1. FC Heidenheim 1-0 MSV Duisburg: Super Skarke strike snatches victory for Heidenheim

Heidenheim hosted bottom side MSV Duisburg this Sunday afternoon and the club in eighth place had a great chance to move up as high as third place place providing results went their way.

It’s been a miserable season so far for MSV Duisburg who aren’t enjoying their return to the 2.Bundesliga. However they go into this match on the back of their first win of the season after defeating Paderborn. The home side also won last time out so everything was in place for this to be an entertaining encounter.

The first effort on goal came in the seventh minute, Ben Halloran burst down the right and after knocking the ball past Branimir Bajić the Bosnian brought him down just outside the area. From the acute angle Arne Feick whipped in a great freekick which forced Michael Ratajczak to punch the ball clear.

Heidenheim were firmly on top in the opening stages as their visitors struggled to deal with their attacking power. Ratajczak’s fists were once again needed when Marc Schnatterer put a freekick into the middle of the area, the punch wasn’t as good this time as the ball struck the back of Kingsley Onuegbu and just wide of the Duisburg goal.

Duisburg continued to struggle dealing with Heidenheim’s set pieces and from a corner they managed to deny the hosts on three occasions all chances fell to Kevin Kraus who couldn’t fire his effort’s past the flying bodies.

Schnatterer as usual was the main creator and caused the most problem’s and just before the twenty minute mark he was at it again, bursting forward before sliding the ball to his left to Andreas Voglsammer, the striker took his chance first time and fired across goal and wide.

That pair linked up once again shortly after as Schnatterer fed through Voglsammer perfectly and the striker was clear. One-on-one with the keeper and his effort was brilliantly saved by Ratajczak, the keeper stuck out his foot and got the slightest of touches, the referee decided he didn’t get a touch and awarded a goal kick. The first golden chance of the game wasted by Heidenheim who were looking like the only side to get a goal.

Duisburg started to show signs of life after that chance, however their attacks failed to produce anything more than crosses that were easily dealt with and efforts from long range. One positive for the away side was that Heidenheim struggled to regain their composure and cause the problems they did in the first half hour of the game.

The first real chance of the second half went to the home side, Robert Leipertz who marched into the area and went for goal despite Tim Skarke being in loads of space, Thomas Meißner managed to block to deny Leipertz.

Duisburg were much better attacking wise than in the first and Dennis Grote had two fantastic chances to grab the lead for his team. The first was from a corner, it was flicked on and Grote had plenty of space at the back post, unfortunately he blasted his effort well over. Moments later he was played through and Jan Zimmermann was there to make a great save to his left to deny Grote.

Zimmermann was called into action shortly after as Onuegbu managed to keep possession just wide of the goal and from six yards out Zimmermann managed to deny him and the ball rolled across the face of the goal and cleared to safety.

Duisburg had another glorious chance as both strikers linked up well, Victor Obinna played the ball over the top to Onuegbu and his fellow Nigerian shot wide on the stretch, a left footed effort was probably the better option.

Seven minutes from time and the deadlock was broken, Leipertz came in from the right and played the ball across to half time substitute Skarke and youngster unleashed a great effort which flew into the top corner and out of Ratajczak’s reach. It was the youngster’s first ever goal for Heidenheim and not many in his career will be as important, there were fantastic celebrations as well with every player and staff joining in.

That proved to be the end of the action and Heidenheim grabbed all three points, Duisburg will be disappointed after a much better performance in the second half, both side’s should’ve scored more and both had golden chances which were wasted. Despite a poorer second half Heidenheim just about edged the match, a draw may have been more fair but the Heidenheim fans won’t be complaining tonight.

Up next for Heidenheim they travel to Eintracht Braunschweig, they suffered a 2-0 loss to Paderborn this weekend. As for MSV Duisburg they’ll be looking to pick themselves up for the visit of Nürnberg.

Today’s win has lifted Heidenheim into fourth place, while Duisburg stay bottom of the table and they’ll be hoping 1860 Munich don’t win tomorrow night and stay within a point away.

Article for VAVEL Bundesliga.

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