It is not just the Bundesliga title race that is hotting up in Germany at the moment with the 2.Bundesliga also providing plenty of excitement, drama and talking points as we enter the closing stages of the season. Hamburg continue to wobble, while Darmstadt failed to extend their lead at the top with defeat at Fortuna Düsseldorf. St. Pauli’s amazing winning run came to a halt, while bottom club Sandhausen showed they are not giving up the fight against the drop just yet.
Greuther Fürth 2-1 Jahn Regensburg
Two second half goals in the space of 11 minutes turned the game for Fürth and saw them come from behind to beat Regensburg on Friday night as matchday 28 kicked off.
A goal from Prince Osei Owusu on the counter-attack saw the visitors take the lead three minutes into the second half, but that seemed to sting the Kleeblätter into action. They levelled things via the penalty spot in the 66th minute with Julian Green profiting from Leon Guwara’s handball. Substitute Dickson Abiama curled home a left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 78th minute to take all three points.
Hannover 0-3 Heidenheim
Jan-Niklas Beste inspired Heidenheim to a big win away at Hannover, which saw them move back into the top two again in place of Hamburg. An inspired 15 minute period at the end of the first half put the visitors in firm control with three unanswered goals.
Beste scored the opener on 30 minutes when he lashed home a half-volley after Hannover had failed to clear their lines. Four minutes later he picked out Tim Kleindienst with a precise throughball and the striker clipped it past the outrushing Ron-Robert Zieler.
The third goal arrived deep into first half stoppage time when Denis Thomalla headed home Beste’s left-wing corner. Kevin Müller missed an 82nd minute penalty for Hannover to cap a miserable afternoon for the home side.
Paderborn 3-0 Hansa Rostock
Replacing trainer Patrick Glöckner has not had the desired effect for Hansa Rostock as they lost their third match in a row under new coach Alois Schwartz (their seventh in their last eight). After going down to ten men following the 27th minute red card to Lukas Scherff, they were doomed and Paderborn kept up their push for a top finish with three second half goals.
Maximilian Rohr broke the deadlock three minutes after the interval and Florent Muslija made sure of the points with a second on 78 minutes. Insult was added to injury with a third goal via Felix Platte three minutes from time.
Rostock are now just one point off the bottom, while Paderborn move up to fifth in the table.
Holstein Kiel 2-1 Nürnberg
An intensive match which saw nine yellow cards and one red saw hosts Kiel emerge victorious. First half goals from Steven Skrzybski and Fabian Reese put Marcel Rapp’s side in control, but a second half headed goal from Felix Lohkemper kept it interesting.
As the tackles flew and the yellow card was flashed, Nürnberg were reduced to ten men when Jens Castrop was sent off in the 74th minute for a professional foul on Reese as the Kiel player raced through clear on goal. The win sees Kiel hit the 40-point mark and they will consider themselves safe from the relegation fight now.
Magdeburg 1-2 Sandhausen
Two goals from Dario Dumic helped secure a much-needed win for Sandhausen away at Magdeburg and although they remain bottom of the table, the result shows that they are still in the fight.
The Bosnian’s first goals of the season (both via set-pieces) came in either half at the MDCC Arena and despite a late, stunning consolation from Cristiano Piccini, the visitors hung on for the win.
Kaiserslautern 2-0 Hamburg
The big match on Saturday evening saw a massive sold-out crowd of 49,327 at the Fritz Walter Stadion and they witnessed Kaiserslautern put another big dent in Hamburg’s promotion bid with a 2-0 win.
Goals from Terrence Boyd (78) and Aaron Opoku (85) decides the match in the Red Devils favour and saw HSV miss the opportunity to reclaim second spot in the table following Heidenheim’s win at Hannover.
The Rothosen had more possession, but failed to create enough chances and an improved second half display from Kaiserslautern saw them deservedly take all three points.
St. Pauli 1-2 Eintracht Braunschweig
St. Pauli’s ten game winning streak was brought to an abrupt halt at home to Eintracht Braunschweig in a surprising turn of events. A shock goal after just 40 seconds from Maurice Multhaup put the visitors into a very early lead and they added to their tally in the 25th minute when Manuel Wintzheimer scored on the counter with the hosts piling on the pressure.
Despite their dominance the visitors always looked dangerous on the counter and in the 82nd minute VAR was not the friend of the Millerntor when it denied the home side a handball penalty. Jakov Medic did pull one back late on, but Braunschweig held on for a big win that prevented the Hamburg side moving to within three points of city rivals HSV.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-0 Darmstadt
Darmstadt missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table on Sunday with a 1-0 defeat away to Fortuna Düsseldorf. A solitary goal from Emmanuel Ihoya in the 51st minute saw the hosts extend their own run to seven games undefeated and sees them leapfrog St. Pauli into fourth place on goal difference.
Karlsruher SC 4-2 Arminia Bielefeld
A crazy game at the BBBank Wildpark saw Karlsruhe down Bielefeld 4-2 with five goals in the last 30 minutes. Robin Hack’s 9th minute penalty saw the visitors go in at the break 1-0 up, but the scoring was to take off in the second 45 minutes.
Simone Rapp’s header equalised on 63 minutes before a penalty dispatched by Marvin Wanitzek put the hosts in front. A third home goal via Mikkel Kaufmann looked to have sealed the win on 75 minutes only for French striker Bryan Lasme to make it 3-2 five minutes later.
The result however was settled in the 83rd minute with Wanitzek scoring his second of the afternoon and his tenth of the season.