The 2.Bundesliga kicked off last weekend and it didn’t disappoint, every game was tightly contested and the attendance record for the first weekend was smashed, 228,928 fans went to games last weekend. We had a couple of fantastic games to start and finish the weekend, Fortuna Düsseldorf and Eintracht Braunschweig started the new season off with an entertaining 2-2 draw and to finish the first game week we had a thrilling game between Kaiserslautern and 1860 Munich. So what will week two bring?
Friday: VfR Aalen vs St. Pauli.
This week we’ve been gifted with three Friday night games, the first of which sees Aalen host St. Pauli. Aalen started their season with a goalless draw with newly promoted RB Leipzig, they should’ve gone behind in the early stages of the game, but were fortunate RB Leipzig didn’t have their scoring boots on. Aalen however did have the best chance of the game, a quick counter attack resulted in Michael Klauss’ header striking the post after a perfectly weighted cross from Dominick Drexler. Despite heavy pressure from RB Leipzig they were able to stay strong at back and hold out for the draw, you can expected a similar performance when St. Pauli come to town.
Like their hosts St. Pauli also drew their first game of the season, they were held to a 1-1 draw against Ingolstadt. St. Pauli found themselves behind just before the break when Alfredo Morales brilliantly headed in Pascal Groß’ freekick. The Hamburg club levelled things in fantastic fashion, a delightful team move was rifled in by Sören Gonther. St. Pauli almost fell behind straight after levelling things, a long pass forward saw Philipp Tschauner beaten to the ball, the keeper went down and Ingolstadt were denied by a Lasse Sobiech block. St. Pauli will be looking to build on their opening day draw and they’ll be boosted by the signing of 23-year-old attacker Ante Budimir, the Croatian completed his move from Lokomotiva Zagreb on Monday.
FSV Frankfurt vs Karlsruher SC.
Playing at the same time as Aalen and St. Pauli we have FSV Frankfurt vs Karlsruher. FSV Frankfurt have been tipped to struggle at the bottom end of the table this season and things certainly didn’t go to plan for club as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of newly promoted Heidenheim. FSV Frankfurt took an early lead against Heidenheim, Björn Schlicke pounced on a rebound after a cruel bounce saw Jan Zimmermann failing to catch the ball. Things went wrong after that, just before the break Heidenheim levelled through Marc Schnatterer and then six minutes from time Heidenheim scored a winner, Patrick Mayer turned his marker to slot the ball past Patric Klandt. Missing the game against Karlsruher are Manuel Konrad who was sent off against Heidenheim, Joan Oumari, Faton Toski, Chhunly Pagenburg and Mohamed Amine Aoudia are all still out injured.
Unlike their hosts Karlsruher were able to avoid defeat in the opening weekend, they were up against Union Berlin and it ended up being the second and last goalless draw of the weekend. They felt robbed last weekend after having a penalty appeal turned down, Manuel Torres’ cross struck the hand of Toni Leistner. Karlsruher were having the better of possession and chances, but they’ll be disappointed they didn’t make the most of it. Plenty of efforts went narrowly wide and it was centre back Jan Mauersberger that went closest, his header from a corner hit the top of the crossbar. Karlsruher could welcome back Rouwen Hennings this weekend, the attacker resumed training this week and trained well. There’s question marks over fitness of Jung-Bin Park (bruised thigh) and Koen van der Biezen (thigh).
Union Berlin vs Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Union Berlin started their campaign with a tricky away tie against Karlsruher and they didn’t have the best of times, they didn’t see a lot of the ball and not too many chances fell their way. Despite their struggles the Berlin side managed to hold out for a goalless draw. Things don’t get any easier for Union as they welcome Fortuna Düsseldorf to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei for Friday’s evening game. Union are still without Oliver Oschkenat and Tugay Uzan, both suffering with long term injuries, Friday’s game is too soon for Michael Parensen, the midfielder has just returned from injury and will most likely play for the U23’s on Sunday.
Fortuna Düsseldorf hosted the first game of the new season and it was a very entertaining draw. They started brilliantly and took the lead after a fantastic strike from Michael Liendl, it was a strike they deserved after an impressive first half performance. The second half was a different story, Fortuna didn’t play well and they were rightly punished. In the 60th minute Ken Reichel volleyed a cross back across goal to level things, Fortuna then regained the lead five minutes later Erwin Hoffer provided for Charlison Benschop to slot into the corner. Braunschweig managed to level things with a late goal from Håvard Nielsen. The only player that won’t be making this weekend’s squad is Axel Bellinghausen.
Saturday: Eintracht Braunschweig vs Heidenheim.
Eintracht Braunschweig will be pleased with a draw against tough opponents Fortuna Düsseldorf last weekend, however they would certainly feel luck wasn’t on their side. They were denied two penalties and they lost Jan Hochscheidt through injury just ten minutes into the game, he’ll miss Saturday’s game. The home side will be the favourites in this clash against newly promoted Heidenheim.
Heidenheim started their 2.Bundesliga challenge in the perfect way, a home victory against FSV Frankfurt. Heidenheim were able to comeback from behind to win 2-1, the first saw Marc Schnatterer slotting in Florian Niederlechner’s pull back. The winner came late on, as previously mentioned Patrick Mayer turned his marker to slot the ball past Patric Klandt. Eintracht will provide a much tougher test than FSV Frankfurt, this weekend’s game will give us some indication on how Heidenheim will fair against sides battling at the top.
Erzgebirge Aue vs VfL Bochum.
Aue were handed a very tough task of welcoming former Bundesliga side Nürnberg to the 2.Bundesliga. Despite making life hard for Nürnberg, they were finally undone in the 60th minute, former player Jakub Sylvestr was played through on goal and successfully slotted past Martin Männel.
Bochum also had a tough start to the season, they were against last season’s third place side Greuther Fürth. They played well and enjoyed more of possession, in the 15th minute they took the through new boy Simon Terodde, he finished at the near post after Zsolt Korcsmár was robbed at the back, Fürth felt it was foul and they had a good case. The lead didn’t last long, three minutes in fact. A shocking back pass from Stefano Celozzi allowed Kacper Przybyłko to dink past Andreas Luthe. This should be an interesting encounter which should see Bochum have the edge over their hosts.
Sunday: Ingolstadt vs Darmstadt.
The home side started their season with a trip to Hamburg to face St. Pauli and despite taking the lead the Bavarian side failed to make the most of it. Although a draw away to St. Pauli is hardly a bad thing they would’ve liked to have built on Alfredo Morales header. There’s been no fresh injury concerns for Ingolstadt.
In an evenly fought game against Sandhausen, Darmstadt were able to get the victory thanks to a first half penalty from Dominik Stroh-Engel. The spot kick was given after Timo Achenbach handled the ball on the line. On paper this should be a home win for Ingolstadt, however last weekend Darmstadt certainly showed they can compete in the 2.Bundesliga.
1860 Munich vs RB Leipzig.
The Munich side will be hugely disappointed with their loss to Kaisersalutern on Monday night, after Kaiserslautern went down to ten men 1860 charged into a 2-0, two goals from new man Rubin Rafael Okotie set them up for a victory. Despite their man advantage 1860 were a different side after the break, two quick goals from Srđan Lakić levelled things and then with ten minutes remaining Phillip Hofmann came on to score the winner. After the 90 minutes were up 1860 and their fans were left wondering what had happened in the second half. 1860 now face RB Leipzig who’ll be a tricky opposition.
RB Leipzig struggled to hit the target in their last game against Aalen, the newly promoted side are predicted to finish at the top end of the table, however they may struggle for goals until Terrence Boyd comes back from injury in October. RB Leipzig will hope they can find their scoring boots against 1860, they only managed four shots on target and twelve were wide.
Sandhausen vs Kaiserslautern.
Sandhausen will be disappointed with a defeat last weekend, they would’ve liked to have gone into this game with a win under their belt. It wasn’t to be for Sandhausen after Timo Achenbach’s handball proved costly for his side, he’ll be missing this game through suspension. Daniel Schulz and Nicky Adler could return to the side this weekend.
Kaiserslautern go into the game with plenty of confidence after coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with ten men. Goalkeeper Tobias Sippel will be missing the game after making a save well outside his area. Many consider Kaiserslautern as title contenders and should be winning on Sunday.
Monday: Greuther Fürth vs Nürnberg.
The game of the weekend sees Fürth take on Nürnberg. The hosts on Monday night drew their first game of the season and they will feel luck wasn’t on their side after it looked like Zsolt Korcsmár was fouled for Bochum’s goal. However they were soon gifted an equaliser when Stefano Celozzi’s back pass saw Kacper Przybyłko pounce to get his side a point. Sad news this week as Fürth’s Ilir Azemi was involved in a bad car accident on Wednesday, the striker is currently in hospital after suffering multiple broken bones. Fürth will hope to give Azemi three points for his get well present.
Nürnberg started the season with a 1-0 victory over Aue, new signing Jakub Sylvestr was able to get on the scoresheet against his former side. Nürnberg will be without Jan Polak until the start of September, he suffered a fractured rib in the game against Aue. There’s no new injuries for Nürnberg and this game is set up to be a cracking contest.
Article for VAVEL.