Darmstadt raise to the challenge to see off promotion contenders Karlsruher and edge even closer to the Bundesliga dream.
The game of the weekend, perhaps the season was on display on Monday night and with the chance of reaching the Bundesliga at stake the pressure on both team’s was huge, especially considering that these two were playing third tier football not too long ago, Darmstadt last season and Karlsruher in 2012/2013.
Darmstadt started the game the better of the two team’s, despite that it was the home side that had the first real chance of the game. After their first attack of the game Karlsruher won a corner, Enrico Valentini whipped it into the area and Daniel Gordon raise the highest to meet the cross. From twelve yard’s out the defender produced a fantastic header and he was unlucky to see his effort cannon off the bar.
Even though the host’s created that early chance they struggled to build on it as Darmstadt continued to apply the early pressure. They were winning the battle and forced a few corner’s and freekick’s, which unfortunately for them they couldn’t make the most of those set pieces.
Karlsruher looked content with waiting for the chance to counter attack, after the fifteen minute mark they warmed into the game more and looked more threatening. Despite both team’s effort’s there weren’t a huge amount of chance’s as both defended well.
Another Karlsruher chance came from a set piece, this time from a long range freekick. Valentini was the taker once more and Manuel Gulde managed to meet the delivery, however he couldn’t find the target.
The last chance of the half fell to Darmstadt and it would’ve seen them take the lead had it not been for some outstanding goalkeeping. Fabian Holland played in Jérôme Gondorf, his cross picked out Marco Sailer and the attacker managed to direct the ball towards goal and Dirk Orlishausen reacted brilliantly to save.
Both team’s were having most of their success down the wing’s Valentini for the host’s and Marcel Heller for the visitor’s. Despite their successes down the wing’s, both team’s continued to cancel each other out. Until the 66th minute when Darmstadt took the lead in tremendous fashion. Romain Brégerie cleared a Karlsruher corner and it fell perfectly to Heller, the winger flew down the wing and left everybody eating his dust. After bursting into the box he showed composure to cut the ball back to Tobias Kempe, who calmly slotted into the Karlsruher goal.
After the goal Karlsruher showed much more intensity and attacked with much more pace. Christian Mathenia had to be alert when Philipp Max whipped in a great cross, the Darmstadt keeper flew out of his goal to punch clear.
Mathenia was at his best once again moment’s later, Dimitrij Nazarov shot from range and it was sneaking into the bottom corner when Mathenia leapt across goal to flick the shot out for a corner.
The host’s believed they should’ve had a penalty when the ball was delivered into the box and a tangle between Brégerie and Rouwen Hennings saw them both fall to the ground and nothing was given.
After late pressure and some good save’s from Mathenia, Darmstadt hung on to seal a terrific victory and give them the advantage going into the two game’s of the season. Bundesliga football on the horizon?
Up next Darmstadt they travel too face Greuther Fürth as they look to build on this victory. As for Karlsruher they’ll be hoping Darmstadt will slip up when they face Eintracht Braunschweig. Darmstadt are up to second all on their own, while Karlsruher stay in fourth.