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

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