Holstein Kiel 0-0 1860 München: Still all to play for in the 3.Liga/2.Bundesliga Play Off

Last season the play-off between the 3.Liga and 2.Bundesliga team’s provided football fan’s with a tremendous tie and could arguably be the best tie the play-off has seen. On that occasion it was 3.Liga side Darmstadt that caused an upset and they’ve gone on to achieve great thing’s. This season it’s Holstein Kiel’s turn to cause an upset as they first welcome 1860 Munich.

Holstein Kiel weren’t too far off the two promoted side’s, last season’s play-off loser’s Arminia Bielefeld came top with 74 points and MSV Duisburg finished second with 71 points. Kiel finished on 67 points and things could’ve been different had they not lost their last two matches of the season. Kiel’s raise this season has been a terrific one and largely similar to Darmstadt’s, last season Kiel finsihed near the bottom in 16th place and a season later they’ve finished third. The key performer for Kiel has been Marc Heider for a number of year’s, since joining from Werder Bremen the striker has scored 69 goal’s in six season’s. This season Heider has scored twelve goal’s and will be Kiel’s danger man.

As for 1860 they’ll be fighting for another season in the 2.Bundesliga, it’s been a frustrating season for the Munich club. It’s the first time they’ve failed to finish in the top half since the 2008/09 season. They are lucky to even be in this position as well, Erzgebirge Aue finished on the same amount of point’s 1860 and went down on goal difference. 1860 also have Rubin Okotie to thank for this chance, the Austrian has been in good goalscoring form this season and finished among the top scorer’s with thirteen goal’s in the league. 1860’s problem hasn’t been scoring, it’s been the goal’s going in at the other end.

The visitor’s started the game a bit nervously, however they quickly settled and managed to produce a few half chance’s. Okotie managed to produce an effort on the turn, but he could only fire wide. Valdet Rama shot wide from just outside the area. Toward’s the end of the half Rama linked up with Okotie and his low shot from the edge of the area saw Kenneth Kronholm get down well to parry it to safety.

Kiel mustered up a couple of chances before the break, first up the home crowd saw Tim Siedschlag pick out Manuel Schäffler with his cross from the right. Unfortunately for the host’s Schäffler’s effort was deflected out for a corner by Christopher Schindler. From the resulting corner Rafael Kazior’s delivery picked out Schäffler and his header at the front post narrowly went over.

The second half went the same way as the first, a tight battle with only a few effort’s that caused problem’s. The host’s were more impressive and more adventurous going forward, whereas 1860 favoured the counter attacking approach.

Almost ten thousand turned out for this game and it was a very tight match up and both team’s had their chances. With no goal’s scored in the first leg this tie can still go either way and the second leg will be an interesting one and we can all hope that 1860 have something close to the 68,500 attendance they had in their last home game of the season.

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