Sandhausen put in a great performance to dampen the spirits of Braunschweig as they surprised all in coming out 3-1 winners.
There’s plenty of debuts handed out over the course of the opening weekend and in this meeting between Braunschweig and Sandhausen there were five player’s making their competitive debuts. For the host’s they gave Philemon Ofosu-Ayeh, Patrick Schönfeld and Adam Matuszczyk starts, while for Sandhausen they gave debuts to Jakub Kosecki and Philipp Klingmann.
The opening twenty minutes didn’t produce many chances as Sandhausen were tactically spot on and defended well as they frustrated Braunschweig with the lack of space. Unfortunately their attacking play needed some work as they left Aziz Bouhaddouz often unsupported.
Braunschweig dominated the early stages of the game however they perhaps should’ve been trailing just before the twenty minute mark as some lovely play resulted in Klingmann being brought down by the foot of Marcel Correia, fortunately the referee decided to wave play on.
That moment seemed to give Sandhausen a lift and they started to come out on top, however they quickly found themselves going behind. A quick counter attack saw Mirko Boland play the ball down the line into Jan Hochscheidt’s path, who cut inside with pace and left Tim Kister on the floor and from a tight angle he managed to guide his shot past Marco Knaller and into the far bottom corner.
Sandhausen bounced back instantly, two minutes later Leart Paqarada whipped in a long range freekick and Florian Hübner drifted into the six yard box unmarked and headed into the bottom corner.
With his team trialling Schönfeld had space to try his luck from range and it almost paid off as Knaller got the slightest of touches to the low effort to deny him a debut goal.
A few minutes before half time Sandhausen grabbed the lead, a defensive header came out to the free Andrew Wooten, who produced a lovely roll to the side to avoid a challenge and fire a great shot into the top left corner.
During the break Braunschweig announced the signing of Swedish centre back Joseph Baffo, the youngster has been signed from Halmstads BK.
Chances weren’t coming often in this game as Sandhausen continued to defend well and look for the counter attack. Braunschweig were left frustrated and after the hour mark Sandhausen increased their lead over them. It was very similar to the away side’s first goal, Boland was penalised for a handball and Paqaeada’s freekick was sent deep into the box and Bouhaddouz was there to head in past Rafal Gikiewicz.
Bouhaddouz had a good chance to make it 4-1 however he couldn’t guide the ball past Gikiewicz after being played through, the Braunschweig keeper making a good stop.
With five minutes remaining and time running out Boland had a go from range and his low powerful effort was spilled by Knaller and luckily for the guests he managed to pounce on the loose ball before Julius Düker.
This was not how Braunschweig pictured their first game of the new season with Sandhausen surprising everyone and comfortably defeating their hosts. It was a deserved victory and only time will tell if Sandhausen will continue to raise eyebrows or meet expectations of relegation battlers. Braunschweig showed a couple of glimpses of quality, however they need plenty of improvement if their to match their aim of promotion.
Things don’t get easier for Braunschweig as next week they travel to a Kaiserslautern side that were very impressive against MSV Duisburg on Friday night. As for Sandhausen they’ll be hoping to show this wasn’t a one off performance as they face a much improved Union Berlin side.