Delight for Darmstadt as they managed to see off the challenge of Sandhausen thanks to a late strike from Hanno Behrens. Despite having the more of possession Darmstadt were left sweating after Aziz Bouhaddouz’s struck an equaliser after Manuel Stiefler’s own goal.
The hosts Sandhausen went into the game with confidence as they’ve started to pick up points, in seven games they’ve only lost once, unfortunately that run has only seen two wins. The last two matches has seen them hold Bochum to a draw and they impressively defeated Fortuna Düsseldorf. As for Darmstadt they also go into the game in good form, the newboy’s have been a breath of fresh air to the league and are eight games unbeaten.
After some wide efforts early on in the game, Darmstadt took the lead on the fifteen mark. Marcel Heller broke down the right side and after beating Stefan Kulovits his low cross was kicked away from Milan Ivana by Manuel Riemann, Stiefler found himself in the unlucky situation of scoring an own goal as Riemann’s kick away struck Stiefler from close range.
Darmstadt were having the better of possession and enjoying the ball in wide positions and they came close to a second after the half hour mark. Ivana cut in from the right and his effort was palmed away by Riemann. They came close again from a corner shortly after, Leon Balogun’s header forced Riemann into action and the Sandhausen keeper was able to push the effort onto the post. The away side dominated the first half and they would’ve been pleased with their lead at half time.
The early stages of the second half continued in the same fashion, however it was Sandhausen that grabbed the next goal. As the game ticked over the hour mark Sandhausen won a corner, the corner was excellently delivered by Moritz Kuhn and the stretching Seyi Olajengbesi was able to head the ball towards goal, this allowed a free Bouhaddouz to head home.
Four minutes from time Darmstadt grabbed the all important winner. Marco Sailer broke down the left, his cross was cleared only to Dominik Stroh-Engel, the big striker brought the ball down with his chest and laid the ball off to Behrens, the midfielder’s shot looped into the top corner leaving Riemann rooted to the spot.
Despite the efforts of Sandhausen it was a deserved victory for Darmstadt. Die Liliens now move up into 2nd place as they extend their unbeaten run to nine games. Up next for Darmstadt they host top of the table Ingolstadt, who are currently seven points ahead of Darmstadt. Sandhausen are now in 14th place after that loss, they next face Kaiserslautern in the last match day before the winter break.
Article for VAVEL.