Leaders St. Pauli dropped points after Hamburg lost to Paderborn, with fellow promotion candidates Holstein Kiel taking full advantage to go second.
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Hamburg 1-2 Paderborn
Goals: 1-0 Bénes (11'), 1-1 Bilbija (21'), 1-2 Ansah (62')
Red cards: Bilbija (69'), Muheim (78')
Hamburg's promotion hopes were dealt a blow by Paderborn, who came from behind to win 2-1 at the Volksparkstadion. All appeared to be going to plan when László Bénes put the hosts in front with a sweet volley from outside the area. Filip Bilbija levelled within 10 minutes, declining to celebrate against his former club, and Ilyas Ansah stunned the home fans as he put Paderborn in front on the hour mark. When Bilbija saw red for a foul, after a VAR review, Hamburg's hopes of recovering grew, but Miro Muheim followed him for an early bath 10 minutes later and the hosts could not muster an equaliser, with Bénes and Jatta both hitting the woodwork deep into stoppage time on a frustrating day for the Red Shorts.
St. Pauli remain unbeaten in the league this season, but missed the chance to pull clear at the summit after being held to a 1-1 draw by rock-bottom Osnabrück. Jackson Irvine opened the scoring early, heading in a corner moments after flashing an effort wide. Pauli went on to dominate the play, but a lack of clear-cut chances proved their undoing. Erik Engelhardt threatened an equaliser from nothing and Michaël Cuisance tested Nikola Vasilj, before Charalambos Makridis levelled from close range. The hosts had Niklas Wiemann sent off for two yellow cards in added time, but held on for a priceless point - only their eighth after 16 rounds of fixtures.
Kaiserslautern 1-2 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Touré (16'), 1-1 Niederlechner (49'), 1-2 Kempf (81')
Florian Niederlechner inspired Hertha Berlin's recovery as they came from behind to beat Kaiserslautern 2-1. Almamy Touré opened his Bundesliga 2 account – becoming the 12th different player to score for the Red Devils this season – to give Kaiserslautern the lead after only 15 minutes. It was then backs-to-the-wall stuff as Hertha took charge, though it was not until early in the second half that they levelled through Niederlechner's stunning overhead kick. A red card for Afeez Aremu complicated matters for Kaiserslautern, but they held firm until the 81st minute, when Niederlechner turned provider for Marc-Oliver Kempf to clinch the winner after Julian Krahl spilled the ball out to the central defender's feet.
A Lewis Holtby header won an encounter that was more dramatic than the scoreline suggested. The hosts gained a reprieve after Felix Klaus's early red card was reduced to a yellow after a VAR check, but Holtby struck soon afterwards with a clinical header. Kiel controlled the remainder of the first half and the start of the second period but the woodwork was rattled at either end in the closing phases from a deflected Fiete Arp shot and by Erik Engelhardt from a Fortuna corner. The visitors took the lead to the end to seal their fourth consecutive win.
Schalke leapfrogged the hosts to move eight points clear of the direct relegation places with a valuable away win. Júnior Brumado's sending off shortly before half-time defined the rest of the game as the visitors dominated what had previously been a very tight encounter. After creating several chances, Blendi Idrizi and Kenan Karaman scored vital late goals to secure a second away success of the campaign.
Greuther Fürth 1-1 Magdeburg
Goals: 1-0 Lemperle (59'), 1-1 El Hankouri (90')
Greuther Fürth missed the chance to move into the top three as Mo El Hankouri earned Magdeburg a last-gasp draw in Bavaria. Tim Lemperle put the Clover Leaves in front on the hour mark, but Fürth were made to pay for their wastefulness when El Hankouri struck a stunning equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time. It was almost the final kick of the game, denying Fürth the chance to respond and put more pressure on St. Pauli at the top of Bundesliga 2.
Hannover 2-2 Karlsruhe
Goals: 0-1 Halstenberg (o.g. 11'), 0-2 Stindl (53'), 1-2 Voglsammer (72'), 2-2 Muroya (90')
Hannover came from two goals down to snatch a point in the last minute against Karlsruhe. The visitors, looking to put some daylight between themselves and the drop zone, were quick out of the blocks and their early pressure paid off when Marcel Halstenberg turned into his own goal. The hosts responded well and created chances to level before former Hannover midfielder Lars Stindl doubled Karlsruhe's lead from just inside the penalty area. Hannover then rolled up their sleeves and Andreas Voglsammer gave them some hope, turning in Kolja Oudenne's cross from close range. Time was running out when Sei Muroya turned in a deserved equaliser after Voglsammer's header was only parried.
Wehen Wiesbaden 1-3 Eintracht Braunschweig
Goals: 1-0 Vukotić (18'), 1-1 Kaufmann (48'), 1-2 Philippe (56'), 1-3 Kaufmann (76')
A Fabio Kaufmann brace helped Eintracht Braunschweig win 3-1 in Wiesbaden for a much-needed survival boost. Aleksandar Vukotić gave the hosts the lead, heading in Robin Heußer's corner, but it was Braunschweig who displayed more hunger. They were rewarded early in the second half when Kaufmann concluded a counter-attack, and Rayan Philippe put the guests in front soon after, converting from Kaufmann's assist. He was one of three half-time substitutes who helped Braunschweig turn the game around in the second half, with Kaufmann completing only Braunschweig's third win of the season with his second of the game.
Elversberg 0-1 Nuremberg
Goals: Hayashi (83')
A late strike from Daichi Hayashi secured Nuremberg's first win in three and moved them level on points with Elversberg. The hosts had the better of the first period but were unable to make that count on the scoresheet. Further chances fell Elverseberg's way in the second half, but none of their 17 efforts found the net as the visitors' Japanese attacker pounced on a ball from Jan Gyamerah to seal the away win.
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