BUNDESLIGA, Round 27: Freiburg leaps into safety

Round 27, Apr 3-5

No real significant results, although perhaps some important ones in the relegation zone. Freiburg had an important win as they jumped out of the drop positions. It wasn’t pretty, and actually Köln had some pressure throughout the match, but the Breisgauer managed to hold on for a precious win. Overall, perhaps deserved, in a gritty and exciting struggle.

Hertha defeated Paderborn in another crucial relegation battle, but this one was basically a snoozer. Both teams sucked, but at least Berlin tried something a bit in the 2nd period and were rewarded with what might be decisive points for them. SCP is in trouble since they clearly don’t have enough talent to stay up, and it’s beginning to look like their fighting spirit is waning.

New HSV coach Peter Knäbel needed some of their hosts products. Alka-Seltzer comes to mind. HSV stunk and the only person feeling good is probably ex-coach Josef Zinnbauer as he doesn’t have to watch them anymore. Leverkusen had an easy time and could have run up the scoreline.

Stuttgart actually played decently for about one half at Wolfsburg. The VWs figured they only needed to phone it in, and were somewhat fortunate to take the lead. Stuttgart immediately came back and deserved the point at half. However Wolfsburg pressed a bit harder in the 2nd half, and VfB began to fall apart, eventually conceding and taking yet another loss.

Bayern München showed that they can defend as well. The champs were in a tough match against Dortmund, as the Neons pressed and created some decent chances. The difference was of course that Bayern took one of their few chances, whereas BVB wasted theirs, or were stopped by a sharp GK Neuer. So another Bayern win and Dortmund fails to get anything.

Gladbach showed ruthless efficiency in slicing up their hosts Hoffenheim. The “Foals” were relying on counterattack, and in a ten minute period ripped apart the Hoppers.

Bremen and Mainz played a tense, even match. Both can score, but neither did, and a scoreless draw was a fair result. Both are looking pretty secure from the drop zone.

Frankfurt seemed to be cruising to a win, but Hannover showed fight and came back to salvage a crucial point. The 96ers have dropped into serious trouble and need to keep ahead of HSV (although given how the Hamburgers have sucked, perhaps thats not too big a task).

Augsburg and Schalke fought hard and ended scoreless. Both keepers were solid and neither side was willing to risk too much. Since none of their competitors won, they remain secure in their Euro spots.

Total attendance 351,581 (avg 39,946), 89.3% capacity, sellouts in Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim, Dortmund, Augsburg

 	
Bayer 04 Leverkusen -  	Hamburger SV	     4:0 (2:0)   30,210 *

                   1:0  Castro (7., Bellarabi)
                   2:0  Kießling (44., Castro)
                   3:0  Kießling (56., Castro)
                   4:0  Castro (63., Bellarabi)

VfL Wolfsburg	    -  	VfB Stuttgart	     3:1 (1:1)   30,000 *

                   1:0  Rodriguez (41., penalty, D. Caligiuri)
                   1:1  Harnik (44., Kostic)
                   2:1  Rodriguez (65., direct freekick)
                   3:1  Schürrle (76., De Bruyne)

TSG Hoffenheim	    -  	Bor. M'gladbach	     1:4 (1:3)   30,150 *

                   1:0  Schipplock (17., Roberto Firmino)
                   1:1  M. Kruse (26., penalty, F. Johnson)
                   1:2  Herrmann (31., Wendt)
                   1:3  Raffael (36., M. Kruse)
                   1:4  Herrmann (51., M. Kruse)

Werder Bremen	    -  	1. FSV Mainz 05	     0:0 (0:0)   41,000

Eintracht Frankfurt -  	Hannover 96	     2:2 (1:0)   49,600

                   1:0  Madlung (27., Oczipka)
                   2:0  Aigner (54., Seferovic)
                   2:1  Marcelo (69., Kiyotake)
                   2:2  Ya Konan (82., Stindl)

SC Freiburg	    -  	1. FC Köln	     1:0 (1:0)   23,800

                   1:0  Frantz (37., Sorg)

Borussia Dortmund   -  	Bayern München	     0:1 (0:1)   80,667 *

                   0:1  Lewandowski (36., T. Müller)

FC Augsburg	    -  	FC Schalke 04	     0:0 (0:0)   30,660 *

Hertha BSC	    -  	SC Paderborn 07	     2:0 (0:0)   44,031

                   1:0  Stocker (68., Kalou)
                   2:0  N. Schulz (88., Pekarik)
	


 1  Bayern München (M, P) 	27   21  4  2 	  71:13  +58 	  67 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg 	  	27   17  6  4 	  60:30  +30 	  57 
 3  Bor. Mönchengladbach 	27   14  8  5 	  41:21  +20 	  50
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	27   13  9  5 	  49:29  +20 	  48
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 5  FC Schalke 04 	  	27   11  7  9 	  37:31  +6 	  40 
 6  FC Augsburg 	  	27   12  3  12 	  33:34  -1 	  39
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 7  TSG Hoffenheim 	  	27   10  7  10 	  41:42  -1 	  37 
 8  Eintracht Frankfurt 	27    9  8  10 	  51:54  -3 	  35 
 9  Werder Bremen 	  	27    9  8  10 	  41:54  -13 	  35 
10  Borussia Dortmund 	  	27    9  6  12 	  34:34   0 	  33 
11  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	27    9  5  13 	  33:44  -11 	  32 
12  1. FSV Mainz 05 	  	27    6  13 8 	  35:36  -1 	  31 
13  1. FC Köln (N) 	  	27    7  9  11 	  26:33  -7 	  30 
14  SC Freiburg 	  	27    6  10 11 	  27:36  -9 	  28 
15  Hannover 96 	  	27    7  7  13 	  31:44  -13 	  28
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16  Hamburger SV 	  	27    6  7  14 	  16:41  -25 	  25
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17  SC Paderborn 07 (N) 	27    5  9  13 	  23:52  -29 	  24 
18  VfB Stuttgart 	  	27    5  8  14 	  28:49  -21 	  23


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

2.Liga, Round 27: here comes the judge!

Am grünem Tisch (“on the green table”) the Germans like to say – especially in situations where officials and courts make rulings off the pitch. And once again, the effects have hit home.
VfR Aalen was punished by the DFB for not meeting financial requirements. The club had been ordered to increase their inside capital by 5% as a condition of being granted a license for these season, but despite repeated warnings, the result has not been achieved. So the federation decided to subtract 2 points from the Aaleners. The club apparently is planning an appeal, but the deduction dropped them to dead last, despite a decent result against Karlsruhe.

Other than that, the most significant result this weekend was St.{Pauli showing life and ripping Düsseldorf, which allows the Paulistas to jump out of auto-drop zone. And things are now pretty much over for Fortuna, promotion has got to be off the table. 20 year old South Korean Kyoung-Rok Choi made his debut with two goals and an assist.

Total attendance 156,496 (avg 17,388), 57.4% capacity, sellout in Hamburg

Round 27, Apr 4-5
 	
SpVgg Greuther Fürth  -   Eintr. Braunschweig	1:2 (1:1)   10,280

                     1:0  Zulj (28., K. Przybylko)
                     1:1  Thesker (31., own goal, Nielsen)
                     1:2  Reichel (79., Kessel)

1. FC Kaiserslautern  -   1. FC Heidenheim	4:0 (2:0)   32,135

                     1:0  Orban (5., Klich)
                     2:0  Matmour (42., Stöger)
                     3:0  Klich (77.)
                     4:0  P. Hofmann (86., Matmour)
 
1860 München	      -   Erzgebirge Aue	0:1 (0:1)   20,300

                     0:1  Kortzorg (5., Mugosa)

FC Ingolstadt 04      -   FSV Frankfurt	        2:0 (1:0)    9,926

                     1:0  B. Hübner (22., P. Groß)
                     2:0  Hinterseer (58., Pledl)

VfR Aalen	      -   Karlsruher SC	        2:2 (0:1)    8,474

                     0:1  Hennings (2., Micanski)
                     1:1  J. Gjasula (54., penalty, Ludwig)
                     1:2  Micanski (63., Torres)
                     2:2  J. Gjasula (65., Steinhöfer)

SV Sandhausen	      -   1. FC Union Berlin	1:1 (1:0)    5,318

                     1:0  Trimmel (6., own goal, Kübler)
                     1:1  Achenbach (51., own goal, Parensen)

RasenBallsp. Leipzig  -   1. FC Nürnberg	2:1 (0:1)   30,479

                     0:1  G. Burgstaller (29., Kerk)
                     1:1  Reyna (46., Klostermann)
                     2:1  D. Kaiser (76.)

SV Darmstadt 98	      -   VfL Bochum	        2:0 (1:0)   16,000

                     1:0  Bregerie (22., Heller)
                     2:0  Balogun (77., Kempe)

FC St. Pauli	      -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	4:0 (3:0)   23,584 *

                     1:0  Choi (9., Daube)
                     2:0  Choi (16.)
                     3:0  Sobota (40., Verhoek)
                     4:0  Buballa (51., Choi)


 1  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	27   14  10  3 	  	 42:22  +20 	  52 
 2  1. FC Kaiserslautern 	27   13  10  4 	  	 38:23  +15 	  49
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 3  SV Darmstadt 98 (N) 	27   12  12  3 	  	 36:19  +17 	  48
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 4  Karlsruher SC	  	27   11  12  4 	  	 36:21  +15 	  45 
 5  Eintracht Braunschweig (A) 	27   12  5   10 	 34:30  +4 	  41 
 6  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N) 	27   10  10  7 	  	 31:21  +10 	  40 
 7  Fortuna Düsseldorf	  	27   10  9   8 	  	 40:39  +1 	  39 
 8  VfL Bochum 	  	        27    7  14  6 	  	 43:41  +2 	  35 
 9  1. FC Union Berlin	  	27    9  8   10 	 32:43  -11 	  35 
10  1. FC Heidenheim (N) 	27    9  7   11 	 35:35   0 	  34 
11  FSV Frankfurt 	  	27    9  7   11 	 35:42  -7 	  34 
12  1. FC Nürnberg (A) 	  	27   10  4   13 	 32:40  -8 	  34 
13  SV Sandhausen 	  	27    8  9   10          25:31  -6 	  33 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth 	27    6  11  10 	 26:32  -6 	  29 
15  1860 München 	  	27    6  8   13 	 35:41  -6 	  26
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16  FC St. Pauli 	  	27    6  7   14 	 30:44  -14 	  25
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17  Erzgebirge Aue 	  	27    6  7   14 	 22:38  -16 	  25 
18  VfR Aalen 	  	        27    5  10  12 	 23:33  -10 	  23



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

3.Liga, Round 31: Mainz moves

Round 31, Apr 4-5

Mainz-II had a big day, as the Bundesliga U23s managed to knock off Erfurt, thereby leaping out of the drop zone. Bottom clus are fighting to stay alive, and although for a while Mainz looked like they were done, they’ve roared back and have a solid chance. Erfurt had been hoping perhaps to sneak back into the promotion race, but that train has no definitely left the station.

Bielefeld is back in control as they ripped Cottbus. The most interesting thing is all of Arminia’s goals were scored by ex-Cottbusers.

Stuttgarter Kickers jumped into 3rd place with a hard fought win over Dortmund-II. Since VfB is upholding their part of the bargain by getting relegated from the Bundesliga, it may be up to Kickers to make the Stuttgart derby become reality next season. Meanwhile, BVB-II looks like they’re about done

Großaspach held Kiel to a draw, and actually might have won. After giving up an early goal, the Sonnenhofer neutralized Holstein for the rest of the way, and eventually climbed back.
It’s too late, but Regensburg was impressive in thumping Wehen. Actually, it was probably more that Wehen sucked, but Jahn played a decent match and deserved the win.

“Münster gets ass ripped” could have been the alternative byline. Preußen showed little of a contender, and were thoroughly pushed around by Halle, who are often flabby at home.

Chemnitz romped over Dresden in an eastern derby, watching Dynamo continue to crash and burn – 8 losses out of nine now. The match was a sellout, although artificially reduced due to security concerns.

Osnabrück dumped Unterhaching, who have now fallen into relegation. The Mini-Münch(en)kins were actually the better team in the 2nd half, but then gave up a goal and compounded things by a couple of red cards a few minutes later.

Total attendance 69,190 (avg 6,919), 41.3% capacity, sellout in Chemnitz

 	
Fortuna Köln	     -   VfB Stuttgart II	0:1 (0:0)    1,885
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   Borussia Dortmund II	2:0 (0:0)    5,550
Jahn Regensburg	     -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden	3:0 (2:0)    2,827
SG S-hof Großaspach  -   Holstein Kiel	        1:1 (1:1)    1,500
1. FSV Mainz 05 II   -   Rot-Weiß Erfurt	3:1 (3:0)      881
Hallescher FC	     -   Preußen Münster	3:0 (1:0)    7,498
Chemnitzer FC	     -   Dynamo Dresden	        2:0 (2:0)   10,000 *
Arminia Bielefeld    -   Energie Cottbus	3:0 (2:0)   15,814
MSV Duisburg	     -   Hansa Rostock	        2:2 (1:1)   15,689
VfL Osnabrück	     -   SpVgg Unterhaching	1:0 (0:0)    7,546


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A) 	31   19  5  7 	  63:33  +30 	  62 
 2  Holstein Kiel	  	31   15  11 5 	  41:20  +21 	  56
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 3  Stuttgarter Kickers 	31   15  10 6 	  51:37  +14 	  55
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 4  MSV Duisburg 	  	31   14  11 6     49:34  +15 	  53 
 5  Preußen Münster 	  	31   14  9  8 	  45:36  +9 	  51 
 6  Energie Cottbus (A)	  	31   13  9  9 	  39:37  +2 	  48 
 7  Hallescher FC   	        31   13  7  11 	  43:40  +3 	  46 
 8  Rot-Weiß Erfurt 	  	31   13  7  11 	  42:42   0 	  46 
 9  SV Wehen Wiesbaden 	  	31   13  6  12 	  46:37  +9 	  45 
10  Chemnitzer FC   	        31   12  7  12 	  32:29  +3 	  43 
11  VfL Osnabrück 	  	31   12  6  13 	  43:47  -4 	  42 
12  Dynamo Dresden (A) 	  	31   11  8  12 	  36:38  -2 	  41 
13  VfB Stuttgart II 	  	31   11  7  13 	  39:44  -5 	  40 
14  Fortuna Köln (N) 	  	31   10  8  13 	  32:34  -2 	  38 
15  Hansa Rostock 	  	31    9  8  14 	  46:57  -11 	  35 
16  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N) 31    8  10 13 	  32:52  -20 	  34 
17  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N) 	31    8  8  15 	  35:46  -11 	  32
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18  SpVgg Unterhaching 	  	31    8  7  16 	  41:55  -14 	  31 
19  Borussia Dortmund II	31    4  14 13 	  28:43  -15 	  26 
20  Jahn Regensburg 	  	31    7  4  20 	  35:57  -22 	  25


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

WSV Blog: Fallen behind

Things looked good going into the winterbreak, but Wuppertal has been dicking around since the restart and basically has been overrun by Velbert, who have set a blistering pace. WSV had beaten Velbert early 4-0 away, so the re-match in Wuppertal was highly anticipated a couple of weeks ago. Almost 8,000 fans and a wild 4-4 shootout, but that wasn’t enough to keep WSV on pace. Velbert continued to win, and now have a strong position.

Today WSV struggled to beat Düsseldorf at home, whereas Velbert won easily on the road. It is looking tough for Wuppertal to make up the ground, as they are essentially 5 points behind and really haven’t been able to get back to their pre-winterbreak form.

The good news is that the financial situation has become immensely better since accepting administration and voluntary relegation to the Oberliga two years ago. The new management has done a good job in cleaning things up and building a sound foundation, and were recently re-elected at the membership meeting. In theory, the plan envisioned a return to the Regionalliga in 3 years, so I guess you could say they’re still on target, although it would be nice to be able to make the jump this year.


OBERLIGA NIEDERRHEIN (5th Division)

 1  SSVg Velbert (A) 	  	23   16  4  3 	  64:25  +39 	  52
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 2  Wuppertaler SV	  	23   14  6  3 	  48:20  +28 	  48 
 3  MSV Duisburg II	  	23   12  6  5 	  52:21  +31 	  42 
 4  Ratinger SV 	  	23   13  3  7 	  43:28  +15 	  42 
 5  VfR Krefeld-Fischeln (N) 	22   12  2  8 	  37:31  +6 	  38 
 6  SV Hönnepel-Niedermörmter	22   10  7  5 	  35:32  +3 	  37 
 7  1. FC Bocholt (N) 	  	21   10  6  5 	  38:20  +18 	  36 
 8  TV Jahn Hiesfeld 	  	22    9  6  7 	  42:38  +4 	  33 
 9  TuS Bösinghoven	  	23    9  4  10 	  46:42  +4 	  31 
10  Rot-Weiß Oberhausen II 	23    9  4  10 	  37:40  -3 	  31 
11  VfB Hilden 	  	        23    9  4  10 	  49:53  -4 	  31 
12  SC Kapellen-Erft	  	23    8  3  12 	  36:42  -6 	  27 
13  TuRU Düsseldorf 	  	23    8  3  12 	  27:34  -7 	  27 
14  Schwarz-Weiß Essen 	  	21    6  3  12 	  24:28  -4 	  21
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15  Vdsf Nievenheim (N) 	23    6  3  14 	  28:70  -42 	  21 
16  Sportfreunde Baumberg 	23    5  5  13 	  24:48  -24 	  20 
17  SV Sonsbeck 	  	22    5  4  13 	  18:48  -30 	  19 
18  VfB Homberg 	  	23    2  7  14 	  21:49  -28 	  13

2.Liga, Round 26: Lautern goes to 2nd

Round 26, Mar 20-23

Hard fought round, with not many goals scored. Kaiserslautern was the “winner” in the sense that their scoreless draw at Karlsruhe put them in 2nd place. Although the match itself was hard fought and tense, not much really happened, so the result is about right.

Lautern moved into 2nd because Darmstadt was beaten in Düsseldorf. The 98ers were the better side in the first half, but wasted opportunities. Fortuna took a while to get going, but took their chances. It might be considered a lucky win, but sometimes you make your own luck.

Braunschweig pressed hard against leaders Ingolstadt, and was close to victory. The Schanzers have GK Ramazan Özcan, who had a brilliant match.

If St.Pauli goes down, this may be a key to why. The Hamburgers are dead last, but were on the verge of a point against Union. A road point in Berlin would have been a decent result. But then in the last minute, GK Himmelmann missed the ball on a backpass and gifted an empty goal to the hosts.

A tense relegation battle in München ended even between 1860 and Aalen. Neither side impressed, and a grubby bar fight was perhaps more descriptive. Points in the table, not style points were required.

Greuther Fürth is long removed from the fighting side that had a stint in the Bundesliga. The Greuther barely survived with a point at Aue in a tough relegation struggle. Erzgebirge probably should have won, but the visitor GK Hesl was in excellent form and kept the clean sheet,

FSV Frankfurt had a hard time making headway against Sandhausen, and was only able to equalize through a somewhat shady penalty.

Total attendance 163,583 (avg 18,176), 55.7% capacity, sellout in Karlsruhe, Berlin

 	
1860 München	     -   VfR Aalen	       1:1 (0:0)   16,700

                    0:1  Quaner (59., Kaufmann)
                    1:1  Rodri (75., Vollmann)

1. FC Union Berlin   -   FC St. Pauli	       1:0 (0:0)   21,717 *

                    1:0  Polter (89.)

FSV Frankfurt	     -   SV Sandhausen	       1:1 (0:1)    5,094

                    0:1  Bouhaddouz (22., Linsmayer)
                    1:1  Kapllani (80., penalty, Grifo)

Eintr. Braunschweig  -   FC Ingolstadt 04      0:0 (0:0)   20,700

Fortuna Düsseldorf   -   SV Darmstadt 98       2:0 (1:0)   28,658

                    1:0  Benschop (44., penalty, Bellinghausen)
                    2:0  Benschop (66., Bellinghausen)
 	
Karlsruher SC	     -   1. FC Kaiserslautern  0:0 (0:0)   27,556 *

Erzgebirge Aue	     -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth  0:0 (0:0)    7,600

1. FC Heidenheim     -   RasenB Leipzig	       1:0 (0:0)   12,000

                    1:0  Niederlechner (51., Leipertz)

1. FC Nürnberg	     -   VfL Bochum	       1:2 (0:1)   25,558

                    0:1  Terrazzino (38., Terodde)
                    0:2  Terodde (64., Terrazzino)
                    1:2  Mlapa (70., Sylvestr)
	


 1  FC Ingolstadt 04   	        26   13  10  3 	  40:22  +18 	  49 
 2  1. FC Kaiserslautern 	26   12  10  4 	  34:23  +11 	  46
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 3  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)         26   11  12  3 	  34:19  +15 	  45
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 4  Karlsruher SC 	  	26   11  11  4 	  34:19  +15 	  44 
 5  Fortuna Düsseldorf 	  	26   10  9   7 	  40:35  +5 	  39 
 6  Eintracht Braunschweig (A) 	26   11  5  10 	  32:29  +3 	  38 
 7  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N) 	26    9  10  7 	  29:20  +9 	  37 
 8  VfL Bochum 	  	        26    7  14  5 	  43:39  +4 	  35 
 9  1. FC Heidenheim (N) 	26    9  7  10 	  35:31  +4 	  34 
10  FSV Frankfurt 	  	26    9  7  10 	  35:40  -5 	  34 
11  1. FC Nürnberg (A) 	  	25   10  4  11 	  31:38  -7 	  34 
12  1. FC Union Berlin 	  	26    9  7  10 	  31:42  -11 	  34 
13  SV Sandhausen 	  	26    8  8  10 	  24:30  -6 	  32 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth 	26    6  11  9 	  25:30  -5 	  29 
15  1860 München 	  	26    6  8  12 	  35:40  -5 	  26
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16  VfR Aalen 	  	        26    5  9  12 	  21:31  -10 	  24
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17  Erzgebirge Aue 	  	26    5  7  14 	  21:38  -17 	  22 
18  FC St. Pauli 	  	26    5  7  14 	  26:44  -18 	  22

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 26: Bayern goes down!

Round 26, Mar 20-22

Actually, the bigger news this week is probably some huge results for bottom clubs, but whenever Bayern doesn’t win, it’s headlines. The leaders lost at home to Gladbach, and everyone must be wondering how that happened. Gladbach defended well, but virtually did squat the whole match. Actually, the reason bayern lost is largely because GK Manuel Neuer had brainfarts. By all accounts, he’s the best goal keeper in the world, but he is famous for his Neuerisms, which usually end up causing a goal. This time he wasn’t running around, but the first Gladbach shot – after 30 minutes – he flubbed and allowed to dribble in the goal. The second he probably should have had the weak shot, but let it go under his body. That was basically it for Gladbach, but it stood up because Bayern’s tiki-taka up front didn’t light a fire and instead looked heavy and clumsy. Huge win for Gladbach, inflicting Bayern’s first home loss.

Hertha was a huge winner as the Berliners upended Hamburg in a relegation 6-pointer. HSV started out brightly, but soon Hertha clamped down on defense and both sides pulled back, seemingly not wanting to risk losing. But in the end, Hertha got the break. First Cleber left HSV a man down after a silly foul, and then Plattenhardt floated in a perfect cross for Langkamp to head home the winner.

Freiburg had a huge win against Augburg. Down the stretch the Breisgauers were a bit more fortunate and they got the critical win. Nils Petersen once again proved to be key, as the super-sub got his 4th goal in 4 matches, quite a nice haul since joining from Bremen in the winterbreak.

Stuttgart defeated Frankfurt in a desperate match. VfB absoultely needed something positive, rooted firmly at the bottom. Frankfurt was actually the better team for most of the match, and perhaps should have put things away. In the end, it was Daniel Ginczek who was the difference, his first match back after a long injury absence.

Paderborn tried to upend Hoffenheim on physical effort. The home side was clearly technically inferior, but all the players were giving 110% effort. Things got even hotter for the visitors when they went down a man with about a half hour left. SCP pressed hard to try and get the needed win, but was unable. It’s beginning to look like they’ll go down, despite valiant efforts. You need to win matches like these.

Leverkusen may have won the battle for Champions League. The battle at Schalke would go a long way in deciding the outcome, and the Aspirins were simply better than their hosts. The Schalkers had a few chances that they blew, but in general looked harmless. Bayer didn’t exactly look brilliant, but did what was necessary. With goal difference, they’re essentially 7 points up on the Blues now, that should be enough.

Dortmund had a mixed bag against Hannover. The Neons once again looked very good at times, but broke down on other occasions. The difference was that they were a bit more ruthless in front of goal and it paid off. The 96ers looked much better than in recent matches, trying very hard to get the points.

Mainz and Wolfsburg have been playing decent football, and their match was tense, hard fought, but not particularily brilliant from either side. A draw is the fair result.

Köln and Bremen battled to a draw in a sloppy match. Neither side looked overly impressive, and Köln were perhaps lucky to draw even late on a somewhat dubious penalty.

Total attendance: 408,450 (avg 45,383), 95.8% capacity, sellouts in Hannover, Köln, München

 	
Hamburger SV	 -   Hertha BSC	            0:1 (0:0)   53,640

                0:1  S. Langkamp (84., Plattenhardt)

Hannover 96	 -   Borussia Dortmund	    2:3 (1:1)   49,000 *

                0:1  Aubameyang (19., Reus)
                1:1  Stindl (31., Bittencourt)
                1:2  Kagawa (57., Reus)
                1:3  Aubameyang (61., Kagawa)
                2:3  Stindl (82., Kiyotake)

SC Freiburg	 -   FC Augsburg	    2:0 (0:0)   23,700

                1:0  Schmid (71., Sorg)
                2:0  Petersen (84., Darida)

VfB Stuttgart	 -   Eintracht Frankfurt    3:1 (0:0)   48,500

                0:1  Seferovic (51., Oczipka)
                1:1  Ginczek (63., Harnik)
                2:1  Ginczek (66., Maxim)
                3:1  Maxim (80., Kostic)

1. FC Köln	 -   Werder Bremen	    1:1 (0:1)   50,000 *

                0:1  Selke (27., Junuzovic)
                1:1  M. Lehmann (88., penalty, Finne)

SC Paderborn 07	 -   TSG Hoffenheim	    0:0 (0:0)   14,401

FC Schalke 04	 -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen    0:1 (0:1)   61,973 *

                0:1  Bellarabi (35., Rolfes)

1. FSV Mainz 05	 -   VfL Wolfsburg	    1:1 (1:0)   32,236

                1:0  Bungert (7., Geis)
                1:1  Luiz Gustavo (61., Naldo)

Bayern München	 -   Bor. Mönchengladbach   0:2 (0:1)   75,137 *

                0:1  Raffael (30., Herrmann)
                0:2  Raffael (77., Kramer)
	

 1  Bayern München (M, P)	26   20  4  2 	  70:13  +57 	  64 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg 	  	26   16  6  4 	  57:29  +28 	  54 
 3  Bor. Mönchengladbach 	26   13  8  5 	  37:20  +17 	  47
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen 	26   12  9  5 	  45:29  +16 	  45
-------------------------------------------------------------------- 	
 5  FC Schalke 04               26   11  6  9 	  37:31  +6 	  39 
 6  FC Augsburg 	        26   12  2  12 	  33:34  -1 	  38
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  TSG Hoffenheim 	  	26   10  7  9 	  40:38  +2 	  37 
 8  Eintracht Frankfurt 	26    9  7  10 	  49:52  -3 	  34 
 9  Werder Bremen 	  	26    9  7  10 	  41:54  -13 	  34 
10  Borussia Dortmund 	  	26    9  6  11 	  34:33  +1 	  33 
11  1. FSV Mainz 05 	  	26    6 12  8 	  35:36  -1 	  30 
12  1. FC Köln (N) 	  	26    7  9  10 	  26:32  -6 	  30 
13  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	26    8  5  13 	  31:44  -13 	  29 
14  Hannover 96 	  	26    7  6  13 	  29:42  -13 	  27 
15  SC Freiburg	  	        26    5 10  11 	  26:36  -10 	  25
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hamburger SV 	  	26    6  7  13 	  16:37  -21 	  25
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SC Paderborn 07 (N) 	26    5  9  12 	  23:50  -27 	  24 
18  VfB Stuttgart	  	26    5  8  13 	  27:46  -19 	  23

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

3.Liga, Round 30: Bielefeld stopped

Round 30, Mar 21-22

Leaders Arminia Bielefeld were stunned by Stuttgart-II, taking a loss and shrinking their lead at the top. VfB’s U23 were very efficient and basically let Arminia attack furiously until they were able to counter and score. The win should mean that VfB doesn’t have to look over their shoulder to the relegation zone.

Kiel remains on-track to jump into the 2.Liga. The Holsteiners however had a difficult time with Regensburg, as only a solitary early goal had to stand up. The home side did control the action, but Jahn gave a good account of themselves, especially GK Richard Strebinger. They’re going down, but they can still ruin some other folks parties.

Preußen Münster was on the verge of a total disaster against Mainz-II. The favored Eagles were losing, and nothing was going right. They were saved from disgrace with a somewhat dubious penalty in injury time, robbing the Mainzers of what would have been a heroic victory. Preußen has fallen into 5th, which is definitely the worst position for the contenders (At least 4th place means automatic qualification into the DFB-Cup main round)

Duisburg took advantage of Münster’s slip, and vaulted into 3rd place with a solid thumping of Dortmund-II on the road. BVB-Bubis look like they’re just about out of gas.

Stuttgarter Kickers also are back, winning a tough match at Unterhaching. They trail MSV by goal difference, but it’s small enough that a thumping win could change that.

There was also injury time drama in Erfurt, and this time it went for the underdog. Großaspach got the late goal and left hosts Erfurt stunned. The Sonnenhofer are desperately searching for points, and must be thrilled with the result.

Cottbus missed a chance to move closer, but actually were fortunate to even salvage a point at home to Chemnitz. Energie needs a couple of wins on the trot to get back in the race. They’re certainly capable, but another match like this probably means it’s over.

Hansa Rostock looks to moving to safety. While they’re not out of the woods yet, they’ve won three in a row at home, this time easily crushing Fortuna Köln.

Dresden continues to fall apart. I believe they have now lost 7/8. Another big crowd left disappointed as Dynamo dropped another one, this time to regional rivals Halle. At this point, they are probably just wishing the season was over.

Total attendance: 68,755 (avg 6,876), 38.5% capacity

 	
SV Wehen Wiesbaden    -   VfL Osnabrück	        2:0 (1:0)    2,636
Preußen Münster	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05 II	1:1 (0:1)    8,026
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	      -   SG S-hof Großaspach	0:1 (0:0)    4,195
Holstein Kiel	      -   Jahn Regensburg       1:0 (1:0)    6,154
SpVgg Unterhaching    -   Stuttgarter Kickers	1:2 (1:1)    2,000
Borussia Dortmund II  -   MSV Duisburg	        1:4 (1:2)    3,109
Hansa Rostock	      -   Fortuna Köln	        4:0 (3:0)    8,000
Energie Cottbus	      -   Chemnitzer FC	        2:2 (1:1)    8,043
Dynamo Dresden	      -   Hallescher FC	        2:3 (1:2)   25,392
VfB Stuttgart II      -   Arminia Bielefeld	2:0 (2:0)    1,200 	


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A) 	30   18  5  7 	  60:33  +27 	  59 
 2  Holstein Kiel	  	30   15  10 5 	  40:19  +21 	  55
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  MSV Duisburg 	  	30   14  10 6 	  47:32  +15 	  52
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	30   14  10 6 	  49:37  +12 	  52 
 5  Preußen Münster 	  	30   14  9  7 	  45:33  +12 	  51 
 6  Energie Cottbus (A) 	30   13  9  8 	  39:34  +5 	  48 
 7  Rot-Weiß Erfurt 	  	30   13  7  10 	  41:39  +2 	  46 
 8  SV Wehen Wiesbaden 	  	30   13  6  11 	  46:34  +12 	  45 
 9  Hallescher FC 	  	30   12  7  11 	  40:40   0 	  43 
10  Dynamo Dresden (A) 	  	30   11  8  11 	  36:36   0 	  41 
11  Chemnitzer FC 	  	30   11  7  12 	  30:29  +1 	  40 
12  VfL Osnabrück 	  	30   11  6  13 	  42:47  -5 	  39 
13  Fortuna Köln (N) 	  	30   10  8  12 	  32:33  -1 	  38 
14  VfB Stuttgart II	  	30   10  7  13 	  38:44  -6 	  37 
15  Hansa Rostock 	  	30    9  7  14 	  44:55  -11 	  34 
16  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N) 30    8  9  13 	  31:51  -20 	  33 
17  SpVgg Unterhaching 	  	30    8  7  15 	  41:54  -13 	  31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N) 	30    7  8  15 	  32:45  -13 	  29 
19  Borussia Dortmund II 	30    4  14 12 	  28:41  -13 	  26 
20  Jahn Regensburg 	  	30    6  4  20 	  32:57  -25 	  22

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 25: Ingolstadt shaky?

Round 25, Mar 13-16

One thing about this season is that FC Ingolstadt has been consistently good and were riding towards the Bundesliga. The Audi backed side had built a strong lead, but it has been wittered down quite a bit, and now other clubs are within striking distance of the top spot. Karlsruhe came to town and played a clever game. They took the lead, but gave it up in injury time of the first half. In the second period FCI dominated and pressed for the lead, but KSC stood firm and then countered at the end to lay out the Schanzer with a couple of sucker punches.

The Lions still have some teeth! Well, maybe not, but 1860 found some decent denture cream and bit the Greuthers in a Bavarian derby. It really wasn’t much of a contest, as Fürth was total crap, and 1860 really just needed to convert their chances, which somehwat surprisingly they did, since they usually are also too bored to care. Both sides should be looking carefully over their shoulders, as a disastrous drop will definitely hit one “big” club, Greuther, 1860 or St.Pauli.

St.Pauli was unable to breech the disciplined FSV Frankfurt defense, and couldn’t get more than a point. The Hessians have proved to be an uncomfortable opponent for a lot of sides, and despite their tiny budget, are a solid mid-table side. The Paulistas have shown life, but they dug themselves a deep hole that is difficult to climb out of – epsecially if 1860 has indeed woken up.

Bochum showed that they can also bite. They’ve been dicking around, but this time they decided to show what they’re capable of and they ripped Heidenheim to shreds. They’re not going anywhere, but I guess you don’t want to provoke them. FCH still looks reasonbly solid to avoid getting into the relegation mire, which pretty much accomplishes their goal.

Darmstadt may actually be thinking that Bundesliga is a possibility. It could be an amazing march from oblivion into the top flight. The 98ers played their perhaps most impressive match as they assaulted visiting Union. The Berliners contributed to their demise by stupidity just before half: hospital pass, and Mohamed Amsif was forced into a late tackle, red card, penalty, game over. But Dramstadt smelled blood and furiously attacked in the 2nd period and racked up a great result.

Kaiserslautern remains in contention as the Devils downed visiting Nürnberg in a battle of giants. FCK was generally in control of the match and gets a deserved victory.

A cellar match in Aalen as VfR met Aue. And the home side easily got the win to move off the bottom. Erzgebirge was completely lame, not creating a single chance. Aalen got a couple of goals of standards and got all the points.

Braunschweig got an away win at Sandhausen, neither side too impressive. Overall, Eintracht was the better side and deserve the win, but they’ll need better efforts to climb back into the promotion race.

Total attendance 144,209 (avg 16,023), 63.7% capacity, sellout in Hamburg


SpVgg Greuther Fürth  -   1860 München	       0:3 (0:1)   13,370

                     0:1  Simon (34., Vollmann)
                     0:2  Vollmann (65., Kagelmacher)
                     0:3  Adlung (71., Bandowski)

VfL Bochum	      -   1. FC Heidenheim     4:1 (2:1)   14,639

                     1:0  Terodde (11., Sestak)
                     2:0  Sestak (20., Losilla)
                     2:1  Leipertz (41., penalty, Niederlechner)
                     3:1  Sestak (70., Terrazzino)
                     4:1  Gregoritsch (74., Eisfeld)

SV Darmstadt 98	      -   1. FC Union Berlin   5:0 (2:0)   15,000

                     1:0  Balogun (34., Ivana)
                     2:0  Bregerie (45. + 2, penalty, Sailer)
                     3:0  Ivana (56., Sailer)
                     4:0  Sulu (80., Ivana)
                     5:0  Sulu (83., Ivana)

1. FC Kaiserslautern  -   1. FC Nürnberg       2:1 (2:0)   35,830

                     1:0  Ring (15., Orban)
                     2:0  P. Hofmann (31., Löwe)
                     2:1  Schöpf (90., Mlapa)
  	  	
FC St. Pauli	      -   FSV Frankfurt	       1:1 (0:0)   22,884 *

                     1:0  Thy (46., Kalla)
                     1:1  Kauko (58., M. Engels)
 	
FC Ingolstadt 04      -   Karlsruher SC	        1:3 (1:1)   12,156

                     0:1  Gordon (33., Valentini)
                     1:1  Mo. Hartmann (45. + 2, P. Groß)
                     1:2  Hennings (82., Yamada)
                     1:3  Hennings (90. + 4, Yamada)

VfR Aalen	      -   Erzgebirge Aue	3:0 (1:0)    7,412

                     1:0  A. Hofmann (36., J. Gjasula)
                     2:0  Quaner (72., J. Gjasula)
                     3:0  Steinhöfer (88., G. Korte)

SV Sandhausen	      -   Eintr. Braunschweig   0:1 (0:0)    5,831

                     0:1  Omladic (77., direct freekick)

RasenB. Leipzig	      -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	3:1 (2:0)   17,087
 	
                     1:0  Rodnei (7., D. Kaiser)
                     2:0  Kimmich (28.)
                     2:1  Pohjanpalo (59., da Silva Pinto)
                     3:1  Poulsen (71., Damari)



 1  FC Ingolstadt 04 	  	25   13  9  3 	  40:22  +18 	  48 
 2  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	25   11  12 2 	  34:17  +17 	  45
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  1. FC Kaiserslautern 	25   12  9  4 	  34:23  +11 	  45
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Karlsruher SC 	  	25   11  10 4 	  34:19  +15 	  43 
 5  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N) 	24    9  10 6 	  29:19  +10 	  37 
 6  Eintracht Braunschweig (A) 	25   11  4  10 	  32:29  +3 	  37 
 7  Fortuna Düsseldorf 	  	24    9  9  7 	  38:35  +3 	  36 
 8  1. FC Nürnberg (A) 	  	25   10  4  11 	  30:36  -6 	  34 
 9  FSV Frankfurt 	  	25    9  6  10 	  34:39  -5 	  33 
10  VfL Bochum 	  	        25    6  14 5 	  41:38  +3 	  32 
11  1. FC Heidenheim (N)	25    8  7  10 	  34:31  +3 	  31 
12  SV Sandhausen 	  	25    8  7  10 	  23:29  -6 	  31 
13  1. FC Union Berlin 	  	25    8  7  10 	  30:42  -12 	  31 
14  SpVgg Greuther Fürth 	25    6  10 9 	  25:30  -5 	  28 
15  1860 München	  	25    6  7  12 	  34:39  -5 	  25
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  VfR Aalen 	  	        25    5  8  12 	  20:30  -10 	  23
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  FC St. Pauli	  	25    5  7  13 	  26:43  -17 	  22 
18  Erzgebirge Aue 	  	25    5  6  14 	  21:38  -17 	  21


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 25: Bad for bottom

Round 25, Mar 13-15

Not a good round for bottom dwellers, as they all got owned this weekend.

First up is the worst, Stuttgart. VfB got smashed in Leverkusen, and looked absoultely horrible. Well, technically, they looked OK, because they have these cool black jersies that I hadn’t seen before. But as far as their play, the first goal pretty much describes it. A cross came into the box, one defender tried to clear but only succeeding in kicking off his fellow defender’s face. Luckily the ball bounced out of the danger area, but two Stuttgart players just ran past the ball, so an Aspirin picked it up and knocked a long shot into the goal. Easy win for Bayer, it’s hard to imagine that Stuttgart can recover, given their chaos on the field and incompetancy in the board. (In fairness, the new leadership is cutting costs, as VfB has had a couple of terrible financial years)

Next up, Paderborn. They sucked. Frankfurt ripped them to shreds, an easy win. SCP looked like a relegation candidate, the luster of their great season start only a distant memory. The highlights of the match were another goal by Alex Meier, and a goal by Nelson Valdez, who had left the Bundesliga in 2010 after some success with Bremen and then less-success with Dortmund. The Paraguayan international had been out for 8 months with an injury, so you’d have to say it was a successful comeback.

Freiburg was worthless as Wolfsburg had no trouble. The VWs were basically attacking at will, especially Chelsea castoff Kevin de Bruyne, who is quickly becoming one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe. The Breisgauers had a few chances to draw level when the match was still open, but overall should consider themselves lucky they didn’t get a worse hiding.

Hamburg also sucked, as they were taken apart by Hoffenheim. Things were basically over when after 20 minutes GK Drobny got his ass tossed for a foul, and HSV couldn’t recover. The Hoppers took their time, but eventually wrapped things up with a scoreline that reflects their dominance.

Hertha at least got a point. The Berliners were in a difficult match with Schalke, and benefited from some weak goal-keeping by Schalke’s youngster Wellenreuther. The visitors seemed to have more of the play, but needed a last minute header by Matip to salvage a point. Overall, probably a fair result, and Hertha keeps their head above the drop zone.

Bremen deserves some kudos for attempting to slug it out with Bayern München, but all they did was receive an ass-kicking. bayern looked sharp when they needed too and mercilessly took advantage of any Werder breakdown. The host side wasn’t really to create any worthwhile chances either, so the result is predicatble.

Dortmund gave a rather listless performance against Köln. Now in earlier rounds they might have managed to lose this, so I guess you could say they’ve improved. It was the usual, they dominated possesion and created chances, but wasted them. Newcomer Deveryson especially – he had two huge chances to win. But in the end, a disappointment for the Neons, a nice point for Köln.

Gladbach dominated early against Hannover, but the 96ers had a few moments in the 2nd period as they tried to fight back. But down the stretch the hosts were superior again, and get a deserved win to maintain 3rd place.

Mainz is very unpredicatble, and this week they were spot on. Ironically, it was at Augsburg, one of the toughest road matches in the league. FSV was disciplined, and the Fuggers were basically banging their heads against the solid Mainz defensive wall. The visitors then struck on counters for a great away win.

Total attendance 391,448 (avg 43,499), 94.2% capacity, sellouts in Hoffenheim, Bremen, Dortmund

 	
Bayer 04 Leverkusen  -   VfB Stuttgart	   4:0 (2:0)   29,384

                    1:0  Wendell (32.)
                    2:0  Drmic (36., Hilbert)
                    3:0  Bellarabi (50., Castro)
                    4:0  Drmic (59., Calhanoglu)

FC Augsburg	     -   1. FSV Mainz 05   0:2 (0:1)   28,359

                    0:1  Okazaki (32., de Blasis)
                    0:2  Koo (89.)

TSG Hoffenheim	     -   Hamburger SV	   3:0 (1:0)   30,150 *

                    1:0  Polanski (22., penalty, Schipplock)
                    2:0  Polanski (81., Schwegler)
                    3:0  Rudy (87., Volland)

Hertha BSC	     -   FC Schalke 04	   2:2 (1:1)   59,156

                    1:0  Ben-Hatira (21., Stocker)
                    1:1  L. Sané (40., Huntelaar)
                    2:1  Haraguchi (81., Stocker)
                    2:2  Matip (90., Fuchs)

Werder Bremen	     -   Bayern München	   0:4 (0:2)   42,100 *

                    0:1  T. Müller (24.)
                    0:2  Alaba (45., direct freekick)
                    0:3  Lewandowski (76., . Müller)
                    0:4  Lewandowski (90. + 1, T. Müller)

Eintracht Frankfurt  -   SC Paderborn 07   4:0 (2:0)   46,000

                    1:0  Meier (27., Stendera)
                    2:0  Stendera (42., Meier)
                    3:0  Aigner (55., Inui)
                    4:0  Valdez (82., Inui)

Borussia Dortmund    -   1. FC Köln	   0:0 (0:0)   80,667 *

VfL Wolfsburg	     -   SC Freiburg	   3:0 (1:0)   26,538

                    1:0  De Bruyne (19., Rodriguez)
                    2:0  Rodriguez (78., penalty, De Bruyne)
                    3:0  Arnold (85., De Bruyne)

Bor. Mönchengladbach -   Hannover 96	   2:0 (1:0)   49,134

                    1:0  Herrmann (43., Hazard)
                    2:0  Herrmann (75., M. Kruse)
 


 1  Bayern München (M, P) 	25   20  4  1 	  70:11  +59 	  64 
 2  VfL Wolfsburg 	  	25   16  5  4 	  56:28  +28 	  53 
 3  Bor. Mönchengladbach 	25   12  8  5 	  35:20  +15 	  43 
 4  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	25   11  9  5 	  44:29  +15 	  42 
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  FC Schalke 04 	  	25   11  6  8 	  37:30  +7 	  39 
 6  FC Augsburg 	  	25   12  2  11 	  33:32  +1 	  38
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  TSG Hoffenheim 	  	25   10  6  9 	  40:38  +2 	  36 
 8  Eintracht Frankfurt 	25    9  7  9 	  48:49  -1 	  34 
 9  Werder Bremen	  	25    9  6  10 	  40:53  -13 	  33 
10  Borussia Dortmund 	  	25    8  6  11 	  31:31   0 	  30 
11  1. FSV Mainz 05 	  	25    6  11 8 	  34:35  -1 	  29 
12  1. FC Köln (N) 	  	25    7  8  10 	  25:31  -6 	  29 
13  Hannover 96 	  	25    7  6  12 	  27:39  -12 	  27 
14  Hertha BSC Berlin	  	25    7  5  13 	  30:44  -14 	  26 
15  Hamburger SV	  	25    6  7  12 	  16:36  -20 	  25
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  SC Paderborn 07 (N) 	25    5  8  12 	  23:50  -27 	  23
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SC Freiburg 	  	25    4  10 11 	  24:36  -12 	  22 
18  VfB Stuttgart 	  	25    4  8  13 	  24:45  -21 	  20


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

3.Liga, Round 29: Lots of favorites struggle

Round 29, Mar 13-14

This was not a good round for several of the favored sides that are battling for a promotion spot. Most of the chasing clubs dropped points, which allowed the leaders to open up bigger gaps at teh top. And the bottom sides are desperately fighting, all gathering results in the tough relegation battle.

Stunning scene in Osnabrück. The hosts hadn’t won in seven straight, and the visiting Kickers are battling for promotion. Perhaps VfL let all the frustration of the season out, as they seriously biatch-slapped the Stuttgarters. If the Purples had been playing like this all season – they certainly have the talent – they could have been battling for promotion.

Another favorite swallowed a bitter pill. Erfurt was flying high until they got owned by Kiel. Now they hit rock bottom as they lose at tail-end Regensburg, who already one foot and 4 toes in the Regionalliga. A bitter defeat for Erfurt, who aren’t out of the race, but they would have to climb over at least four clubs. It’s probably too late for Regensburg, as Jahn is 8 points from safety. However, I suppose a couple of quick wins could give them a chance.

Preußen Münster drops back as well, as the Eagles were held by desperate Großaspach. The Preußen can’t complain too bitterly though, as they hardly showed superiority and instead relied on a host gift to grab the lead. A valuable anti-relegation point for Sonnenhof, who float above the drop zone. The Prussians are barely holding on to the promotion playoff spot.

Cottbus has realistic promotion chances, but Energie took one in the gut as they were beaten down by Halle in an eastern derby. The visitors had the lead, but in the 2nd half HFC seized control of the match and overran the defenses of the favored side.

Perhaps they’ve completely fallen out of promotion, but you still expect a lot from Dynamo Dresden. But the easterners failed again, this time losing at Mainz-II, who are desperately fighting against relegation.

Duisburg remains hot in the race, although they weren’t overly impressive against a lame Unterhaching side. The visitors rarely ventured outside their own half, so the Zebras really just waited for a mistake to get the points. With others failing, MSV now is now the leader of the chasing pack.

So the “winners” this week were the top sides. Bielefeld had a hard time with Rostock, but the Arminen showed why they’re going up (barring a total collapse they’re through). The hosts didn’t get discouraged by the strong effort from Hansa and eventually broke through for the win.

Kiel also had a huge win, a tough battle at Wehen that their defensive prowess once again carried them through. The win gives them a point advantage over Münster, which had previously only been goal difference.

A sad day in Köln, not because Fortuna was held scoreless by Dortmund-II. Club President Klaus Ulonska died from a heart-attack prior to the match. Ulonska had basically saved the club from collapse, bringing them back to life. After many years of support under Jean Löring, who had brought Fortuna all the way to the Bundesliga, the club had basically fallen on hard times and was on the verge of going under. Ulonska was able to save them and his stewardship – without the massive money input from the Löring days – stabilized the club and sparked this mini-revival.

Total attendance 58,171 (avg 5,817), 32.8% capacity

 	
SV Wehen Wiesbaden  -  	Holstein Kiel	      0:1 (0:1)    2,688
Chemnitzer FC	    -  	VfB Stuttgart II      1:0 (0:0)    4,077
Arminia Bielefeld   -  	Hansa Rostock	      3:2 (1:1)   15,070
Fortuna Köln	    -  	Borussia Dortmund II  0:0 (0:0)    1,840
MSV Duisburg	    -  	SpVgg Unterhaching    1:0 (0:0)   11,322
VfL Osnabrück	    -  	Stuttgarter Kickers   4:1 (4:0)    8,053
Jahn Regensburg	    -  	Rot-Weiß Erfurt	      1:0 (0:0)    2,762
SG S-hof Großaspach -  	Preußen Münster	      1:1 (0:1)    1,900
1. FSV Mainz 05 II  -  	Dynamo Dresden	      1:0 (1:0)    2,433
Hallescher FC	    -  	Energie Cottbus	      3:1 (0:1)    8,026


 1  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	29   18  5  6 	  60:31  +29 	  59 
 2  Holstein Kiel	  	29   14  10 5 	  39:19  +20 	  52
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 3  Preußen Münster 	  	29   14  8  7 	  44:32  +12 	  50
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 4  MSV Duisburg	  	29   13  10 6 	  43:31  +12 	  49 
 5  Stuttgarter Kickers 	29   13  10 6 	  47:36  +11 	  49 
 6  Energie Cottbus (A) 	29   13  8  8 	  37:32  +5 	  47 
 7  Rot-Weiß Erfurt 	  	29   13  7  9 	  41:38  +3 	  46 
 8  SV Wehen Wiesbaden 	  	29   12  6  11 	  44:34  +10 	  42 
 9  Dynamo Dresden (A) 	  	29   11  8  10 	  34:33  +1 	  41 
10  Hallescher FC 	  	29   11  7  11 	  37:38  -1 	  40 
11  Chemnitzer FC 	  	29   11  6  12 	  28:27  +1 	  39 
12  VfL Osnabrück 	  	29   11  6  12 	  42:45  -3 	  39 
13  Fortuna Köln (N) 	  	29   10  8  11 	  32:29  +3 	  38 
14  VfB Stuttgart II 	  	29    9  7  13 	  36:44  -8 	  34 
15  SpVgg Unterhaching 	  	29    8  7  14 	  40:52  -12 	  31 
16  Hansa Rostock 	  	29    8  7  14 	  40:55  -15 	  31 
17  SG Sonnenhof Großaspach (N) 29    7  9  13 	  30:51  -21 	  30
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18  1. FSV Mainz 05 II (N) 	29    7  7  15 	  31:44  -13 	  28 
19  Borussia Dortmund II 	29    4  14 11 	  27:37  -10 	  26 
20  Jahn Regensburg 	  	29    6  4  19 	  32:56  -24 	  22


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