated by still went out and got a win at Münster, who limped to the finish line. BVB might still have a chance to stay up, although it would be a bit sleazy. 2.Liga relegated side VfR Aalen is going to have serious problems getting an operating license for the 3.Liga, so they could get dumped straight into the Regionalliga, in which case BVB would get a reprieve.

Jahn regensburg said goodbye and biatch-slapped Fortuna Köln. It was an easy win, as the guests were just phoning it in. Jahn never got rolling this season, so the last place finish is warranted.

Total attendance 80,419 (avg 8,042), 47.1% capacity


Energie Cottbus	    -  	VfB Stuttgart II      2:3 (1:3)    6,788
Dynamo Dresden	    -  	Hansa Rostock	      2:1 (1:1)   29,534
Preußen Münster	    -  	Borussia Dortmund II  1:2 (1:1)    5,122
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	    -  	SpVgg Unterhaching    1:0 (1:0)    4,383
Holstein Kiel	    -  	Stuttgarter Kickers   0:2 (0:1)    9,167
SV Wehen Wiesbaden  -  	MSV Duisburg	      1:0 (1:0)    9,000
Jahn Regensburg	    -  	Fortuna Köln	      4:0 (2:0)    3,889
SG S-hof Großaspach -  	Arminia Bielefeld     0:1 (0:0)    3,500
1. FSV Mainz 05 II  -  	Chemnitzer FC	      1:1 (1:0)    1,536
VfL Osnabrück	    -  	Hallescher FC	      2:0 (1:0)    7,500


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	38   22   8  8 	   75:41  +34 	  74 
 2  MSV Duisburg	        38   20  11  7 	   63:40  +23 	  71
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Holstein Kiel	  	38   18  13  7 	   53:30  +23 	  67
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	38   18  11  9 	   61:47  +14 	  65 
 5  Chemnitzer FC	  	38   17   8  13    44:36  +8 	  59 
 6  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	38   16   8  14    52:48  +4 	  56 
 7  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	38   15  11  12    50:50   0 	  56 
 8  Preußen Münster	  	38   15   9  14    53:49  +4 	  54 
 9  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	38   15   8  15    54:44  +10 	  53 
10  Hallescher FC	  	38   15   8  15    51:53  -2 	  53 
11  VfL Osnabrück	  	38   14  10  14    49:51  -2 	  52 
12  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	38   14   9  15    47:54  -7 	  51 
13  VfB Stuttgart II	  	38   13   8  17    48:57  -9 	  47 
14  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	38   12  10  16    38:47  -9 	  46 
15  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N)	38   12  10  16    39:60  -21 	  46 
16  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	38   10  12  16    43:52  -9 	  42 
17  Hansa Rostock	  	38   11   8  19    54:68  -14 	  41
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Borussia Dortmund II	38    8  15  15    41:51  -10 	  39 
19  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	38   11   8  19    51:67  -16 	  39
20  Jahn Regensburg	  	38    8   7  23    44:65  -21 	  31


A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place 
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga

2.Liga, Round 37: Everything to play for

Round 37, May 17

Just about everything is still up for grabs going into the final round. Ingolstadt is promoted to the Bundesliga as champion. Aalen drops to the 3.Liga. But two potential promotion and relegation spots each are going down to the wire.

Greuther Fürth got a massive win over Darmstadt. The Greuther desperately needed a result to stave off relegation, and faced a Darmstadt side looking to gain promotion – and their first win in Fürth since 1980. There weren’t a lot of highlights in a tense, hard fought battle, but the Greuther victory means that they can control their own destiny

Karlsruhe got a huge road win at Braunschweig, increasing their promotion options. At the same time, Eintract is done: they desperately needed a win. The hosts attacked fiercely, but KSC was patient and well-organized in defense. They struck on counters and held firm.

A fierce struggle in Aue, as Erzgebirge faced off Kaiserslautern. Both sides needed a win to further their goals. Aue desperately trying to stave off relegation, FCK trying to reach the Bundesliga. The hosts actually looked the better side, pressing born from the desperate relegation threat. FCK was technically superior, but had a hard time holding off the relentless Auers. In the end, the scoreless draw leaves both sides wounded.

A huge crowd for a Bavarian derby, and 1860 got a massive win against Nürnberg. FCN had nothing to play for, but came out strong and dominated the first half. However they wasted lots of chances to perhaps decide the match, and only had a slight lead right at the end. 1860 regrouped and desperately threw caution into the wind in the 2nd period, and were rewarded. Overall, they probably deserved it, since der Club apparently only wanted to try in the 1st period.

Many expected St.Pauli to pack the box against the top-scoring Bochum side. They desperately needed a win, and perhaps a counter would suffice. But the plan failed as Bochum scored at the start. The Paulistas instead now needed to attack, and they furiously assaulted the guests. In a demonstration of “what the season could have been”, the Kiez-kickers ripped Bochum to shreds in a fine offensive display.

Disaster in Bornheim! FSV Frankfurt needed a result and instead got owned by Union Berlin, who had nothing to play for. Instead the Berliners outplayed the mini-HotDogs and came away with an easy win. The late season collapse of form for FSV now leaves them in ruins.

Sandhausen was beaten at home by Düsseldorf, but the real loss was “am grünem Tisch” (“green table” – basically a judicial or federation based decision). They seemingly had wrapped up salvation with an impressive win at Leipzig last week, but the slamming news was a 3 point punishment for financial irregularities. Perhaps they were still in shock (although I don’t see why, the DFB is pretty adamant on financial rules), and they were simply outplayed at home by Fortuna.

It was probably more nervousness than the opponent, but Ingolstadt struggled against Leipzig. The Rasenbulls grabbed an early lead, but didn’t do much else. The Schanzer looked awkward, but eventually got the result that allowed their fans to celebrate the promotion to the Bundesliga, becoming the 54th club to go up. The Redballsportler probably just want the season to be over so they can figure out why all the money didn’t get them what they wanted.

Aalen needed a win to keep hope alive. They didn’t get it and are relegated. They came out aggressively against Heidenheim and attacked furiously. Problem was, they wasted too many chances. To their credit, Heidenheim didn’t need the points, but it’s a regional derby, so they played like they wanted it. With the hosts wasting opportunities and making defensive mistakes, FCH countered and eventually turned the game on it’s head.

Total attendance 189,681 (avg 21,076), 89.4% capacity, sellouts in Hamburg, Ingolstadt, Aalen, Fürth, Aue
Probably the best attendance capacity wise all season.

Last round deciders:

The top match is Darmstadt hosting St.Pauli. Both sides need a win to ensure their goals: 98ers for promotion, Pauli for salvation. Although based on the table you would think that Darmstadt is the overwhelming favorite, St.Pauli has been in splendid form, so this match is a toss-up.

Not far behind is Karlsruhe hosting 1860. Both sides reach their goals with a win. Anything else *might* allow them to squeak through, but it would be very risky. KSC probably has the edge here.

Kaiserslautern hosts Ingolstadt, who should be relaxed and may phone it in. FCK needs to win and hope that either KSC or Darmstadt don’t. So they could be in the Bundesliga, the playoff or nada…but they can’t control it. You’d expect FCK to win here, simply because they desperately need a result.

Greuther Fürth is at Leipzig, and a win guarantees safety. A draw might suffice, but is risky. Since the Rasenballsportler have nothing to play for and have been phoning it in, the Greuther have a good chance.

FSV Frankfurt travels to Düsseldorf, and only a win will do. Anything else is relegation or at best the relegation playoff. Fortuna has nothing to play for, which is probably the only thing that FSV can hope for. (But note that Fortuna just got a road win at Sandhausen, in a similar “desperation” scenario for their opponent). Hard to see the collapsing Bornheimers getting the result.

Aue is at Heidenheim, who have nothing to play for. Only a win will give Erzgebirge some hope, although if their rivals win, it will be for nothing.

Sandhausen is at Bochum, but their fans (or fan) might be better off visiting nearby Düsseldorf instead. They could drop to the relegation playoff with a loss, but Aue isn’t really a worry: SVS has a decent goal difference, so if FSV Frankfurt can’t win at Fortuna, they’re safe.

 	
Eintracht Braunschweig  -   Karlsruher SC	  0:2 (0:1)   22,335
 
                       0:1  Hennings (43., Nazarov)
                       0:2  Hennings (87.)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth    -   SV Darmstadt 98	  1:0 (0:0)   17,500 *

                       1:0  Stiepermann (61., direct freekick)

1860 München	        -   1. FC Nürnberg	  2:1 (0:1)   68,500

                       0:1  Stark (45., D. Blum)
                       1:1  Vallori (56., Adlung)
                       2:1  Adlung (72., Hand penalty)

FC St. Pauli	        -   VfL Bochum	          5:1 (2:1)   23,584 *
 
                       0:1  Gregoritsch (4.)
                       1:1  Thy (34., Halstenberg)
                       2:1  Halstenberg (45. + 1, Thy)
                       3:1  Buchtmann (49.)
                       4:1  Thy (52., Daube)
                       5:1  Sobota (83.)

FC Ingolstadt 04        -   RasenBall. Leipzig	  2:1 (1:1)   15,000 *

                       0:1  D. Kaiser (4., Poulsen)
                       1:1  Leckie (45. + 1, penalty, Lex)
                       2:1  Lex (77., Morales)

VfR Aalen	        -   1. FC Heidenheim	  2:4 (1:2)   14,500 *

                       1:0  Barth (12., Steinhöfer)
                       1:1  Schnatterer (39., Niederlechner)
                       1:2  Niederlechner (44., Griesbeck)
                       2:2  Ademi (48., Drexler)
                       2:3  Leipertz (76., penalty, Niederlechner)
                       2:4  Niederlechner (86.)

SV Sandhausen	        -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	  0:2 (0:1)    6,109

                       0:1  Hoffer (18., Schauerte)
                       0:2  Liendl (90. + 2, Hoffer)

FSV Frankfurt	        -   1. FC Union Berlin	  1:3 (1:1)    6,853

                       0:1  M. Thiel (10., Polter)
                       1:1  Kapllani (24., Grifo)
                       1:2  Kobylanski (63., Kreilach)
                       1:3  Kreilach (81., Polter)

Erzgebirge Aue	        -   1. FC Kaiserslautern  0:0 (0:0)   15,300 *


 1  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	33   17  12  4 	  52:31  +21 	  63 
 2  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	33   14  14  5 	  43:26  +17 	  56
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Karlsruher SC	  	33   14  13  6 	  44:26  +18 	  55
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  1. FC Kaiserslautern	33   14  13  6 	  44:30  +14 	  55 
 5  Eintracht Braunschweig (A)	33   15  5  13 	  44:39  +5 	  50 
 6  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	33   12  11 10 	  37:31  +6 	  47 
 7  1. FC Heidenheim (N)	33   12  9  12 	  47:42  +5 	  45 
 8  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	33   11  11 11 	  46:49  -3 	  44 
 9  1. FC Union Berlin	  	33   11  11 11 	  44:51  -7 	  44 
10  1. FC Nürnberg (A)	  	33   12  6  15 	  40:46  -6 	  42 
11  VfL Bochum	  	        33   9 	 14 10 	  53:55  -2 	  41 
12  SV Sandhausen	  	33   10  11 12 	  32:37  -5 	  38 
13  SpVgg Greuther Fürth	33   8 	 13 12 	  34:40  -6 	  37 
14  FC St. Pauli	  	33   10  7  16 	  40:50  -10 	  37 
15  1860 München	  	33   9 	 9  15 	  41:49  -8 	  36
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  FSV Frankfurt	  	33   9 	 9  15 	  38:51  -13 	  36
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Erzgebirge Aue	  	33   9 	 8  16 	  30:45  -15 	  35 
18  VfR Aalen	  	        33   7 	 12 14 	  33:44  -11 	  31



Aalen deducted two points for being wankers, err, financial shenanigans.
Sandhausen deducted 3 points for same issue. 
If Sandhausen survives in 2.Liga, they get subtracted 3 points next season as well

1st line: Promotion to Bundesliga
2nd line: Playoff with 16th Bundesliga
3rd line: Playoff with no.3 of 3.Liga
4th line: Relegation to 3.Liga

A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

BUNDESLIGA, Round 37: Death knoll for HSV?

Round 37, May 16

All matches at the same time, as the Bundesliga had exciting matches in several venues on the penultimate day.

The huge match was in Stuttgart, as VfB and Hamburg met in a relegation battle. One of these traditionals is going down, so it was bound to be a bitter fight. VfB was clearly the dominant side, and although HSV grabbed an early lead, Stuttgart continued on and wrested control of the match. They could have won decisively, but wasted too many chances. HSV had some opportunities to save the match, but sucked when they needed to stand up and be counted. Both have prospects to stay up, but it will be difficult.

Paderborn was unlucky, as they were largely the better team at Schalke. They wasted some good chances for the win, but seemed to at least have a point, keeping chances open. But so close to their plan success, they blew it with a late own goal. Now they are probably down, barring a miracle. Meanwhile Schalke backs into the Euroliga in a disgraceful manner

Freiburg got a massive result to vastly improve their chances. The Breigauers beat down champions Bayern München, who continue their recent suckitude. Despite falling behind early, SCF never gave up and once again it was the legend, Nils Petersen, who saved the day. The ex-Bayern, Bremen-loanee came on as a sub in the 86th minute and 3 minutes later grabbed the winner.

Hannover also showed guts and got a huge result. teh 96ers won at Augsburg, who have been limping towards the finishline of Euroliga. They’re probably in given that Dortmund is probably guaranteed and Bremen lost. Hannover stopped their 16 match winless streak, and it couldn’t happen at a better time.

Hertha BSC was lame, and so was Frankfurt. The Berliners needed a win to ensure their safety. But they are way too unimaginative and boring. They probably are going to stay up, unfortunately :)

Gladbach had some nervous moments, but showed their superiority and cold-bloodedness to upend Bremen on the road.

Mainz easily handled Köln, both sides secured in midtable. The highpoint was perhaps the 87th minute, when Mainz captain Nikolce Noveski was subbed off. The Macedonian international has been with the club since 2004, and is retiring. He wept as the crowd cheered him off in his last home match.

Leverkusen one a routine match against Hoffenheim. The Aspirins were in control from the start, and the result really wasn’t in doubt.

Total attendance 370,914 (avg 41,123), 95.8% capacity, sellouts in Gelsenkirchen, Wolfsburg, Bremen, Freiburg, Stuttgart

Relegation prospects:

Let’s start with the easy one. Paderborn is basically down. Even if they win their match against Stuttgart, at 34 points they can at best hope for a playoff. And for that to happen, HSV needs to lose at home to Schalke. Doesn’t seem too likely, as Schalke has zero to play for and HSV needs a win themselves to have any chance. If HSV defeats Schalke, that gives them 35, but crappy goal difference probably means that playoff (for 2nd straight year!) is their best bet to survive if the Hannover/Freiburg match is not decisive. If Hannover/Freiburg is decisive and Stuttgart lose, then they could leapfrog. Stuttgart needs to win at Paderborn, and they stay up. Not impossible, as SCP is basically down. Anything else however, the best they get is a playoff.

Berlin needs a point for safety. Their best bet is that Hoffenheim isn’t motivated, and then even on the road they’re at least in control of their destiny. The 96ers and Freiburg save themselves with a win, but if they draw with each other, that is enough for both if Stuttgart fails to win.

 	
FC Schalke 04	     -   SC Paderborn 07	1:0 (0:0)   61,973 *

                    1:0  Hünemeier (88., own goal, Barnetta)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen  -   TSG Hoffenheim	        2:0 (1:0)   29,072

                    1:0  Calhanoglu (45. + 1, direct freekick)
                    2:0  Kießling (61., Calhanoglu)

VfL Wolfsburg	     -   Borussia Dortmund	2:1 (1:1)   30,000 *

                    1:0  D. Caligiuri (1., De Bruyne)
                    1:1  Aubameyang (11., penalty, Kampl)
                    2:1  Naldo (49.)

1. FSV Mainz 05	     -   1. FC Köln	        2:0 (0:0)   33,702

                    1:0  Koo (47., Okazaki)
                    2:0  Jairo (83., Bengtsson)


FC Augsburg	     -   Hannover 96	        1:2 (1:1)   29,899

                    0:1  Stindl (24., Briand)
                    1:1  Verhaegh (30., penalty, Baba)
                    1:2  Stindl (54., Briand)

Hertha BSC	     -   Eintracht Frankfurt	0:0 (0:0)   60,168

Werder Bremen	     -   Bor. Mönchengladbach	0:2 (0:0)   42,100 *

                    0:1  Raffael (53., M. Kruse)
                    0:2  Raffael (86., Hahn)

SC Freiburg	     -   Bayern München	        2:1 (1:1)   24,000 *

                    0:1  B. Schweinsteiger (13., Weiser)
                    1:1  Mehmedi (33., Klaus)
                    2:1  Petersen (89., Guedé)

VfB Stuttgart	     -   Hamburger SV	        2:1 (2:1)   60,000 *

                    0:1  Kacar (12., van der Vaart)
                    1:1  Gentner (27., Schwaab)
                    2:1  Harnik (35.)



1  Bayern München (M, P)	33   24  4  5 	  78:18  +60 	  76 
2  VfL Wolfsburg	  	33   20  8  5 	  70:36  +34 	  68 
3  Bor. Mönchengladbach	  	33   19  9  5 	  52:23  +29 	  66
4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	33   17  10 6 	  61:35  +26 	  61
--------------------------------------------------------------------
5  FC Schalke 04	  	33   13  9  11 	  42:38  +4 	  48 
6  FC Augsburg	  	        33   14  4  15 	  40:42  -2 	  46
--------------------------------------------------------------------
7  Borussia Dortmund	  	33   12  7  14 	  44:40  +4 	  43 
8  Werder Bremen	  	33   11  10 12 	  48:62  -14 	  43 
9  TSG Hoffenheim	  	33   11  8  14 	  47:54  -7 	  41 
10  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	33    9  13 11 	  45:45   0 	  40 
11  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	33   10  10 13 	  54:61  -7 	  40 
12  1. FC Köln (N)	  	33    9  12 12 	  32:38  -6 	  39 
13  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	33    9  8  16 	  35:50  -15 	  35 
14  SC Freiburg	  	        33    7  13 13 	  35:45  -10 	  34 
15  Hannover 96	  	        33    8  10 15 	  38:55  -17 	  34
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  VfB Stuttgart	  	33    8  9  16 	  40:59  -19 	  33
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Hamburger SV	  	33    8  8  17 	  23:50  -27 	  32 
18  SC Paderborn 07 (N)	  	33    7  10 16 	  30:63  -33 	  31

M = Meister, defending Champion
P = Pokalsieger, Cup winner
N = Neuling, just promoted

3.Liga, Round 37: Bielefeld, Duisburg up!

Round 37, May 16

The promotion race is over and two ex-Bundesliga sides are going up. The only question remaining is for the last relegation spot.

Duisburg and Kiel faced off in the auto-promotion playoff in front of a large crowd. Both teams had been in fine form, and the match lived up to it’s billing. Kiel jumped out to a great start, but MSV didn’t show that they were worried. Instead they pressed hard and were equal within 10 minutes. They continued their Kraftakt (“power display”) and proceeded to slam the Storks in a seven minute period that decided the match. From then on the Zebras merely stayed firm, and although the Holsteiners tried very hard to get back into the match, they weren’t able to recover. Duisburg therefore goes back to the 2.Liga, and could even go as champion. Kiel still has a chance, as they will playoff against the no.16 of the 2.Liga.

Arminia Bielefeld also celebrated their promotion. A large crowd was on hand to celebrate, and it should have been easy, as they faced off against already relegated Regensburg. But Arminia has been dicking around for the last few weeks, resting on their laurels. In fact, after grabbing the lead, they already started partying, and Jahn had enough. Two late goals, and Bielefeld was staring at an embarrassing home defeat. But Pascal Testroet came on and scored a late equalizer and got Bielefeld the necessary point. Main thing, they’re going up immediately after last year’s relegation, so perhaps the champion title is really secondary.

At the bottom, Dortmund-II is joining Regensburg. The BVB-Bubis needed a win against Dresden to stay alive, but a home defeat (in front of a somewhat decent crowd for U23 sides, 10x what was in Stuttgart) sends them down. Dortmund-II was generally a difficult opponent, but basically just good enough to lose.

Mainz-II got a huge win to stay alive and actually give them the best chances. They defeated Halle on the road, and that puts them in 16th. With a superior goal difference, they basically need a draw at home against Chemnitz to secure their status.

Unterhaching kept barely alive by defeating Münster. Anything but a win would have sent them down. They are still in the drop zone, but they have a chance. They will need to win on the road at Erfurt. That’s not impossible, as RWE has been the worst team in the league since winter, just recently ending a nine game losing streak. They have nothing to play for, so the mini-Münch(en)kins could pull off a win.

Rostock is suddenly worried. Hansa had been doing OK, but took a tail dive right near the end, and are in trouble. If Unterhaching wins at Erfurt, it will be red-alert. Rostock lost a bitter struggle at home to Cottbus and finish up with another ex-DDR rivalry: at Dresden. I’m sure that Dynamo and their fans would love to send Rostock down. A draw may not be enough for Rostock either, since Mainz needs only one point, and thumping Haching win would recover the goal difference. So to be sure, Hansa needs to win at Dresden.

The rest of the matches were pretty ho-hum. Chemnitz defeated Großaspach, underlining their good post-winterbreak form. Stuttgarter Kickers knew their season was basically over, so a point was all that was needed against Erfurt (who *really* want their season to end, given their collapse from promotion to mediocrity). Fortuna Köln basically is trying to beat Großaspach to “best promoted side” and got the win against Wehen.

Total attendance 104,311 (avg 10,431), 56.5% capacity


VfB Stuttgart II      -   VfL Osnabrück	        0:0 (0:0)      400
Hallescher FC	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05 II	1:2 (0:0)    6,217
Chemnitzer FC	      -   SG Sonhf Großaspach	2:0 (0:0)    6,081
Arminia Bielefeld     -   Jahn Regensburg	2:2 (1:0)   25,008
Fortuna Köln	      -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	2:1 (0:0)    1,573
MSV Duisburg	      -   Holstein Kiel	        3:1 (3:1)   31,002
Stuttgarter Kickers   -   Rot-Weiß Erfurt	0:0 (0:0)    4,730
SpVgg Unterhaching    -   Preußen Münster	1:0 (1:0)    3,600
Borussia Dortmund II  -   Dynamo Dresden	2:3 (1:2)    4,100
Hansa Rostock	      -   Energie Cottbus	0:1 (0:0)   21,600


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	37   21  8   8 	    74:41  +33 	  71 
 2  MSV Duisburg	  	37   20  11  6 	    63:39  +24 	  71
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Holstein Kiel	  	37   18  13  6 	    53:28  +25 	  67
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	37   17  11  9 	    59:47  +12 	  62 
 5  Chemnitzer FC	  	37   17  7   13     43:35  +8 	  58 
 6  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	37   15  11  11     48:47  +1 	  56 
 7  Preußen Münster	  	37   15  9   13     52:47  +5 	  54 
 8  Dynamo Dresden (A)	  	37   15  8   14     50:47  +3 	  53 
 9  Hallescher FC	  	37   15  8   14     51:51   0 	  53 
10  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	37   14  8   15     53:44  +9 	  50 
11  VfL Osnabrück	  	37   13  10  14     47:51  -4 	  49 
12  Rot-Weiß Erfurt	  	37   13  9   15     46:54  -8 	  48 
13  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	37   12  10  15     38:43  -5 	  46 
14  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N)	37   12  10  15     39:59  -20 	  46 
15  VfB Stuttgart II	  	37   12  8   17     45:55  -10 	  44 
16  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N)	37   10  11  16     42:51  -9 	  41 
17  Hansa Rostock	  	37   11  8   18     53:66  -13 	  41
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	37   11  8   18     51:66  -15 	  39 
19  Borussia Dortmund II	37    7  15  15     39:50  -11 	  36 
20  Jahn Regensburg	  	37    7  7   23     40:65  -25 	  28



A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place 
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga