By Matias Bengolo
The final day of 2. Bundesliga matchday 22 action saw a Darmstadt 98 team looking to get back to the top of the league, and two big games for teams down at the bottom.
Hanover 96 2-2 Darmstadt 98
After the 5-0 mauling by Hamburger SV, Darmstadt were without coach Torsten Lieberknecht, who tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home. The first period of the match favored the home team, with a very promising start. Hannover dominated the ball, the pressing was extremely good and they seemed to control the match. H96 midfielder Mark Diemers may have felt overconfident when he tried a pass through the whole pitch on the ground. It was easily intercepted by Darmstadt, starting a counter-attack. Although Hanover dealt with the effort of Mathias Honsak, the resulting corner was not dealt with. Instead, Stolze headed the ball into his own net. All the work that Hanover did mean nothing after a poor pass on 17 minutes. After the goal, Darmstadt seemed likely to find a second. Darmstadt should’ve doubled their lead when Tim Starke missed a good chance on 25 minutes, he dragged an effort wide from an unmarked position. Tietz tested Zieler a few times, but the Hannover keeper kept his side in the match. After all the effort in the first half, Hannover found their goal. Kerk’s pass to Teuchert was fantastic, and the striker saw shoes off his line and curled the ball into the empty side of the goal. Darmstadt leveled the game with 30 minutes to go, newly-introduced substitution Aaron Seydel rose above the pack to head the ball in. Originally an offside was called on Seydel, but after a VAR review the goal counted. A 2-2 draw was the final result and Darmstadt, after having a chance to end the weekend top, are outside the top 3.
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-1 Schalke 04
Fortuna and new coach Daniel Thioune started their new era with a home battle against Schalke 04. Although the first half was very promising for Fortuna and Thioune, with 63% possession and 8 shots to Schalke’s 4, they still went into the break with a deficit . At the tough times this season for Schalke, their individual quality has shone. Just before half-time, Zalazar showed his quality as the on-loan from Frankfurt attacking-midfielder drove past two Düsseldorf defenders, crossing to Terodde who missed the ball but Blendi Idrizi was there at the right time to poke the ball in the net. Fortuna showed grit and determination even after losing at the break, and leveled with Narey on 48 minutes. Fortuna won the ball back in opposition territory, Narey won the footrace with Kaminski and slotted the ball in. Fortuna lead just 10 minutes later as Narey turned from scorer to contributer, his cross found Hennings, the striker smashed the ball past Martin Fraisl. Fortuna managed to hold on for a huge victory which still doesn’t take them out of the bottom 3 but a great start for Daniel Thioune.
FC Ingolstadt 04 0-0 SV Sandhausen
Elsewhere in the league, two relegation-threatened sides battled at the Audi Sportpark. The match was very stop-start and both teams just couldn’t get rhythm. The match ended 0-0.