3.Liga, Round 34: Haching makes a move

Unterhaching got the huge win in the relegation battle with Elversberg. The two sides met in this critical six pointer in the München suburbs, and the home side really dominated the match and came away with a solid win. This allows them to vault over the Saarland side by a single goal-difference margin.

Saarbrücken showed signs of life and blasted a lame Halle squad. It’s really “too little, too late”, as it seems like the relegation train already left the station.

Darmstadt took 2nd on Saturday by upending Burghausen. With key striker Domink Stroh-Engel on a card ban, the 98ers struggled to make their pressure pay off, it took almost an hour. They were never in jeopardy, as Wacker is too crap, but they would have certainly added several more if their goal-getter had been playing.

Leipzig barely held onto 2nd place. The RedBulls were in trouble against Dortmund’s U23. Perhaps because coach Jürgen Klopp was watching, the youngsters were out to impress, and were all over the favored moneybaggers. It took a fine comeback late from the RasenBallsportler to avoid defeat and giving up 2nd place to Darmstadt.

Leaders Heidenheim continue to march. Kiel hoped to catenaccio their way out, and things got more difficult when they went down a man after 40 minutes. Eventually the pressure caused the exhausted Holsteiners to collapse and they got slapped. They still need to be worried about the relegation struggle.

Chemnitz likely said goodbye to any relegation worries with a powerful ass-kicking of a surprisingly lame Erfurt squad.

Total attendance 60,193 (avg 6,019)

 	
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   MSV Duisburg	        2:0 (1:0)    4,150
1. FC Saarbrücken    -   Hallescher FC	        3:0 (2:0)    4,553
VfL Osnabrück	     -   VfB Stuttgart II	3:0 (1:0)    8,059
SpVgg Unterhaching   -   SV Elversberg	        2:0 (2:0)    2,800
1. FC Heidenheim     -   Holstein Kiel	        3:0 (0:0)   11,000
Jahn Regensburg	     -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	3:0 (1:0)    2,868
SV Darmstadt 98	     -   Wacker Burghausen	1:0 (0:0)   10,200
Hansa Rostock	     -   Preußen Münster	2:4 (1:1)    6,500
Chemnitzer FC	     -   Rot Weiß Erfurt	4:0 (3:0)    6,024
Borussia Dortmund II -   RedBull Leipzig	3:3 (2:1)    4,039


 1  1. FC Heidenheim	  	34   22  9  3 	  56:22  +34 	  75 
 2  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	34   20  7  7 	  55:32  +23 	  67
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SV Darmstadt 98	  	34   19  9  6 	  54:24  +30 	  66
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  VfL Osnabrück	  	34   14  9  11 	  49:35  +14 	  51 
 5  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	34   13  10 11 	  42:39  +3 	  49 
 6  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	34   13  10 11 	  37:41  -4 	  49 
 7  MSV Duisburg (A)	  	34   12  12 10 	  40:37  +3 	  48 
 8  Preußen Münster	  	34   11  13 10 	  49:46  +3 	  46 
 9  Hallescher FC	  	34   13  7  14 	  43:47  -4 	  46 
10  Jahn Regensburg (A)	  	34   12  9  13 	  50:50   0 	  45 
11  Chemnitzer FC	  	34   11  11 12 	  40:43  -3 	  44 
12  Hansa Rostock	  	34   12  8  14 	  42:52  -10 	  44 
13  Rot Weiß Erfurt	  	34   12  7  15 	  47:45  +2 	  43 
14  Borussia Dortmund II	34   11  9  14 	  39:45  -6 	  42 
15  Holstein Kiel (N)	  	34    9  13 12 	  38:35  +3 	  40 
16  VfB Stuttgart II	  	34   10  8  16 	  40:51  -11 	  38 
17  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	34    9  10 15 	  41:59  -18 	  37
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18  SV Elversberg (N)	  	34   10  7  17 	  30:49  -19 	  37 
19  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	34    8  7  19 	  36:54  -18 	  31 
20  Wacker Burghausen	  	34    7  9  18 	  32:54  -22 	  30


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 29: Köln almost there

Köln is marching to the Bundesliga, and they eventually overpowered a desperate Bielefeld side. The leaders dominated the 1st half and deserved their lead. Arminia came out in the 2nd half with all guns blazing and seemed close to equalizing. But Köln weathered the storm and finished off their relegation threatened visitors, and may have sealed both their fates. Köln’s success is largely due to their superb defense. Usually the promoted sides have much better attacks than the other clubs, but the leaders have basically been able to stop opponents from scoring – only 15 goals allowed in 29 matches!

Paderborn laid an egg as they lost at home against Düsseldorf. It was a hard fought match, as Fortuna is trying to get the points to secure their 2.Liga status. The homeside couldn’t control the match, and was mostly dangerous in dead ball situations. Düsseldorf kept on coming like a bad dream and eventually crapped all over Paderborn’s parade. This loss opened the door for others to hop back into the promotion race, while the win probably gives Fortuna the security for next season.

St.Pauli took advantage of Paderborn’s patzer, and got back in the promotion race. But it took a desperate comeback at in-form Sandhausen, where they were on the brink of defeat. A hard fought match and a furious endspurt gave the Paulistas a crucial away win.

Kaiserslautern missed their chance to get back into the promotion race. FCK had some possession advatange against struggling Bochum, but the guests actually had the better chances. Overall, a draw makes sense, and the Devils may rue this performance. For Bochum, with a little more ambition they could have all 3 points. As it is, they remain six points above the drop zone, almost safe.

1860′s coach Friedhelm Funkel announced his leaving at and of season, and based on today’s performances, he’s not missing much. Visiting Karlsruhe totally outplayed the toothless Lions, and Rouwen Hennings even got a hat-trick.

Aue ended any relegation worries with a win in the eastern derby with Berlin. The main talking point in this one was that all three penalties were somewhat dubious. Overall though, it was a pretty exciting game and Erxgebirge gets some kudos for getting the win.

A rare full house in Cottbus, for the ex-DDR derby against Dresden. Both sides desperately needed the win in the relegation battle, so it makes sense that neither side gets it. The relegation battle is almost over now.

 	
Energie Cottbus	   -   Dynamo Dresden	        0:0 (0:0)   18,500 *

VfR Aalen	   -   FSV Frankfurt	        2:1 (1:0)   11,128

                  1:0  Lechleiter (33., Traut)
                  1:1  Roshi (61., Leckie)
                  2:1  Reichwein (85., Leandro)

SC Paderborn 07	   -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	1:2 (0:1)   14,788 *

                  0:1  Halloran (42., Liendl)
                  1:1  Meha (53., direct freekick)
                  1:2  Hoffer (76., Golley)

1. FC Köln	   -   Arminia Bielefeld	2:0 (1:0)   48,900

                  1:0  D. Halfar (12.)
                  2:0  Ujah (75., Finne)
   	  	
SV Sandhausen	   -   FC St. Pauli	        2:3 (0:0)    8,050

                  1:0  D. Blum (50., Linsmayer)
                  1:1  Gonther (55., Maier)
                  2:1  Adler (70.)
                  2:2  Schachten (76., Halstenberg)
                  2:3  Rzatkowski (79.)

 	
1. FC Kaiserslautern  -   VfL Bochum	        1:1 (1:1)   26,916

                     0:1  Sukuta-Pasu (43., Latza)
                     1:1  Idrissou (45., Matmour)

1860 München	      -   Karlsruher SC	        0:3 (0:2)   19,100

                     0:1  Hennings (19., penalty, Gordon)
                     0:2  Hennings (32., Klingmann)
                     0:3  Hennings (53., Park)

Erzgebirge Aue	      -   1. FC Union Berlin	3:2 (2:2)   12,000

                     0:1  Mattuschka (24., penalty, Puncec)
                     1:1  Sylvestr (30., penalty, Löning)
                     2:1  Nickenig (33., Benatelli)
                     2:2  Skrzybski (40., Mattuschka)
                     3:2  Sylvestr (72., penalty, S. Okoronkwo)

FC Ingolstadt 04      -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	0:0 (0:0)    7,236			 



 1  1. FC Köln	  	        29   16  10  3 	  43:15  +28 	  58 
 2  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (A)	29   14  8   7 	  51:33  +18 	  50
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SC Paderborn 07	  	29   14  7   8 	  53:44  +9 	  49
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  FC St. Pauli	  	29   13  7   9 	  39:36  +3 	  46 
 5  Karlsruher SC (N)	  	29   11  11  7 	  40:27  +13 	  44 
 6  1. FC Kaiserslautern	29   12  8   9 	  42:30  +12 	  44 
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	29   11  9   9 	  43:37  +6 	  42 
 8  SV Sandhausen	  	29   11  8  10 	  26:26   0 	  41 
 9  1860 München	  	29   10  8  11 	  29:34  -5 	  38 
10  VfR Aalen	  	        29    9  10 10 	  28:34  -6 	  37 
11  Erzgebirge Aue	  	29   10  7  12 	  37:44  -7 	  37 
12  Fortuna Düsseldorf (A)	29    9  10 10 	  29:39  -10 	  37 
13  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	29    9  9  11 	  28:30  -2 	  36 
14  FSV Frankfurt	  	29    9  7  13 	  39:44  -5 	  34 
15  VfL Bochum	  	        29    9  7  13 	  25:33  -8 	  34
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Dynamo Dresden	  	29    4  16  9 	  28:40  -12 	  28
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Arminia Bielefeld (N)	29    7  6  16 	  32:53  -21 	  27 
18  Energie Cottbus	  	29    6  6  17 	  32:45  -13 	  24



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

BUNDESLIGA, Round 29: Bayern loses!

No matter what else happened this weekend, it’s Bayern losing that is the headline. For this first time in 53 Bundesliga matches, the champions went down – against Augsburg!!

Bayern of course didn’t start their A squad – they had 3 players from their youth setup in the lineup – but it was still a pretty strong team. Augsburg did their usual run-till-you-drop effort, and despite dominant possession from München, they kept things under control and withstood constant Bayern pressure after Sascha Mölders gave the Fuggers the lead. Overall, a great win for Augsburg, certainly their best campaign in club history. I suppose Bayern could give a hoot, looking ahead to Champions League matches. Still, it’s nice to see them stopped in the Bundesliga.

Hamburg got a critical win as they upended Leverkusen, who have been sinking fast. The Aspirin’s board took stock of their recent string of failures and fired coach Sami Hyypiä. Rene Adler had looked to throw away the win that HSV had fought so hard, as he let a shot bounce off him into the goal. HSV had been the better team until then, but the visitors smelled blood and went for the win. But veteran Heiko Westermann saved HSV by organizing the defense in the critical minutes, and then scored the winner himself at the end. Huge points, although Hamburg still remains in the relegation playoff. Leverkusen has now been passed by Gladbach for the Champions League, and have others breathing down their neck for even Europe.

Stuttgart got a huge win in a relegation battle in a regional derby with Freiburg. VfB had been total crap, but they came out strong in the 1st half. However, they got nothing, and SCF was beginning to take control in the 2nd period. The difference was when Romanian international Alex Maxim entered after an hour, as he quickly scored and then setup the decisive goal at the end.

Nürnberg dominated the first half against Gladbach. In fact, it was somewhat of an insult that the visitors had the lead. But der Club missed some promising chances and was in trouble. You might have expected them to try even harder after the restart, but instead they were oddly flat, and Borussia began to equalize the match. Max Kruse finished them off on a penalty, and a huge loss was sealed for Nürnberg.

Dortmund holds 2nd with a comeback win over Wolfsburg. It happened in a semi-tragic manner. VW GK Max Grün (in for the injured Benaglio) secured the ball off a cross, but his own defender ran into him, and the ball popped out. Marco Reus didn’t even bother to say “Dankeschön” and knocked in the garbage. Wolfsburg had totally outplayed the Neons in the first half, had a lead and even could have finished off the match – Olic hit the crossbar twice. But you waste, and you get punished. Dortmund re-grouped and laid siege to the visitors goal in the 2nd period. Wolfsburg probably deserved at least a draw. But you have to credit Dortmund for re-focusing. They looked shell-shocked from their ass-whupping in Madrid, and were getting run over on the autobahn by the Volkswagens. But they woke up in time to salvage the match and open up an advantage over Schalke.

Schalke was in a difficult match in Bremen. Werder can be total crap or quite decent. They were the latter today, and played a strong match. There really wasn’t much more to gain for Schalke, as the hosts fully deserved the point in this hard fought duel.

Frankfurt has probably done enough for salvation as they blanked Mainz in a regional derby. The Mainzers had been decent, but looked flat. Frankfurt heroes Joselu and Meier got the goals that give Eintracht some breathing space, a deserved victory.

The critical match on Sunday was the Niedersachsen derby between neighbors Braunschweig and Hannover. Braunschweig seized their last chance to stay around with a clear win, and Hannover falls back into the relegation mire. The Lions grabbed an early lead, and the 96ers were totally incompetant, so it ended up a relatively easy victory for Eintracht.

In the “who cares?” dept, Berlin and Hoffenheim played to a draw. It actually was a pretty good match, both sides showing initiative and eventually petering out to a draw.

Total attendance 429,079 (avg 47,675), sellouts in Bremen, Nürnberg, Augsburg, Dortmund and Braunschweig

 	
Hamburger SV	     -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	2:1 (1:0)   49,575

                    1:0  Calhanoglu (4., van der Vaart)
                    1:1  Brandt (58., Spahic)
                    2:1  Westermann (82., Diekmeier)

VfB Stuttgart	     -   SC Freiburg	        2:0 (0:0)   58,500

                    1:0  Maxim (69., Traoré)
                    2:0  Harnik (89., Maxim)

Werder Bremen	     -   FC Schalke 04	        1:1 (1:1)   42,100 *

                    1:0  di Santo (15., Elia)
                    1:1  Goretzka (33.)

1. FC Nürnberg	     -   Bor. Mönchengladbach	0:2 (0:1)   50,000 *

                    0:1  Arango (18., direct freekick)
                    0:2  M. Kruse (79., penalty, M. Kruse)

FC Augsburg	     -   Bayern München	        1:0 (1:0)   30,660 *

                    1:0  Mölders (31., Baier)

Eintracht Frankfurt  -   1. FSV Mainz 05	2:0 (0:0)   50,400

                    1:0  Joselu (52., S. Jung)
                    2:0  Meier (85., Aigner)
	
 	
Borussia Dortmund    -   VfL Wolfsburg	        2:1 (0:1)   80,645 *

                    0:1  Olic (34., Junior Malanda)
                    1:1  Lewandowski (51., Reus)
                    2:1  Reus (77.)

Sunday:
Eintr Braunschweig   -   Hannover 96	        3:0 (2:0)   23,325 *

                    1:0  Kumbela (14., Reichel)
                    2:0  Nielsen (21., Kessel)
                    3:0  Hochscheidt (89., Bellarabi)

Hertha BSC	     -   1899 Hoffenheim	1:1 (1:1)   43,874

                    1:0  Allagui (11., Skjelbred)
                    1:1  Polanski (30., Volland)
		 



 1  Bayern München (M, P)	29   25  3  1 	  82:17  +65 	  78  
 2  Borussia Dortmund	  	29   18  4  7 	  64:32  +32 	  58 
 3  FC Schalke 04	  	29   16  7  6 	  54:38  +16 	  55
 4  Bor. Mönchengladbach	29   14  6  9 	  51:34  +17 	  48
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	29   15  3  11 	  48:36  +12 	  48 
 6  VfL Wolfsburg	  	29   14  5  10 	  49:44  +5 	  47
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	29   13  5  11 	  41:45  -4 	  44 
 8  FC Augsburg	  	        29   12  6  11 	  41:43  -2 	  42 
 9  1899 Hoffenheim	  	29    9  10 10 	  64:63  +1 	  37 
10  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	29   10  7  12 	  37:40  -3 	  37 
11  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	29    9  8  12 	  37:48  -11 	  35 
12  Werder Bremen	  	29    8  9  12 	  34:55  -21 	  33 
13  Hannover 96	  	        29    8  5  16 	  36:54  -18 	  29 
14  SC Freiburg	  	        29    7  8  14 	  33:52  -19 	  29 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	29    7  6  16 	  44:57  -13 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hamburger SV	  	29    7  6  16 	  45:60  -15 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  1. FC Nürnberg	  	29    5  11 13 	  34:54  -20 	  26 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	29    6  7  16 	  28:50  -22 	  25


1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

3.Liga, Round 33: Relegation battle almost over

The top clubs continue to pull away, and there were some huge wins in the relegation battle.

A last minute goal did in Saarbrücken and pretty much condemns them to relegation. They actually had better chances than the Kickers, but Stuttgart took their chance at the end in a rather weak match. Don’t see how FCS can stave off the drop now.

Burghausen needed a win against Dortmund II, but they didn’t get it. Looks like their lights are about to go out, and they’ll be going down as well.

Holstein Kiel got the win they needed as they crushed Unterhaching in a direct relegation battle. They dominated the match, and the mini-Münchenkins didn’t help themselves by going down a man near the end of the 1st half. With six points plus superior goal difference, Kiel is looking pretty good now.

Elversberg fought off Osnabrück to gain a vital point, giving them the advantage over Haching. Stuttgart II did the same gathering a point at Duisburg, which they probably hadn’t really expected. The Zebras have been in form lately and climbing, so VfB-II is certainly satisfied. They’ve essentially got 5 points on Unterhaching in the drop zone.

Halle won a crazy eastern derby which saw 2 injury time goals. Rostock fired their coach earlier and came out with new purpose, and jumped to a two goal lead, looking to break their crap run. But Halle came roaring back, setting up the wild finish and continuing Hansa’s slide.

Excellent road win for Darmstadt – now 16 unbeaten. The 98ers were in for a tough match at Münster anyway, and things quickly got tougher: star forward Dominik Stroh-Engel was tossed on a double yellow after only 23 minutes. Nevertheless Darmstadt stood firm and actually won the match.

Leipzig won a hard-fought eastern derby with Chemnitz and continues to hold off Darmstadt for 2nd.

Heidenheim keeps on track for the title with a win at Wehen. It was a rather lame match for two top teams, but Heidenheim did what was needed to get the points. Wehen’s worry is to hold onto 4th and the automatic DFB Cup qualifier, and there are several clubs gnawing at them.

Total attendance 68,992 (avg 6,899)

 	
MSV Duisburg	     -   VfB Stuttgart II	0:0 (0:0)   11,296
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   1. FC Saarbrücken	1:0 (0:0)    4,050
Holstein Kiel	     -   SpVgg Unterhaching	4:0 (2:0)    5,115
SV Elversberg	     -   VfL Osnabrück	        2:2 (1:1)    1,035
Hallescher FC	     -   Hansa Rostock	        4:3 (0:1)   11,058
Preußen Münster	     -   SV Darmstadt 98	0:2 (0:0)    8,879
Wacker Burghausen    -   Borussia Dortmund II	0:0 (0:0)    2,500
RedBull Leipzig	     -   Chemnitzer FC	        2:1 (1:1)   17,479
Rot Weiß Erfurt	     -   Jahn Regensburg	2:3 (1:1)    4,980
SV Wehen Wiesbaden   -   1. FC Heidenheim	0:1 (0:1)    2,600


 1  1. FC Heidenheim	  	33   21  9  3 	  53:22  +31 	  72 
 2  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	33   20  6  7 	  52:29  +23 	  66
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SV Darmstadt 98	  	33   18  9  6 	  53:24  +29 	  63
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	33   13  10 10 	  37:38  -1 	  49 
 5  VfL Osnabrück	  	33   13  9  11 	  46:35  +11 	  48 
 6  MSV Duisburg (A)	  	33   12  12 9 	  40:35  +5 	  48 
 7  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	33   12  10 11 	  40:39  +1 	  46 
 8  Hallescher FC	  	33   13  7  13 	  43:44  -1 	  46 
 9  Hansa Rostock	  	33   12  8  13 	  40:48  -8 	  44 
10  Rot Weiß Erfurt	  	33   12  7  14 	  47:41  +6 	  43 
11  Preußen Münster	  	33   10  13 10 	  45:44  +1 	  43 
12  Jahn Regensburg (A)	  	33   11  9  13 	  47:50  -3 	  42 
13  Borussia Dortmund II	33   11  8  14 	  39:45  -6 	  41 
14  Chemnitzer FC	  	33   10  11 12 	  36:43  -7 	  41 
15  Holstein Kiel (N)	  	33    9  13 11 	  38:32  +6 	  40 
16  VfB Stuttgart II	  	33   10  8  15 	  40:48  -8 	  38 
17  SV Elversberg (N)	  	33   10  7  16 	  30:47  -17 	  37
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	33    8  10 15 	  39:59  -20 	  34 
19  Wacker Burghausen	  	33    7  9  17 	  32:53  -21 	  30 
20  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	33    7  7  19 	  33:54  -21 	  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