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