KSC is back in 2. Bundesliga! Under Head Coach Alois Schwartz, the club from the 'Fan City' were promoted last year, allowing us to rekindle a classic German football battle. After 57 meets, VfL and KSC are ready to slog it out for a 58th time. Recent history, however, does show that a draw may be imminent; 9 of our last 11 head to heads have ended in a share of the spoils. Here's a more detailed look at Karlsruher SC:
Karlsruhe lies in the northwest of Baden-Württemberg and is, with around 313,000 inhabitants, the second biggest city in the state after Stuttgart. When the city was founded in 1715, Count Karl Wilhelm designed the town on a sketch board. Because of this, the streets and avenues of Karlsruhe all 'fan’ round to lead to the count’s residence, the Karlsruhe Schloss. Thanks to this, Karlsruhe is known as ‘fan-shaped city’. In addition to this name, Karlsruhe is also known as the ‘home of the law’, since the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Court of Justice, who both have their HQs in the city.
Originally, the home venue of KSC, the Wildparkstadion, was a football and athletics stadium with a capacity of 50,000. After the athletics track was removed during renovations, the stadium progressed to becoming a fully single-purpose football stadium from October 2018. After its planned completion in 2022, the stadium will be able to accommodate 35,000 fans.
Karlsruher SC was founded on 16th October 1952, when FC Phönix Karlsruher and VfB Mühlburg merged. Founded in 1894, FC Phönix existed in a time when football was frowned upon. A few years later, however, the club established itself and became better known. However, when the club began to struggle financially in the early 50s, a merger with VfB Mühlburg, another successfully but financially unstable club, was considered and exacted.
The Golden Age
KSC experienced its most successful years shortly after its formation. In the 1954/55 season, the North Badeners were able to win the DFB Pokal for the first time thanks to a 3-2 win against FC Schalke 04. In the following year Karlsruher even managed to defend the DFB Pokal. That time the club defeated Hamburg SV in the final, with a 3-1 win. Successful years in recent club history were between 1987 and 1998. During this time KSC played uninterruptedly in the Bundesliga. In addition, the then-youth talents and later national players Oliver Kahn, Michael Sternkopf and Mehmet Scholl were at the time establishing themselves as fixtures of the KSC squad.
Alois Schwartz began his career as a player with the Stuttgart Kickers, where he made the leap from the academy to the pros. He played a total of 160 games for the Kickers in six years. During this time, he was twice promoted to the Bundesliga with the Stuttgart team. After this, he moved to MSV Duisburg for two seasons and later onto Rot-Weiss Essen. Schwartz ended his player career at the Austrian side FC Hard. After his career, the Baden-Württemberg native took up his first coaching position at Rot-Weiss Erfurt. Before joining KSC in the 2017/18 season, the 52-year-old was a coach at 1 FC Nurenberg.
Head to Head
In the overall head to head, VfL come out on top. In a total of 57 matches, the Blau-Weiß have beaten Sunday’s opponents 21 times. The clubs have drawn 22 times, with VfL succumbing to defeat in 14 matches. The last match between VfL and KSC occurred on the 19th matchday of the 2016/17 season in the 2. Bundesliga and ended in a 1-1 draw. Stefan Mugosa had put the visitors in the lead, but five minutes before the end, Johannes Wurtz equalised for VfL and secured the Ruhr side a point.
Their Season So Far
Karlsruher SC made the perfect start to the season: Alois Schwartz's team won twice to kick off the year- 2-1 at SV Wehen Wiesbaden and 4-2 against SG Dynamo Dresden. However, three defeats in a row followed, leaving the Badeners to stabilise in mid-table. Like VfL, KSC have now gone four games unbeaten. After a 1-0 win at SV Sandhausen, KSC have secured three1-1 draws in a row; at 1 FC Nürnberg, against 1 FC Heidenheim and most recently at SV Darmstadt 98.
Head coach Thomas Reis kept the same starting eleven for today's home game against KSC, retaining faith in the team that secured a 3-2 away win at 1. FC Heidenheim. Cristian Gamboa, Simon Lorenz, Saulo Decarli and Danilo Soares formed the four-man defence ahead of goalkeeper Manuel Riemann. Vitaly Janelt and skipper Anthony Losilla occupied the middle, with Simon Zoller and Danny Blum starting out wide. Up top was Silvère Ganvoula.
4‘: The first chance of the game goes for the guests: Marc Lorenz crosses the ball into the middle. Choi rises highest, but heads the ball just wide of the VfL goal.
8‘: Goal. The visitors capitaise on their third corner of the game to take the lead. Hofmann loses Decarli, and heads the ball past Riemann to put KSC into the lead- 0-1.
10‘: GOOALLLLLL! Immediate response from VfL! Maier swings in a corner ball, Decarli loses his defender and directs it into the bottom corner- 1-1.
12‘: Blum receives the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Fröde.
17‘: Red card for KSC! Fröde sees yellow card for a foul on Zoller, but sees an immediate second yellow after sarcastically applauding the referee! KSC are down to ten with more than 70mins still to play!
20‘: Good chance for VfL: Maier hits a free-kick from the left into the area, but Lorenz narrowly misses the ball.
21‘: GOAL. In a direct counterattack KSC renew their advantage. Roßbach has so much space and slides in a low cross to Choi, who slots it home from 12 yards.
28‘: Referee Winter gets a signal from the VAR centre in Cologne, runs over to the monitor and spots an infringement on Janelt. Gordon had clipped him just inside the box, and the ref gives a penalty!
30‘: GOOALLLL! Blum takes the ball and shoots low, left and hard under Uphoff, who guessed the right way but couldn’t save it- 2-2!
31‘: GOALLLLL! The lead for VfL! Ganvoula's cross sails to the back post, a block sees it land perfectly for the onrushing Gamboa, who strikes it with his left foot into the bottom corner! 3-2!
38‘: Janelt with a powerful shot from just outside the box, the shot is deflected and goes into the sidenetting.
40‘: Marc Lorenz looks to drive down the left wing - Gamboa stops him and sees a yellow for it.
HT: This game has had everything in it so far today: Many goals, a red card and a 3-2 lead at the break for VfL! The Blau-Weiß have come from behind twice, before two goals in as many minutes has ensured the home side go into halftime 3-2 up.
46‘: KSC make a change at the start of the second half: Goalscorer Choi makes way for Alexander Groiß.
49‘: Penalty for KSC! Riemann brings Wanitzek down in the penalty area. Lorenz stands over it and curls it to the left hand side- but Riemann guesses the right way and parries the shot away! Great Save!
51‘: Another yellow for KSC: Roßbach goes up against Zoller but only catches the man and receives a card for it.
55‘: Good chance for Maier, but his finish just inside the box sails over KSC’s goal.
59‘: VfL are piling on the pressure. Zoller gives it to Losilla, who shoots from 25 yards off, but the ball flies over.
61‘: Two corners for VfL within a minute. The first results in a Janelt shot, which is deflected behind, before Blum heads straight at Uphoff off the second.
66‘: Stiefler sees yellow in midfield for a tactical foul against Maier.
69‘: Change for VfL: Head coach Thomas Reis brings Tom Weilandt into play for Sebastian Maier.
77‘: So nearly a fabulous Ganvoula goak: The Congolese player first beats his opponent, cutting inside and then out, before thundering a shot against the bar.
78‘: Second change for the home side: Stefano Celozzi comes in for the cautioned Gamboa.
80‘: The guests now also make a change: Roßbach out, Pourie in.
83‘: Last change for VfL: Milos Pantovic replaces Simon Zoller.
88‘: Big chance for VfL: Pantovic slides a cross across the six yard box to Blum, who runs down the middle but his slide is a tad late and the ball flies agonisingly past.
90‘: The KSC also make their final change: Anton Fink for Marco Thiede.
90+1‘: Goal! Unbelievable, KSC’s Anton Fink has been on the pitch for less than 30 seconds but he fires the equaliser past Riemann. 3-3.
FT: VfL snatch defeat from the jaws of victory yet again, dropping two points and letting KSC return home with a point.
Thomas Reis (VfL Bochum 1848's Head Coach): We had lots of luck in many ways today. What was disappointing was how we started the game. After eight minutes, we had already allowed three corners, even though we came into the game knowing that Karlsruhe have great quality. We didn't settle into our rhythm. We didn't work well against the ball. Then we take the lead [at 3-2] and have to defend what would have been an undeserved victory. It is absolutely deserved point for Karlsruhe. Now we have to lick our wounds and work on it so that we get more stability in our game and concede fewer goals against.
Alois Schwartz (Karlsruher SC's Head Coach): First of all, I'd like to compliment my team: The way they played today, the way they played here and the way they earned a deserved point. But the fact that the referee intervenes twice in such a decisive manner, disadvantaging us twice, is a bit of a disaster. In the end we were good in the game, but then play stops and the referee gives a penalty. There was a clear offside before the foul leading to the penalty, so if VAR has a look at it, it needs to intervene there too. Then we had to play with ten men for nearly the whole game. The 3-2 was a shock and really knocked us, and it took us a while to recover from that. In the end, we deserved more than one point here. With ten men we had the better chances.
Simon Lorenz (VfL): I don't know what to say so soon after the game. We get the first two goals relatively quickly, then get well into the game and take the lead. In the second half, especially in the last 30 minutes, we were off the pace and missed chances to kill off the game. Now we have to look at the footage again and analyse it for next week.
Anthony Losilla: What should I say about this game? We could have got three points. Although we started badly and fell behind, we quickly made up for it. Then we were given a numerical advantage. We didn't do enough today to leave with all three points. It's the same pattern: every week it's the same here at home. The fact is that we're too unstable, even though we outnumbered them and led for most of the game.
Saulo Decarli: In my opinion, everything has to do with will. If we are not prepared to give everything for over 95 minutes, then we will continue to be punished - it is unbelievable. It simply must not happen that we give away the points at the end. I have no words for that. We have absolutely the qualities to play better, but we're still at the bottom of the table, that's too low.