After the 5th matchday, right in the thick of things at the top of the league was an unlikely name: SV Sandhausen. Three wins in a row had catapulted our upcoming opponent to the top. Since this, they've fallen to an unfortunate defeat in Karlsruhe, but the Kurpfälzers, with 10 points on the board, are absolutely on track this season.
Uwe Koschinat, who has been in charge of the sports side line for over a year now, could have even set a club record with a win in Karlsruhe. SVS have never won four games in a row in the 2. Bundesliga. But against KSC they lacked the effectiveness of the previous weeks. In spite of Sandhausen starting in a determined fashion after halftime, KSC scored what would prove to be the winner. Manuel Stiefler, who has been with the SVS for five years, stabbed the ball over the line to score the decisive goal. A small dampener, but not the end of the world for SVS by any stretch. After all, SVS have already collected points against formidable opponents already this year. Home wins against Darmstadt and newly relegated Nuremberg, as well as an away win in Heidenheim, that's something to be proud of.
Koschinat also had to accept serious losses this summer, especially in attack. Last season's top scorer Andrew Wooten now plies his trade in the MLS. Fabian Schleusener, on loan from SC Freiburg, has now move on to FCN. On transfer deadline day, Philipp Förster was also bought by big promotion favourites VfB Stuttgart. But it hasn't seemed to cause an issue at SVS, with the West Germans so far managing to score one goal more than their opponents this season. Kevin Behrens, current top scorer, has three goals to his name. But our upcoming opponent are especially strong defensively. Russian Aleksandr Zhirov and Gerrit Nauber are among their best defenders, and Dennis Diekmeier continues to present himself as a fan favourite for the Kurpfälzers. Last winter, when things were not exactly rosy around Sandhausen, the long-time HSV pro came to SVS. Meanwhile Diekmeier leads the team as captain when Stefan Kulovits, the captain of the team, is not on the pitch. It is also quite possible that Besar Halimi will make his debut for Sandhausen on Saturday. The Kosovon international came from Denmark shortly before the end of the transfer window from Bröndby IF.
A difficult task, but not an impossible one, but head coach Thomas Reis also knows: "SVS are already the surprise package so far. They show that you can earn a lot of points with a good defence. But I don't want to limit it to the defence. They play a good pressing game and have good individual players in their ranks. We have to make sure that we stand compact and then put Sandhausen under pressure."
And the fact that we can learn from last season is good warning enough. A good first half, in which we really should have been leading going into the break. Knipping, Wooten and Schleusener all scored in quick succession in the second half to make it 3-0 to the hosts. The Kurpfälzers had, before this, been a good hunting ground for the Blau-Weißen before. In 13 duels we have only lost twice. Before the bitter 0-3 the VfL remained undefeated nine times in a row against SVS. But what relevance does that have, particularly given our current situation? Saturday is an opportunity to buck a much-needed run of six games without a win this season, as well as our away curse. We have yet to win away from home in 2019, with December the last time we tasted success away from Bochum. It's about time...
Great chances, 1-0 lead after the break, but not the first victory of the season for VfL! In Sandhausen, the starting side created chance after chance. Several times Zoller, Ganvoula and co. could have ensured Bochum were out of sight. However, with one minute left, Bouhaddouz somehow converted one of the very few SVS opportunities to equalise. Wasteful from VfL!
Sunshine, 25 degrees - perfect conditions for our away game at SV Sandhausen. VfL head coach Thomas Reis made two changes to the starting line-up from the previous 2-2 draw against SG Dynamo Dresden: Simon Zoller replaced the unwell Sebastian Maier in the starting eleven. Danny Blum started ahead Thomas Eisfeld, who dropped to the bench. You can follow the feed as it happened below.
The lads are out! VfL, in our red third strip, will kick off! 0' |
Unbelievable support here from Bochumers as always! 2' |
And VfL with the first big chance! Decarli has the ball at his feet six yards out, but Fraisl scrambles away the centre-back's effort! 3' |
Good tempo shown by the Bochumers so far. 5'|
Behrens is in the Bochum box, and is shot is saved by Riemann comfortably. He was offside anyway. 7' |
Sandhausen having some chances now in these first few minutes. A shot from Türpitz from 25 yards out slides just wide of Riemann's right post . 8' |
Driven cross from Blum is just missed by Ganvoula. Good start here. 10' |
Chance for the hosts- a cross is floated in and Manu gets there but under pressure spills the ball to a SVS player, but he can't convert! A quick counterattack from us looks pretty until a Losilla cross is blocked. 15' |
The tempos been raised here in the last minute or so, as we search for our first 1-0 lead of the season. GREAT CHANCE! Cross from the left hand side and Zoller is at the far post, his header from 6 yards is well directed and well saved by Fraisl! 17' |
The resulting corner lands on Zoller's head again but it's too difficult to direct goalwards. 18'|
Corner for the hosts...headed safely over. 20' |
A quarter of the way through and the best chance was that early Decarli chance; other than that it has ebbed and flowed somewhat. 23'|
Chance! Danilo dribbles down to the byline and cuts it back to Janelt who's unmarked on the edge of the box. He has the time to take a touch but elects to shoot first time and he drags his shot well wide. 23' |
Manu Riemann is down after getting a kick from Behrens in the process of saving a tame effort from Engels. He's fine and back up, which is a relief. 27'|
Great passing move from the men in red sees Danilo able to pitch in a dangerous cross, that finds Zoller. Our number 9 rises to meet the header from 16 yards out, but the ball flies just wide! Better! 30' |
Diekmeier with the cross from the right; it's controlled well by Engels but he then ploughs into Decarli instead of stabbing the ball goalward. Decarli is okay, and we avoid a dangerous chance becoming something more. 34' |
A ping over the top intended for Zolli is knocked down by a Sandhausen player toward Pantovic, who lets fly on the half volley from distance! Great connection, spins just high and wide; close enough to warrant an acrobatic dive from Fraisl. 38'|
Great play from Pantovic and Blum, combining before Losilla gets the ball on the edge of the box, jinxes past a home player and curls goalward! Great strike, again just wide of the top left-hand corner. 41'|
Going through a purple patch here; need to make the most of it. 42'|
WHAT A CHANCE! AHHHH! As half time approaches that should be 1-0! Zoller is slipped through and is one-on-one with Fraisl, he shoots powerfully and it's a fantastic save by the SVS 'keeper. Should have been a goal. Should have. 45' |
Second half underway! Come on lads, would really love 3 points to savour on the four hour drive back! 46' |
No changes from the away side; Sandhausen do make the one halftime change though; Scheu replacing Gislason. 46’|
Halimi shapes a shot from 15 yards, attempting to curl it past Riemann's left. The shot doesn't have the accuracy nor the pace to beat our no.1, and it remains 0-0. 49’|
Scheu's first action of the game is to floor Danilo, who had cleverly outmanoeuvred the SVS player. The free kick comes to nothing apart from a half-hearted handball appeal from VfL. 53'|
Corner ball VfL. Pantovic swings it in... GOALLL GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!! 57'|
GOALLL GOALLL GANVOULAAAAAAAAAAA. HE PRODS IN THE LOW CROSS FROM SIX YARDS OUT! GET IN! 57' |
Danilo marauds down the wing and cuts back to Zolli, who chips it wide. 57' |
Pantovic goes in the book for simulation. 60' |
Corner to the hosts after a shot takes a deflection of Gamboa. Swung in... bravely punched out by Manu! He was swamped there and collided with Lorenz. He's down and receiving treatment. 61’|
Second change for the hosts. Biada comes on for Halimi. 63'|
Lorenz is all okay. Phew. 65' |
Attendance today is a quiet 5,339. 66' |
Free-kick 25 yards out to the home side. Türplitz floats into the hands of Riemann. 67' |
Corner. Pantovic over it again. The corner is poor and SVS break... a better ball and Türpitz would have been through on goal. In the end, it is calmly caught by Manu. 67'|
A deep cross needs some dealing with. Danilo takes evasive action by chesting it out for a home corner. The resulting cross is well defended away. 70'|
Behrens is close in and has the chance to produce an equaliser!! His close range effort flies well over the bar though, much to the relief of the Westfalians here. 74' |
Our first change of the game. Goal provider Pantovic makes way for Robert Tesche! 76' |
A long ball from Riemann is partly cleared to Ganvoula, who dribbles his way with verve toward the goal, before striking a powerful shot from 25 yards. Wide of the goal, not troubling Fraisl, but good work nonetheless. 79'|
Final change for the home side. Mario Engels, a threat throughout, comes off, to be replaced by Aziz Bouhaddouz. 79'|
Big chance for SVS! A probing cross from the right has Riemann parrying it away, Türpitz is able to have a first time effort from 15 yards whilst Riemann is still on the floor. The red bodies in the goalmouth put him off though, and he skies it. 80'|
Great penetration from Janelt, driving 60 yards through the heart, he then lays off Danny Blum but his shot from the left is always rising and goes wide. 82' |
We make our second change. Gamboa makes way for Celozzi, who makes his first appearance this season. 83'|
Five minutes left. Robert Tesche goes in the book for a foul 35 yards out. A dangerous free kick now awaits. Türpitz stands over it... and hits a swerving knuckleball! Thankfully, it swerves well wide. 85'|
Now Celozzi goes in the book for a rash challenge. 87' |
A cross is knocked on and Bouhaddouz smashes past Riemann. VAR checks it but the goal is confirmed. 88' |
Last knockings here. It hurts. Four minutes of stoppage time to come.90' |
Janelt is dispossessed in the box and SVS should score. Smashed at Riemann and he tips it over for a corner. They are so close. 90+'|
Atrocious challenge on Ganvoula, who rightfully gives the SVS player an earful. Ganvoula and Zhirov both go in the book. 90+'|
Tough one to take. So close to our first win of the season; and but for a last-minute equaliser we would have been able to come away from Sandhausen with three points Unfortunately we have to settle for our first away point this campaign. FT' |1-1
Thomas Reis (VfL Bochum 1848 Head Coach): It is difficult to evaluate this game correctly today. We have played a great first half, in which we were able to create many chances. Unfortunately we missed opportunities to take the lead. We managed that in the second half. As soon as we scored we were aware that Sandhausen would throw everything forward and bring big players for the offensive. Thus we could not provide as much offensive play. All in all, we didn't defend well enough anymore, and they scored a goal against us. In the end, we can be happy that we didn't concede the second goal, because we defended so poorly. Of course, the disappointment is great because I think we could have come away with three points today. Of course, it's not enough to go into the game 17th in the table and only earn one point. Nevertheless, the way the squad presented itself today and last week makes me feel positive. We will continue to work hard to ensure that we get our first win next week against Darmstadt.
Uwe Koschinat (head coach SV Sandhausen 1916): "Without ifs and buts we have to talk about a very lucky point earned today. From my point of view, the performance of VfL was very good, but three factors caused by us have led to us having problems today: We didn't implement our tactics well. Especially in the first half we had huge problems in covering the width in their defence Simon Lorenz, for example, was able to dribble all the way into our half again and again. We couldn't get a good grip of the game and always had to work to catch up, VfL were dominant. The second point is in our mileage, I also saw issues there today. In a lot of situations, we were waiting on the bench for our players to work harder whilst pressing. We were much too hesitant, Bochum was able to play its way out of pressing situations so often and quickly cause danger in attack. I didn't like that at all. In addition, we had a high number of technical shortcomings, simple passes were not played with care. We played very much backwards and hesitantly, and our accuracy was also lacking. That means against a good team like the VfL - and that they are irrespective of their position in the table - we will and have become unstuck. That's why I was glad that we got to half-time at 0-0 on the one hand, and also on the other hand it allowed us to work at containing Bochum's clear superiority in the second half. Nevertheless, we went 0-1 down. To be honest, it needed a lot of good faith in the team that we would come back again. But the squad believed. In the final phase we were so close to winning all three points, but let's not get ahead of ourselves: That would have been too lucky today. It was a lucky point for us and we will live with it.
Anthony Losilla: That's how it is in football - if you don't put away your chances, you will be punished. We should have scored two or three goals in the first half today. Then we don't put these chances away, but in the end we do manage to score. We can take a lot of positives out of the game, but at some point we have to start scoring more.We've lost two points today. It just hurts, but we will continue to work on ourselves. We can still turn the situation around. I believe in us, I trust the team. I think we were the better team today, now we have to work on our efficiency. It is no longer good enough just to play good football. Now we have to score the goals and not concede any more.
Sebastian Schindzielorz (VfL Bochum 1848 Sporting Director): I think we played well in the first half and created some chances. From my point of view we should have taken the lead, but unfortunately we didn't succeed. In the second half we score the goal, but in the current situation it's typical for us to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory. We should have left the pitch today as winners. We don't have enough points, so of course we're all disappointed. We have to face up to the situation and try to win our next home game against Darmstadt.