Hansa Rostock 1-1 Karlsruhe

The first half formations.

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.

Match preview here.

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

Hansa Rostock-Karlsruhe preview

Leaky Karlsruhe make the seven-and-a-half-hour drive to stalemate specialists Hansa Rostock tomorrow lunchtime for a clash between two of the second division’s strugglers. The visitors sit one point and place above their hosts in15th, but they’ve lost five games on the spin, conceding 15 goals in the process. Despite being a Karlsruhe native who represented the club in his playing career, coach Rainer Scharinger is under serious pressure, and has been told by general manager Oliver Kreuzer that losing this tie is “forbidden”. Hansa, on the other hand, come into this game without a single win to their name (unlike Karlsruhe, who won on the opening day of the season, and managed to win their DFB-Pokal match in regulation time). However, tomorrow’s hosts have drawn four of their last six games 0-0, and teams visiting the DKB-Arena find them extremely difficult to break down. Continue reading

Karlsruhe-Eintracht Braunschweig preview

The 2. Bundesliga season is now in full swing, entering its fourth round with a fixture between the sides currently in sixth and seventh spot respectively; newly promoted Eintracht Braunschweig visiting Baden-Württemberg side Karlsruhe, stuck in the second tier since Bundesliga relegation in 2009. The game will be played at the Wildparkstadion, which hosted the midweek U21 international between Germany and Cyprus, and the referee is Thomas Metzen.

After starting out with home and away wins against 1860 Munich and Alemannia Aachen, Braunschweig have been brought back down to earth recently after a cup exit to Bayern Munich, and a 3-0 league hammering by Eintracht Frankfurt. The Lower Saxony side, notorious for their financial misdemeanours and escapades (the club were embroiled in the Bundesliga match fixing scandal of 1971, but were also the first German side to stitch a sponsor logo on their jerseys two years later), are experiencing their first stint in 2. Bundesliga since the 2006/07 season. As a result, coach Torsten Lieberknecht has noted that as they face a battle to stay in the division, he may have to alter his favoured 4-1-4-1 formation on occasion to ensure things are kept as tight as possible at the back. Continue reading