Kaiserslautern marked their return to Bundesliga 2 with a last-gasp win over Hannover at a jam-packed Fritz-Walter-Stadion.
Kaiserslautern 2-1 Hannover
Goals: 1-0 Wunderlich (11'), 1-1 Nielsen (85'), 2-1 Kraus (90'+2)
The fervent backdrop on Matchday 1 of the 2022/23 campaign must have got to Hannover defender Julian Börner, whose undercooked back-pass gifted the early goal to Kaiserslautern. Former USA international forward Terrence Boyd took full advantage, stealing the loose ball and squaring for Wunderlich to break the deadlock. The Red Devils took charge for the remainder of the half as Wunderlich twice shot wide, Boyd miscued and Kenny Prince Redondo - on for the injured Ben Zolinski - was denied by the full-stretch Ron-Robert Zieler.
Hannover had offered precious little as an attacking unit and continued to find the going tough into the second period. Pot-shots from Hoffenheim loanee Maximilian Beier and Sebastian Kerk were the best they could muster until the 75th minute, when Andreas Luthe had to dive full stretch to claw away Kerk's dipping free-kick. That sparked a long-overdue response from the Reds, who levelled as substitute Havard Nielsen pounced on Boris Tomiak's tame clearance and finished past Luthe. Jannik Dehm missed the chance to win it for the visitors with a shot from 12 yards, and was punished in added time when Kaiserslautern's Kevin Kraus steered in a dramatic close-range winner.
- Kaiserslautern recorded their first Bundesliga 2 win since beating Ingolstadt on 13 May 2018.
- Kraus has scored seven goals in 98 Bundesliga 2 appearances.
- The Red Devils beat Hannover for the first time in Bundesliga 2, following a pair of defeats in 2016/17.
- A Bundesliga debutant aged 21, Kaiserslautern's Erik Durm made his Bundesliga 2 bow at the age of 30.
- Boyd made 42 Bundesliga 2 appearances across spells with RB Leipzig and Darmstadt, producing six goals and two assists.
- New Hannover head coach Stefan Leitl is winless in his last 13 competitive matches, dating back to former club Greuther Fürth's victory over Hertha Berlin on 12 February 2022.
Kaiserslautern: Luthe - Durm, Kraus, Tomiak, Zuck - Niehues, Ritter - Zimmer (c), Wunderlich (Hanslik 84'), Zolinski (Prince Redondo 30') - Boyd (Lobinger 65')
Unused subs: Spahic, Kiprit, Redondo, Hanslik, Schad, Bünning, Hercher, Lobinger, Basenach
Out: Stavridis (ankle)
Coach: Dirk Schuster
Hannover: Zieler (c) - Dehm, Neumann, Köhn, Börner - Onduoa (Kunze 27') - Schaub, Kerk, Besuschkow (Teuchert 61') - Beier (Tresoldi 88'), Weydandt (Nielsen 61')
Unused subs: Weinkauf, Kunze, Nielsen, Muroya, Stolze, Tresoldi, Foti, Krajnc, Teuchert
Out: Ernst (Achilles)
Coach: Stefan Leitl
Matchday 1 round-up:
St Pauli 3-2 Nuremberg
Goals: 1-0 Irvine 24', 2-0 Paqarada (pen.) 37', 3-0 Daschner 39', 3-1 Duah 46', 3-2 Valentini 90'+3
Jackson Irvine got the Kiezkicker's promotion charge up and running with St Pauli's first goal in an opening half the hosts dominated only in terms of the scoreboard. The Australia international superbly glanced Leart Paqarada's dead-ball delivery home just past the midway point and it was Paqarada himself who would then get on the scoresheet from the penalty spot to put daylight between the sides. The Boys in Brown - who appeared on course to make it to the Bundesliga for large parts last term - looked to be out of sight in this encounter when Lukas Daschner's precise finish found its way in off the upright. However, when the visitors pulled one back at the start of the second half via Kwadwo Duah, it was game on. Enrico Valentini slammed in at the death, but by then it was too late for Robert Klauß's vanquished side.
Watch: Pauli 3-2 Nuremberg - in 60 seconds!
Greuther Fürth 2-2 Holstein Kiel
Goals: 0-1 Becker 29', 1-1 Green 48', 2-1 Tillman 76', 2-2 Mühling (pen.) 80'
Fürth left the Sportpark Ronhof somewhat disappointed having failed to convert their dominance into maximum points. Debutant coach Marc Schneider looked on in despair as Kiel picked his side apart on the counter attack for the game's opener in the first half. Fabian Reese's ball to the back stick was expertly turned in by Timo Becker and last term's relegated team were playing catch up. Some superb work from home captain Branimir Hrgota led to the equalising goal, the Clover Leaves' No.10 beating several opponents before cutting back to Tampa native Julian Green to equalise. Fürth then spurned further chances to forge ahead, but they were in front with 14 minutes to play, and it was Timothy Tillman who took advantage of a Mikkel Kirkeskov error to raise home cheers. The celebrations would not last long, however, and when Simon Asta fouled Benedikt Pichler in the area, Alexander Mühling kept his composure to convert from the spot and earn Kiel a point.
Sandhausen 2-1 Arminia Bielefeld
Goals: 1-0 Kinsombi 11', 1-1 Okugawa 59', 2-1 Kinsombi 63'
Red card: Sidler 47'
Things didn't go the way of last season's relegated side Arminia, with red cards darkening the day for the team that recently lost their top-flight status. After hitting a post early on, the visitors went a goal down to Sandhausen debutant David Kinsombi. New coach Ulrich Forte was then given his marching orders as things began to disintegrate for Die Arminen, who lost defender Silvan Sidler to a second yellow card soon after the restart. Masaya Okugawa offered the 10 men some hope with a low drive that brought parity just before the hour mark, but midfielder Kinsombi - recently signed from Hamburg - was having a day to remember and his finish from inside the box soon afterwards settled it for the jubilant hosts.
Regensburg 2-0 Darmstadt
Goals: 1-0 Mees 1', 2-0 Albers 67'
Red card: Pfeiffer 37'
Jahn downed Darmstadt 2-0 on the opening day of last season, and the hosts' hopes for a repeat result this time around were raised after they hit the front with just 17 seconds on the clock. Joshua Mees was tasked with applying a simple finish to Nicklas Shipnoski's centre and Mersad Selimbegovic's men were up and running. Darmstadt's hopes suffered a further setback when Patric Pfeiffer was shown a second yellow card, meaning Die Lilien would play for an hour with 10 men. Despite their best efforts, the task proved too much for Darmstadt, who fell further behind when Andreas Albers netted at the second attempt on 67 minutes.
Magdeburg 1-2 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 0-1 Hennings (pen.) 43', 0-2 Klaus 46', 1-2 Krempicki 50'
Magdeburg secured just their second ever campaign at this level by lifting the third division title last term but goals either side of the interval saw them beaten by the visitors on their return to Bundesliga 2. Fortuna had already had one goal ruled out and a penalty decision overturned before Jamie Lawrence handled the ball in his own box on the stroke of half-time. Up stepped Rouwen Hennings to convert from 12-yards and give his side the lead. They doubled their advantage just a minute after the break, when Felix Klaus reacted superbly to volley home. Jason Ceka's wonderful through ball and Connor Krempicki sumptuous finish halved the deficit but it would only prove to be an eye-catching consolation for Magdeburg.
Paderborn 5-0 Karlsruhe
Goals: 1-0 Muslija (pen') 56', 2-0 Leipertz 65', 3-0 Justvan 68', 4-0 Platte 72', 5-0 Conteh 75'
The game in Paderborn was another side on Sunday that was 0-0 at the halfway stage, until Florent Muslija intervened for the home team. Muslija joined the club in January last year and went on to score six times in 16 Bundesliga 2 appearances and it looks as if there are exciting times ahead in his first full season. Especially so considering Muslija's breakthrough from the spot opened the floodgates, with first Robert Leipertz and then Julian Justvan finding the back of the net in quick succession. Paderborn were rampant, and Feliz Platte and Sirlord Conteh then struck, too, as the hosts scored five second-half goals within just 19 minutes to leave Karlsruhe shellshocked.
Watch: Paderborn score five times in less than 20 second-half minutes!
Eintracht Braunschweig 0-2 Hamburg
Goals: 0-1 Glatzel 67', 0-2 Glatzel 76'
There was a party atmosphere in Braunschweig, with the home fans decked out in yellow and blue and the visitors bringing with them a vocal travelling support of their own. For Hamburg, this was the start of a fifth campaign in the second-tier since their last top-flight relegation as they look to haul themselves back into the Bundesliga. It was the hosts, though, that caused the bigger threat in the opening 45 minutes and they should have broken the deadlock with a series of counter-attacks, but they failed to make their chances count. And it proved costly when, with just over 20 minutes remaining, Robert Glatzel popped up to poke home from close range. Glatzel then added a second to wrap up the points for HSV and give Eintracht a lesson in how to be clinical at this level.
Hansa Rostock 0-1 Heidenheim
Goals: 0-1 Schimmer 50'
Neither team could find a first-half breakthrough in Rostock, but Heidenheim flew out the traps after the interval to put their noses in front. Stefan Schimmer, who scored just three league goals in 2021/22, was the man on target, with his effort making it 1-0 just five minutes into the second-half. It remain that way at the full-time whistle, as Heidenheim collected all three points. Rostock, meanwhile, must pick themselves up and turn to Matchday 2 in search of their first points of the new season.
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