If the opening weekend of this seasons 2.Bundesliga is anything to go by, then the German second tier is only going to add to its reputation as one of the most entertaining, thrilling, and open leagues around. Friday night’s opener between heavyweights Hamburg was a real cracker, while the rest of the weekend action also provided plenty of thrills and spills. Here’s a round-up of the matchday 1 action…
Hamburger SV 5-3 Schalke
The battle of the ‘Big Two’ at the Volksparkstadion on Friday certainly was the ideal opener to the new season with an eight-goal thriller that had literally everything. The stadium was unsurprisingly a 57,000 sell-out and in fine voice. Robert Glatzel got the hosts off to the ideal start with a goal on 17 minutes to finish a flowing move. Five minutes later Schalke were level with 17-year-old debutant Forzan Ouedraogo firing in with confidence.
The chances kept coming, but it was the visitors who snatched a goal right on the stroke of half time with defender Thomas Ouwejan firing home after a fine attacking run from Ouedraogo. By the time the game hit the hour mark, HSV were back in front at 3-2. First Laszlo Benes fired home from the penalty spot after Ibrahima Cissé fouled Glatzel. Five minutes later the Slovakian put the finishing touch to a swift counter attack to restore the Rothosen’s lead.
The Königsblauen were not done though with Simon Terodde adding to his reputation as a 2.Bundesliga hotshot with an equaliser on 66 minutes. Cissé was sent off on 71 minutes after a clumsy foul before HSV had two goals disallowed for offside. As the game entered seven minutes of stoppage time Glatzel produced a fine finish after rounding the keeper to put Tim Walter’s side back in control. The with Schalke pushing everyone one including keeper Marius Müller forward for a late corner, Hamburg countered and added a fifth goal into the empty net through Jean-Luc Dompé.
Kaiserslautern 1-2 St. Pauli
St. Pauli made it a perfect weekend for the Hamburg sides as they edged Kaiserslautern 2-1 at the Betzenberg on Saturday. Second half goals from Elias Saad and Marcel Hartel (penalty) came either side of an equaliser from substitute Ragnar Ache on his debut for the club. The Kiezkicker were the more ambitious side throughout the encounter and deservedly left with all three points.
Hannover 2-2 SV Elversberg
Newcomers Elversberg started life in the second tier by sharing the points with Hannover at the Heinz von Heiden Arena. There were no signs of nerves as the minnows took a 2-0 first half lead following goals from Marcel Correia and Wagid Faghir. The Niedersachsen hosts did however pull a goal back before the interval via Cedric Teuchert’s penalty. 18-year-old striker Nicolo Tresoldi, who had come on as a substitute in the first half for the injured Harvard Nielsen, grabbed the equaliser nine minutes into the second period with his first 2.Bundesliga goal for the club.
VfL Osnabrück 2-3 Karlsruhe
Life in the second tier began with a home defeat for VfL Osnabrück as they went down 3-2 to Karlsruher SC at the Bremer Brücke. A second minute goal from KSC’s Marvin Wanitzek was far from the ideal start, but the home side rallied to equalise through Erik Engelhardt in the 13th minute. The visitors restored their advantage before half time with Wanitzek grabbing a second.
Robert Tesche headed home a second equaliser on 71 minutes, but there was to be late drama to deny the home side a share of the spoils. Substitute Dzenis Burnic rifled home a long-range effort in the 87th minute on his debut for the club. There was however still time for defender Bashkim Ajdini to be sent-off late on for the hosts following a second yellow card.
SV Wehen Wiesbaden 1-1 Magdeburg
The third promoted side Wiesbaden managed to secure a point in their opening match at home to FC Magdeburg, and did so after coming from a goal down and with a man less. Luca Schuler put the visitors in front on the half hour mark and the hosts were then reduced to ten men when Aleksandar Vukotic saw two yellow cards in the space of six minutes at the start of the second period.
However, a headed goal from Ivan Prtajin in the 62nd minute got Markus Kauczinski’s side back on level terms and ensured they started life in the league by avoiding defeat.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-0 Hertha Berlin
If Hertha thought things couldn’t get any worse following their relegation last season, they were wrong as life in the second tier began with defeat away to Fortuna Düsseldorf. Shorn of their big names from last season, Pal Dardai’s side succumbed to a solitary goal from Daniel Ginczek at the start of the second 45 minutes. Hertha, playing without a shirt sponsor, offered too little going forward and they will need to improve a lot if they are to compete with the likes of Hamburg and Schalke.
Fürth 5-0 Paderborn
The Kleeblätter turned last season’s form table upside down with a comprehensive 5-0 win over SC Paderborn on Sunday. The eighth minute sending off of Paderborn defender Visar Musliu had an impact, but the hosts made the most of their advantage. Two goals from Branimir Hrgota and one from Tim Limperle gave the hosts a 3-0 half time lead and there was more to come in the second period.
Armindo Sieb added a fourth on 65 minutes and Damian Michalski headed in a fifth on 77 minutes to cap a fine win.
Hansa Rostock 2-0 FC Nürnberg
Two goals either side of half time saw Rostock beat Nürnberg to open their season with three points and end a long run of negative results against der Klub. John-Patrick Strauß scored three minutes before the interval and Nils Fröling doubled their lead two minutes after the restart.
Eintracht Braunschweig 0-1 Holstein Kiel
A late stoppage time winner from Icelandic striker Holmbert Aron Fridjonsson saw Holstein Kiel emerge victorious from their trip to face Eintracht Braunschweig. The home side had defender Hasan Kurucay sent off at the start of the second period to give themselves an uphill task.