Promotion candidates Heidenheim save the Beste until last to end leaders Darmstadt's unbeaten run
Heidenheim remain firmly in the promotion race after Jan-Niklas Beste scored an 89th-minute winner to inflict a first defeat on Bundesliga 2 leaders Darmstadt since Matchday 1.
Heidenheim 1-0 Darmstadt
Goals: 1-0 Beste 89'
Sent off: Burnic (90'+1)
Hamburg's earlier win over Nuremberg put the pressure on Darmstadt, but there's a reason Torsten Lieberknecht's promotion pacesetters hadn't lost since the opening weekend. The Lilies controlled the early exchanges, with Philipp Tietz testing Kevin Müller's reflexes of with a dipping volley. Fabian Schnellhardt also had a go from range, forcing a more routine save from the goalkeeper, before Patrick Mainka headed against the crossbar with Heidenheim's only opening of note. Tietz did have the ball in the net with 31 minutes gone, but the Darmstadt top scorer was in a clear offside position when he powered in Fabian Holland's left-wing cross, and it was chalked off.
In something of a role reversal, Heidenheim were the more active side in the second half and might have taken the lead in the 52nd minute. Jan Schöppner met Jonas Föhrenbach's cross, only for Schuhen to pull off a fabulous reaction save to keep the score goalless. Schnellhardt rifled just past the upright in response, before intensity levels began to wane. However, just when it looked like the two sides would have to settle for a point, Beste latched onto a forward pass and fired past Schuhen for 1-0. Heidenheim negotiated substitute Dzenis Burnic's late sending off for two yellow cards to close the gap on the automatic promotion places to two points.
- Heidenheim - currently in the play-off spot - have a seven-point cushion over fourth place after 23 matches.
- Beste scored his seventh goal of the season.
- Heidenheim are Bundesliga 2's best home team in 2022/23 (W9, D3). They haven't lost at the Voith-Arena in 12 league matches, dating back to Matchday 32 of last season (3-1 vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf).
- Müller's kept a league-high 10 clean sheets.
- Heidenheim have won their last four home meetings with Darmstadt.
- Darmstadt are the lowest scorers in the top three (37 goals), but have the meanest defence (18 against).
Heidenheim: K. Müller - Busch, Mainka (c), Siersleben, Föhrenbach - Maloney, Schöppner (Burnic 53') - Pick (Sessa 53'), Thomalla (Schimmer 32'), Beste (Theuerkauf 90') - Kleindienst
Unused subs: Eicher, Geipl, Keller, Rittmüller, Kühlwetter
Out: Qenaj (knee)
Coach: Frank Schmidt
Darmstadt: Schuhen - Zimmermann, Isherwood, Riedel - Ronstadt (Bennetts 59'), Holland (c), Schnellhardt (Gjasula 90'+2), Karic - Mehlem (Warming 78'), Tietz, Honsak (Stojilkovic 59')
Unused subs: Brunst, Bader, Ben Balla
Out: Kempe (medial collateral ligament), J. Müller (muscular), Pfeiffer (muscular), Seydel (torn tendon), Vilhelmsson (groin)
Coach: Torsten Lieberknecht
Matchday 23 round-up
Hamburg 3-0 Nuremberg
Goals: 1-0 Dompe (19'), 2-0 Reis (52'), 3-0 Königsdörffer (90+5')
Hamburg closed the gap to Darmstadt to just one point with a convincing 3-0 victory over Nuremberg at the Volksparkstadion. Jean-Luc Dompe's stunning free-kick gave them the lead inside 20 minutes, and there was no turning back from there. Ludovit Reis added a second with his close range volley seven minutes after the break before Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer's fine curling effort wrapped up the win in injury time. It means victory on Matchday 24 could take HSV into top-spot as they continue their bid for promotion.
Magdeburg 2-0 Kaiserslautern
Goals: 1-0 Kwarteng (41'), 2-0 Ito (65')
Magdeburg's excellent form continued with victory over a Lautern outfit that's been faltering in recent weeks and is now eight points off the top-three. Moritz-Broni Kwarteng got the ball rolling before the break, with his eighth goal of the campaign on the stroke of half time. The hosts had the points wrapped up with 25 minutes to play as Tatsuya Ito collected Baris Atik's backheel and placed an excellent finish across goal and into the far corner from a tight angle on the left. It was a third win in four for Christian Titz's team, who are now seven points clear of the bottom three, while Kaiserslautern drop to sixth.
Paderborn 1-2 St. Pauli
Goals: 0-1 Daschner (15'), 0-2 Daschner (42'), 1-2 Mets o.g. (51')
Red card: Conteh (75')
Hosts Paderborn lost ground on the top-three, with Lukas Kwasniok's side now seven points back on Heidenheim in third after losing 2-1 at home to Pauli. The visitors required just quarter of an hour to put themselves ahead, with Lukas Daschner opening the scoring. The 24-year-old doubled both his and his side's tally for the afternoon three minutes before the break, setting the course for a sixth successive league victory of 2023. Karol Mets' second half own-goal reduced the arrears but Sirlord Conteh's red card with 15 minutes to play all-but ended Paderborn's hopes. Just four points separate the two sides now as Pauli look to make an outside run on promotion.
Jahn Regensburg 0-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 0-1 Kownacki (86')
Fortuna are also looking to sneak into the promotion race after collecting three wins from their last four, with the Düsseldorf outfit making a habit of scoring late on in recent weeks. Five of their seven goals during that four game sequence have come after the 80th minute mark, the latest of which seeing Dawid Kownacki settle their trip to Regensburg. The Poland international's 10th league goal of the season - and second in successive matches - came from the penalty spot after Felix Klaus was felled in the box. It was enough to secure Fortuna's first away win of 2023.
Sandhausen 1-1 Holstein Kiel
Goals: 0-1 Wahl (47'), 1-1 Evina (90+1')
With Regensburg losing, Sandhausen earned a vital point that lifts them off the bottom of the table by the barest of margins. With the two sides both accumulating a -17 goal-difference after 23 games of the campaign, Sandhausen now sit above Regensburg by virtue of scoring 24 goals to their relegation rivals' 22. Their latest strike came at the very death and after visiting defender Hauke Wahl looked to have consigned the hosts to a 14th league defeat of the campaign, until Franck Evina popped up in the 91st-minute to earn his team a valuable draw. It was the 22-year-old former Bayern Munich academy player's first goal for the club since joining from Hannover in January - one that could prove crucial at the season's final count-up.
Eintracht Braunschweig 3-3 Arminia Bielefeld
Goals: 0-1 Consbruch (6'), 0-2 Lasme (11'), 0-3 Ramos (21'), 1-3 Pherai (22'), 2-3 Pherai (34'), 3-3 Ujah (73')
It was a veritable goal-fest at the Eintracht Stadion, where Bielefeld looked to have wrapped up the points just 21 minutes in after racing into a three-goal lead. Jomaine Consbruch, Bryan Lasme and Guilherme Ramos were the men on target, giving the away team the perfect start as they looked to leapfrog their hosts out of the bottom three. But Braunschweig soon hit back, though Immanuel Pherai's brace to reduce the deficit to just one goal going into the break. And, with less than 20 minutes to go, Braunschweig had the equaliser - Anthony Ujah volleying home to make it 3-3.
Hansa Rostock 0-2 Karlsruhe
Goals: 0-1 Wanitzek (16'), 0-2 Nebel (25')
Karlsruhe travelled to Rostock on the back of three successive victories and soon put plans in place to make it four from four. Marvin Wanitzek was the man to get them up and running, breaking the deadlock after only 16 minutes. That was Wanitzek's eighth goal of the campaign and Karlsruhe were soon 2-0 to the good through Paul Nebel. There would be no way back for Hansa from there as Karlsruhe collected a victory that nudges them into the top half and the home team slipped to 14th, with their lead over the relegation places cut to three points.
Greuther Fürth 1-1 Hannover
Goals: 0-1 Weydandt (54'), 1-1 Hrgota (57')
The home team thought they had a penalty midway through the first half when Ragnar Ache went down in the box but a VAR referral saw the referee overturn his decision. That was that for a first half light on chances but it took just six minutes of the second period for Hannover to take the lead. Hendrik Weydandt was the man to end the deadlock, with the Hannover No.9 scoring just his second league goal of the season and first since Matchday 14. That lead lasted just three minutes, however, as Greuther's talismanic captain, Branimir Hrgota, almost immediately restored parity. That ensured both sides settled for a point by the full-time whistle.
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