2. Bundesliga

Matchday 23 round-up: Hannover stun St. Pauli after Werder and Hamburg pick up draws

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St. Pauli missed the chance to move clear at the top of Bundesliga 2 on Sunday when they fell to their first home defeat of the season, going down 3-0 to Hannover. Earlier, northern rivals Werder Bremen and Hamburg had both picked up draws as the battle for promotion intensifies.

Pauli 0-3 Hannover
Goals: 0-1 Kaiser 39' (assist: Teuchert), 0-2 Kerk (57'), 0-3 Stolze (72')

With northern rivals Werder Bremen and Hamburg both held to draws on Saturday, St. Pauli had an opportunity to move clear at the top of the table with a win, and they made an encouraging start too, peppering Ron-Robert Zieler's goal. The pendulum eventually started to swing Hannover's way, though, and Sebastian Kerk wasted a glorious chance to give them the lead when he headed back across a wide-open goal at the far post. Dominik Kaiser then crowned Hannover's purple patch with a goal, turning in Cedric Teuchert's deflected cross from point-blank range. Teuchert could and perhaps should have doubled Hannover's league when a defensive error gave him a clean run on goal, but as Nikola Vasilj came out to meet him, the Hannover forward placed his shot wide, with the Pauli custodian getting a foot to the ball.

The visitors doubled their lead just shy of the hour mark when Kerk provided a sumptuous finish to dink the ball over Vasilj after the home team's goalkeeper had only parried Maximilian Beier's shot. Pauli tried to launch a recovery, but they were soon on the back foot again when Sebastian Stolze raced away to score Hannover's third. Guido Burgstaller had the chance to reduce the arrears from the penalty spot, but Zieler pushed his effort away. The former Germany international had come off his line, though, and the penalty had to be retaken. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh this time took the ball off Burgstaller and he slammed his effort against the crossbar, summing up a dismal afternoon for Pauli as they lost for the first time at home this season after eight wins and two draws at the Millerntor.

Dominik Kaiser broke the deadlock from close range for Hannover. - via www.imago-images.de/imago images/MIS

Match stats

  • St. Pauli had not been behind at half-time or lost at home all season.
  • They had conceded just nine goals at home prior to this game.
  • Kerk - Hannover's top-scorer this season - scored his sixth of the season, having opened his account with the winner in the reverse fixture.
  • Burgstaller (16 goals, five assists) and Kyerah (six goals, nine assists) have had a direct hand in 36 of Pauli's 45 goals so far this season; both missed penalties in this game.
  • Zieler has kept 15 clean sheets in 46 Bundesliga 2 appearances, conceding 62.
  • Hannover are unbeaten in their last nine competitive games at Pauli's Millerntor, winning six.

Line-ups
Pauli:
 Vasilj - Zander (Ohlsson 71'), Dzwigala, Medic, Paqarada (c) - Becker (Irvine 61'), Smith (Aremu 62'), Hartel - Kyereh (Daschner 85') - Burgstaller, Matanovic (Makienok 62')
Unused subs: Smarsch, Beifus, Ritzka, Buchtmann
Out: Avevor (ankle), Wieckhoff (knee), Ziereis (back)
Coach: Timo Schultz

Hannover: Zieler - Dehm (Muroya 80'), Franke (c), Börner, Hult - Kaiser, Diemers - Stolze (Krajnc 80'), Kerk, Teuchert (Maina 74') - Beier (Hinterseer 87')
Unused subs: Hansen, Frantz, Walbrecht, Ennali, Weydandt
Out: Ernst (Achilles), Muroya (ankle)
Coach: Christoph Dabrowski

Matchday 23 round-up:

Nuremberg 2-0 Jahn Regensburg
Goals: 1-0
Köpke (35’), 2-0 Duman (55’)
Nuremberg kept in touch with the division’s frontrunners in the race for promotion after overcoming fellow hopefuls Jahn Regensburg on Saturday. Pascal Köpke headed Der Club ahead in the 35th minute to pave the way for the victory, with Taylan Duman sealing the result early in the second half. The three points were not only welcome for Nuremberg in the context of the promotion battle, but also because the result and clean sheet brought an end to a two-game losing run in which they conceded nine times. Regensburg, meanwhile, remain in mid-table after losing for a seventh time in eight outings, and will need to turn things around sooner rather than later if they are to avoid slipping further down the standings.

Watch: Nuremberg 2-0 Jahn Regensburg - in 60 seconds!

Schalke 2-0 Paderborn
Goals: 1-0 Bülter (22’), 2-0 Churlinov (74‘)
Schalke returned to winning ways and just a point off third place with victory over Paderborn in an exciting Friday night encounter. The Royal Blues took a lead into the break after a tight first half thanks to the in-form Marius Bülter’s flicked header from a Thomas Ouwejan free-kick. The game burst to life in the second 45 minutes as the visitors pushed for a lifeline, but Schalke had the better of the opportunities and made one more count with a quarter of an hour remaining when Darko Churlinov was sent clean through and slotted home.

Dynamo Dresden 1-1 Heidenheim
Goals: 0-1 Schimmer (55'), 1-1 Daferner (60')
Heidenheim lost ground in the tight race for promotion after they were held to a draw away at promoted Dresden on Friday. Substitute Stefan Schimmer put the visitors ahead early in the second half, but Dynamo were handed an immediate chance to equalise when Jan Schöppner handled in the box. Dresden top scorer Christoph Daferner made no mistake from the spot for his 10th of the season. He had two further chances to snatch a win at the Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion but was unable to convert as Heidenheim held out for a point that leaves them two off Schalke in fifth.

Werder Bremen 1-1 Ingolstadt
Goals: 1-0 Füllkrug (75'), 1-1 Bilbija (85')
With St. Pauli playing on Sunday, Werder had the chance to move top of the table against second-bottom Ingolstadt, who had incentive of their own knowing that anything other than a defeat was enough to move them off the bottom. For the time being at least, both sides got their wish, but they had to settle for a share of the points. Niclas Füllkrug’s header looked to have sealed all three points for the hosts with 15 minutes to play before Filip Bilbija superbly levelled 10 minutes later, ending Werder’s run of seven wins on the bounce.

Holstein Kiel 0-2 Karlsruhe
Goals: 0-1 O’Shaughnessy (16'), 0-2 Schleusener (67')
Karlsruhe leapfrogged Kiel with a convincing 2-0 win at the Holstein-Stadion on Saturday afternoon, despite the hosts dominating possession for large parts. Finland international Daniel O’Shaughnessy’s first goal of the season gave the visitors a 16th-minute lead before second half substitute Fabian Schleusener doubled his side’s advantage just 10 minutes after climbing off the bench. It earned Karlsruhe a second successive league victory, while ending Kiel’s six game unbeaten run - and three match winning streak - in the process.

Sandhausen 1-1 Hamburg
Goals: 1-0 Testroet (15’), 1-1 Kittel (59’)
Hamburg missed the chance to go top of Bundesliga 2 after being held to a 1-1 draw in Sandhausen. Pascal Testroet scored early for the hosts, who were denied a second through Janik Bachmann following a VAR-ruled handball. Sandhausen hadn’t conceded in 350 minutes of Bundesliga 2 football, but their resistance was broken by Sonny Kittel in the 59th minute. Chances were at a premium for the remainder as Sandhausen secured a big point in their survival bid.

Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-1 Erzgebirge Aue
Goals: 1-0 Hennings (5'), 2-0 Ginczek (51'), 2-1 Owusu (77'), 3-1 Hennings (90')

Düsseldorf started Sunday third from bottom but hauled themselves out of the promotion/relegation playoff place with a resounding win over Aue. Rouwen Hennings' double bookended the win thanks to efforts in the fifth and 90th minute. Daniel Ginczek made it 2-0 after Hennings' early opener before Prince Osei Owusu's first goal of the season brought the visitors back into the game late on. It was Hennings who had the final say, though, making sure of victory in the final minute and taking his tally to 12 league strikes this term.

Darmstadt 1-1 Hansa Rostock
Goals: 1-0 Kempe (24'), 1-1 Sikan (65')

The hosts had the chance to jump into top spot with a victory but, as Pauli slipped up at home to Hannover, and both Hamburg and Werder were held to draws, Darmstadt too were unable to capitalise. They looked on course for first when Tobias Kempe gave them the lead midway through the first half but Danylo Sikan hauled Hansa level in the second period. It may have been a chance missed for Darmstadt but it was a crucial point for Hansa, who managed to keep themselves above Sandhausen in the promotion/relegation playoff place on goal difference.