Magdeburg ended leaders St. Pauli's unbeaten start after promotion rivals Hamburg lost to Hannover, while struggling Schalke were beaten away at Holstein Kiel.
Matchday 21 results
Baris Atik scored the only goal as mid-table Magdeburg inflicted a first Bundesliga 2 defeat of the season on leaders St. Pauli. Unbeaten in a record-equalling 25 league matches dating back to the previous campaign, Pauli struggled to get going and needed a smart save from Nikola Vasilj to prevent Herbert Bockhorn giving Magdeburg the lead. Luc Castaignos flunked a promising one-on-one on for the hosts in the second half, before Pauli's Connor Metcalfe brought the first real save of note from Dominik Reimann. The decisive goal came soon after when Xavier Amaechi pounced on a mistake by Vasilj and passed to Atik to finish into the empty net.
Hamburg 3-4 Hannover
Goals: 0-1 Tresoldi 11', 0-2 Ramos (og 21'), 1-2 Bénes 24', 1-3 Schaub 32', 2-3 Hadzikadunic 47', 3-3 Glatzel 87', 3-4 Ernst 90'+8
Red cards: Bénes 88', Hadzikadunic 90'+16
Hannover's Sebastian Ernst scored deep into stoppage time to settle a seven-goal thriller in a blow to Hamburg's hopes of automatic promotion. Hannover raced into a 2-0 lead through Nicolò Tresoldi and a Guilherme Ramos own goal. László Bénes reduced the arrears, only for Louis Schaub to restore the visitors' two-goal cushion heading into the break. Half-time substitute Dennis Hadžikadunić had the desired impact with a goal soon after the restart to pull the Dinos back to within one of parity. There were chances at both ends to add to the scoreline, before Robert Glatzel levelled with three minutes of normal time remaining. The drama continued right until the last, with Bénes and Hadžikadunić sent off either side of Ernst's 98th-minute winner. The loss would ultimately spell the end of Tim Walter as HSV coach.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-1 Elversberg
Goals: 1-0 Jóhannesson 19', 1-1 Boyamba 53'
Fortuna Düsseldorf remain winless in 2024 after being held to a 1-1 draw by Elversberg. Christos Tzolis headed wide in the opening exchanges, before Ísak Jóhannesson struck from close range to give Fortuna the advantage their early dominance deserved. Nicolas Kristof pulled off a brilliant save to stop Ao Tanaka adding a second, but had the woodwork to thank for repelling Joshua Quarshie's header moments later. Elversberg were much improved after the restart, though, and levelled within 10 minutes when Joseph Boyamba turned in Jannik Rochelt's right-wing cross. Elversberg's Wahid Faghir had the ball in the net in the 90th minute, but the VAR ruled the effort out for offside. Tzolis and Tanaka missed a couple of even later chances as Fortuna fell further off the promotion pace, with Elversberg three points back in ninth.
Eintracht Braunschweig 2-0 Karlsruhe
Goals: 1-0 Kurucay (pen. 13'), 2-0 Bicakcic 75'
Eintracht Braunschweig climbed out of the bottom three for the first time since Matchday 5 with much-needed win over Karlsruhe. Braunschweig's Ron-Thorben Hoffmann was kept busy in the opening minutes, with Budu Zivzivadze and Paul Nebel unable to make the most of a couple of promising chances. Hasan Kurucay then converted a penalty after Christoph Konrad had shoved over Ermin Bicakcic, as Eintracht forged ahead against the run of play. Karlsruhe continued to get themselves into good scoring positions, but their finishing touch evaded them. They were made to pay as Bicakcic scored from close range following a corner to seal all three points for the hosts.
Wehen Wiesbaden 1-1 Nuremberg
Goals: 1-0 Prtajin 61', 1-1 Márquez 70'
Kaiserslautern 1-2 Paderborn
Goals: 1-0 Elvedi (3’), 1-1 Kinsombi (pen. 65’), 1-2 Muslia (72’)
Paderborn stayed in the promotion hunt after coming from behind to beat Kaiserslautern. The hosts took an early lead through Jan Elvedi – twin brother of Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Nico – and stayed in front until midway through the second half, when David Kinsombi coolly levelled from the penalty spot following a handball. The promotion hopefuls completed the turnaround just a few minutes later when Visar Musliu headed in following a corner to lift Lukas Kwasniok’s charges up to sixth and within touching distance of the top three.
Holstein Kiel 1-0 Schalke
Goals: 1-0 Skrzybski 55'
Holstein Kiel closed the gap to league-leaders Saint Pauli to just three points courtesy of a narrow 1-0 victory over strugglers Schalke. The hosts, who won for the first time in 2024, were dominant throughout and finally broke the deadlock through former Royal Blue Steven Skrzybski's volley. The visitors were unable to find a response and ultimately fell to a third defeat in four matches. They sit just two points above the relegation play-off spot, while their opponents are in second and back amongst the automatic promotion places.
Greuther Fürth 1-2 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 0-1 Kempf 34', 1-1 Hrgota 56', 1-2 Kempf 63'
Red cards: Niederlechner 90+10'
Hertha Berlin picked up a first win in six games and a maiden 2024 triumph as they defeated high-flying Greuther Fürth away from home. Fürth started the better of two, but Hertha appeared to have opened the scoring through Florian Niederlechner midway through the first half and, although that strike was ruled out for a foul in the build-up, Marc-Oliver Kempf subsequently headed in Palko Dárdai's corner. Branimir Hrgota restored parity after the interval, but another Kempf header - admittedly aided by a deflection off Lukas Petkov - put the Old Lady in front once more. While Niederlechner was sent off deep into second-half stoppage-time, it wasn't enough to derail Hertha. They move up to eighth, while Fürth are fourth.
Osnabrück and Rostock both remain in the automatic relegation zone after playing out a goalless draw in a bottom-of-the-table clash. The hosts, who remain rock-bottom and 11 points adrift of guaranteed safety, had the better opportunities, but Rostock goalkeeper Markus Kolke made several crucial stops to secure his side a point. Hansa are 17th, one place above Osnabrück, and host HSV next time out.
Watch: The top 5 goals from Matchday 21
Matchday 24 overview
Pauli hold a six-point lead as they face relegation-threatened Schalke, Kiel in second visit Hertha, third-placed HSV welcome Osnabrück in Bundesliga 2.
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