One lapse in concentration saw stalemate specialists Hansa Rostock denied their first win of the season at home to fellow strugglers Karlsruhe. Peter Vollmann’s East German outfit looked set to reap the rewards for changing to a two-striker system against a side who would have then replaced them in the relegation zone, but the away side’s experienced strike duo combined with 12 minutes to go to earn Karlsruhe a barely-deserved point.
During an early spell of possession in the opposition half, Karlsruhe used their higher-division experience by knocking the ball about in the second-third with some long-diagonals, making the hosts chase fruitlessly. However, although one pass too many soon saw that bit of ball monopolization wasted, Karlsruhe continued to do most of the running in the opening five minutes. They made snappy exchanges followed by quickly-dispatched through-balls, drew fouls, and won their 50:50 duels and tackles. Klemen Lavrič had a particularly mobile start to the match, with he and Alexander Iashvili constantly involved, mainly via long balls over the high-standing home defence.
Peter Vollmann was determined to keep his 4-4-2 compact, yet although this should have assisted the team in their passing moves, the midfielders in particular seemed flustered when pressed. Karlsruhe were also deploying a compact 4-4-2 when out of possession, and despite this holding firm for most of the opening ten minutes, the movement of Tino Semmer did open up a few gaps for his colleagues to exploit. As we went beyond the ten-minute mark, Semmer and his Hansa Rostock teammates had actually forced themselves into a position of control, the origins of which were in a number of deep crosses they’d swung in that had had the visiting defence back-pedalling. Continue reading →
Pre-season promotion favourites Duisburg put in another shambolic performance as Rostock missed the chance to grab all three points by spurning a number of first half opportunities. The visitors were well organised and hungry, but Duisburg’s first half performance was devoid of invention, effort and quality. They improved in the second half, but still couldn’t break down Hansa, who have now drawn their last four games.
Both sides were unchanged from their respective league games last week, as Rostock got things under way at the Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena; reverberating with the fantastic noise of the passionate home fans. Duisburg pressed high and hard immediately, putting their guests under pressure and inducing nervousness. But the visitors soon began to give as good as they got out of possession, meaning that the ball went back and fore and nowhere in particular in the opening stages, with the sideways-passing deep centre-backs on either side being the only players with any room.
Peter Vollmann, setting his side out in a 4-2-3-1 which became a 4-4-2 when Duisburg had the ball (Tino Semmer and Mohammed Lartey only pressed the defence when they were about ten feet before the halfway line), was seemingly intent on using his ‘lone striker’ as a space-finder rather than a target man. The Rostock wingers looked to get on the ball as often as possible, and this allowed Lartey to make some runs in behind the defence too – the best coming in the fifth minute, when he burst between and behind the unaware Duisburg left-back and left-sided centre-back, only to drag his right-footed effort across goal. Continue reading →