Bundesliga News

New year, same old Kaiserslautern:
The Red Devils continue their promotion push

By Jamie Allen

It's was an enthralling matchday 21 in Germany's third division. Here is your top spiel and the main talking points from last weekend's action.
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Photo: DFB
Kaiserslautern kickstarted their 2022 with a resounding 4:0 victory at home to SV Meppen. Coming into this one, both teams would have been incredibly pleased with how their seasons were going so far. At the start of the campaign, not many would have expected Kaiserslautern vs Meppen to be a top 6 clash. After this weekend’s win, The Red Devils are now unbeaten in seven league games having scored 14 and conceded just two.

It was a blistering start from Kaiserslautern who put the away side on the back foot straight away. In the 7th minute, Meppen failed to properly clear a cross from the right-hand side. When the ball fell to Boris Tomiak, the young defender took one touch before calmly slotting the ball into the corner of the net. It was a cultured finish from Tomiak who now has four goals in the 3. Liga this season.

Just one minute and it was 2:0 for Kaiserslautern. After some clever play down the right again, the chance appeared to have gone with when Redondo missed the chance to score from close range. However, Hendrick Zuck scored from the most improbable of ranges from the far left side. Questions certainly have to be asked of the Meppen goalkeeping but Die Roten Teufel were happy to receive that bit of good fortune after a move that deserved a goal.

Before halftime, there could and possibly should have been more goals for the home side. Playing in a 3-5-2 formation with wing backs, Kaiserslautern were able to play through Meppen’s lines with ease and at times outnumbered them due to the fluidity of their passing.

Six minutes into the second half and The Red Devils had their third and a second for Zuck. Again, the move started down the right before the ball was whipped in low and met by Zuck who could hardly miss. Kaiserslautern got their fourth and final goal just past the hour mark when Philipp Hercher went gliding through the Meppen defence before setting the ball back to Mike Wunderlich who took one touch and slotted the ball home.

It’s a win that catapults Kaiserlautern into 2nd place with Braunschweig and Meppen just behind on goal difference. To think that Die Roten Teufel were just a point outside the relegation zone on matchday 8 having only won one game is mind-blowing. Marco Antwerpen, the coaching staff, and the players' resilience should be applauded here. From those within the camp to us looking in, it’s clear something is happening at Kaiserlautern. The only question is now, can they go on and secure promotion into the 2. Bundesliga?

Talking Points

1 - 1860 Münich came from 0:2 down to win 3:2 against Wiesbaden. The teams were only separated by a point before the start of play and it seemed it would be four when Wiesbaden went two to the good after 23 minutes. However, a goal back from 1860’s Semi Belkahia just before halftime would prove vital. Die Löwen were much more improved in the second period and found themselves level on 50 minutes. The comeback was complete with 20 to go when a freekick was deflected off 1860’s Richard Neudecker which sent the ball into the opposite corner. The win put Die Löwen into 9th position and just four points second. Don’t rule out 1860 just yet.

2 - Magdeburg survived a late scare to beat Freiburg II 2:3 and keep their title charge on the straight and narrow. The sides were tied at 1:1 heading into the break. In the second period, two quickfire goals on the 70th and 74th minute looked to put the game beyond the hosts. However, Freiburg II continued to press and got a goal back in the 91st minute but it was too late for any last-second heroics. The win keeps Magdeburg 11 points clear at the summit whilst Freiburg II sit in 12th but will take great confidence from their performance against the leads best.

3 - Waldhof Mannheim dropped from 2nd to 5th position after two stoppage-time goals for Dortmund II saw them run out as 1:3 winners. Waldhof took the lead after just 9 minutes when a mix up at the back allowed Martinovic to set up Schnatterer for an easy tap in. The comeback was on with just 15 minutes to go when Ole Pohlmann cut in from the left and fired the ball past the goalkeeper into the far corner. Waldhof had a chance to take the lead once more from the spot but Dortmund’s keeper, Drljača, was in-tune to tip the ball onto the post. How costly that miss would have turned out to be. In the 90th and 93rd minutes, Dortmund II struck twice to break the hearts of the small crowd which was allowed to attend the game. Immanuel Pherai’s 90th-minute goal might go down as one of the goal’s of the season. The ball broke to him around 40 metres from goal and without looking the forward curled the ball over the keeper and into the net. The night was capped off when Tobias Raschl coveted from the spot. The win moves Dortmund II into 7th on 33 points with Wladhoff just a point more in 5th.

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