Darmstadt consoldated top spot in Bundesliga 2 after scraping a win over 10-man Hannover.
Darmstadt 1-0 Hannover
Goals: 1-0 Mehlem 63'
Red card: Neumann 30'
Darmstadt signalled their intentions as Tobias Kempe shot wide from distance and Oscar Vilhelmsson fired into the side netting in the early stages. Hannover could and possibly should have taked the lead with their first meaningful attempt, but Marcel Schuhen prevailed in the one-on-one to deny Havard Nielsen. Braydon Manu volleyed over and Phillip Tietz had a thunderous strike ruled out by the VAR in an end-to-end encounter that swung the way of Darmstadt on the half-hour. Phil Neumann raised an arm to block Jannik Müller's goal-bound shot, with the Hannover defender sent off following a VAR review. However, Ron-Robert Zieler guessed right to save Kempe's ensuing penalty.
It was backs to the wall for Hannover in the second half as Vilhelmsson fired over from just inside the box. Fabian Holland crashed over another warning shot, before Darmstadt's persistence was rewarded with over an hour gone. Marvin Mehlem swung a boot at a half-cleared corner, nestling a 20-yard rocket out of Zieler's reach for 1-0. Schuhen denied Hendrik Weydant in a rare moment of attacking promise for the visitors. Tietz then spurned a glorious opening to give the Lilies breathing space, but dragged wide with only Zieler to beat. The result was never in any real doubt, though, with Torsten Lieberknecht's promotion hunters now 14 matches unbeaten.
- Darmstadt have not lost at home in 10 matches dating back to Matchday 30 of last season (5-2 vs. Schalke).
- Tietz is Darmstadt's six-goal top scorer this term. He has netted in just two of eight home games, though.
- After failing to score at all in 2021/22, Mehlem now has his third goal of the current campaign, all of which have come at home.
- Lieberknecht took Eintracht Braunschweig into the Bundesliga in 2013.
- After over six hours without conceding a goal (370 minutes) Zieler let in a goal again, the 17th Hannover have shipped so far this season.
- Hannover have lost five of seven Bundesliga 2 meetings with Darmstadt to date, winning and drawing one.
Darmstadt: Schuhen - Pfeiffer, Müller (Ben Balla 77'), Zimmermann - Bader, Mehlem, Kempe (Karic 46'), Holland (c) - Manu (Riedel 90'+4) - Vilhelmsson (Ronstadt 77'), Tietz
Unused subs: Brunst, Isherwood, Bennets, Leipold
Out: Gjasula (muscular), Honsak (back), Seydel (muscular), Schnellhardt (knee), Warming (ankle)
Coach: Torsten Lieberknecht
Hannover: Zieler (c) - Neumann, Arrey-Mbi, Börner - Muroya (Leopold 86'), Besuschkow (Foti 86'), Kunze, Köhn - Beier (Dehm 75') - Nielsen, Weydandt (Teuchert 75')
Unused subs: Weinkauf, Krajnc, Ernst, Schaub, Tresoldi
Coach: Stefan Leitl
Matchday 15 roundup:
Hansa Rostock 0-1 Sandhausen
Goals: C. Kinsombi 45' (assist: D. Kinsombi)
The visitors came within touching distance of Hansa in the standings after the Kinsombi brothers, David and Christian, combined to score the game's only goal before the break. The opener came against the run of play, with David feeding Christian who prodded home from close range. The result lifted Sandhausen to provisional 13th place in the table and gives Alois Schwartz's men a little respite in the relegation battle.
Karlsruher 1-4 Holstein Kiel
Goals: 0-1 Breithaupt (o.g.) 16', 0-2 Wriedt 30' (assist: Skrzybski), 0-3 Reese 67', 1-3 Rapp 72', 1-4 Wriedt 90'+2 (assist: Arp)
Kiel gave their early promotion hopes a shot in the arm with a solid victory away to Karlsruher, Kwasi Okyere Wriedt weighing in with a double. The hosts - who have now lost four on the bounce - had a disastrous start when Tim Breithaupt's back pass evaded goalkeeper Marius Gersbeck and rolled over the line. Wriedt's shot on the spin helped to double Kiel's lead and Marcel Rapp's side were out of sight midway through the second half when Fabian Reese controlled a cross and fired home for 3-0. Simone Rapp reduced the arrears for the home side but Wriedt celebrated his double in injury time to send the visiting supporters home happy.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-0 St Pauli
Goals: 1-0 Hennings 22' (assist: Kownacki)
Red card: Fazliji 59'
Fortuna heaped more misery on ten-man Pauli as the hosts rose to fifth in the table thanks to this victory, secured by Rouwen Hennings's first-half strike. Dawid Kownacki's headed pass allowed Hennings to wrong foot Pauli keeper Nikola Vasilj for the game's only goal. When Betim Fazliji and Kownacki collided in the second half, the latter was ordered off, making the visitors' attempts at clawing their way back into the game that much harder. Fortuna would hold out for a third successive win that saw their opponents slip closer to the relegation zone.
Heidenheim 3-0 Paderborn
Goals: 1-0 Beste 35' (assist: Sessa), 2-0 Thomalla 76' (assist: Beck), 3-0 Beste 90'+1 (assist: Kühlwetter)
Heidenheim leapfrogged opponents Paderborn - who are now winless in three - into third place thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from double goalscorer Jan-Niklas Beste. The midfielder netted his first 10 minutes before the break, but the hosts had to wait until there was less than a quarter-of-an-hour remaining before Denis Thomalla made it 2-0 with the first shot of the second half. Beste drilled into the corner to complete the scoring and leave fourth-placed Paderborn goalless for only the second time this season.
Arminia Bielefeld 2-3 Kaiserslautern
Goals: 0-1 Klement 54' (assist: Redondo), 0-2 Opoku 57', 1-2 Hack (assist: Okugawa) 60', 2-2 Hack pen. 74' 2-3 Hanslik 88'
Red card: Lasme 45'
With Bielefeld relegated from the top-flight and Kaiserslautern promoted from the third division last term, these two are meeting in the middle this season; with Bielefeld still on a downward trajectory and Lautern climbing in the opposite direction. Since dropping down from the Bundesliga, Bielefeld have headed to the bottom of the second division - a positon reaffirmed as they were bested in a five-goal thriller that saw Lautern pick up a second win from their last three unbeaten outings (W2, D1). Bryan Lasme's sending off on the stroke of half time meant Bielefeld were up against it after the break and a two goal blitz from the visitors looked to have put the game to bed early in the second half. Robin Hack, however, struck twice to pull his team level but Kaiserslautern secured all three points thanks to Daniel Hanslik's late effort.
Hamburg 3-1 Jahn Regensburg
Goals: 0-1 Caliskaner (assist: Mees) 7', 1-1 Vuskovic (assist: Kittel) 12', 2-1 Königsdörffer (assist: Benes) 79', 3-1 Glatzel 90'
Visiting Regensburg made the perfect start as they made the trip to face a HSV outfit looking to keep pace with leaders Darmstadt. Kaan Caliskaner had them in front after just seven minutes, thanks to his third league goal of the campaign. The hosts hit back within five minutes through Mario Vuskovic, however, with the big centre half lashing home to pull his side level. Less than five minutes into the second period, HSV had the perfect chance to go in front but Robert Glatzel saw his penalty saved by Thorsten Kirschbaum. They did eventually get their second with 11 minutes to go - Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer firing home at the near post from Laszlo Benes' pass. Glatzel made up for his miss from 12-yards by adding a third in the final minute to ensure HSV remain just a point adrift of the leaders.
Watch: HSV 3-1 Jahn Regensburg - in 60 seconds!
Nuremberg 1-2 Magdeburg
Goals: 0-1 Piccini (assist: Atik) 58', 1-1 Reimann o.g. 65', 1-2 Piccini pen. 76'
The hosts made a strong claim for a penalty after quarter of an hour, but the referee was satisfied - on both first viewing and after consultation with his pitchside monitor - that Daniel Elfadli got the ball ahead of Jens Castrop as the pair came together in the Magdeburg box. Ultimately, though, it was the visitors that took the lead just before the hour mark. Cristiano Piccini was the man with the goal, sneaking round the back of Nuremberg's defence to first control and then fire home Baris Atik's free kick from close range. Nuremberg were level soon after and through fairly comical fashion as Manuel Reimann first couldn't control a back-pass and then failed to keep the ball out to give the home team a fortunate equaliser. Reimann's blushed were spared with 15 minutes to play; Piccini converting from the penalty spot to grab all three points.
Eintracht Braunschweig 0-1 Greuther Fürth
Goals: 0-1 Sieb 41'
Greuther started the day second bottom, but knowing that victory would propel them up the table were they able to overcome their hosts. And the Cloverleaves took a first half lead through Armindo Sieb, who scored a stunning second goal of the campaign four minutes from the interval. The 19-year-old former Bayern Munich forward did so with a perfectly executed bicycle kick, providing a serious contender for Goal of the Season honours. It proved to be a worthy match winner, giving Greuther all three points for just the third time this term and lifting them up into 14th in the process.
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