Karlsruhe 1-3 Eintracht Braunschweig

They key first half formations. Karlsruhe, in blue, are depicted in the 4-4-2-cum-4-2-2-2 which saw them boss the first boss the opening 15 minutes of the game. Braunschweig, meanwhile, are pictured in the 4-2-3-1 which saw them take control of the game for the half's last half-hour.

Eintracht Braunschweig continued their superb start to the 2. Bundesliga season thanks to their coolness in front of goal and a genius tactical turnaround by coach Torsten Lieberknecht. Last season’s 3. Liga champions have now taken nine points from a possible 12, and restricted experienced second division side Karlsruhe to mere half-chances as they chased the game with high-calibre players such as Delron Buckley.

Match preview here. 

A cautious start by the away side meant that whenever lone attacker Dominick Kumbela got the chance to break, he had no support and thus, no chance of making something happen. His colleagues were content to sit off, waiting until Karlsruhe’s players were all in the other half save for the centre-backs and ‘keeper before pressing. This negativity so nearly resulted in the hosts taking the lead in the opening few minutes; Buckley launching a mazy dribble after Kumbela was robbed, and slipping through a disguised pass which eventually found its way through to Klemen Lavrič, on it after diagonal run.
His shot whizzed across Daniel Davari’s goal, sent out – just – for a corner by Marcel Correira getting a shin on the ball.

The visitors were nervy all over the pitch in the opening ten minutes – messing up simple controls, giving away needless fouls, and unable to consolidate themselves in any sort of shape whatsoever. And, they paid the price for their sloppy start in the ninth minute, resulting primarily from Correira giving away a needless free-kick just off the D. Buckley ran over the dead ball, but although no one was fooled, Davari could do nothing to stop Timo Staffeldt curling the ball into the top right-hand corner for 1-0!

Staffeldt deserved his goal, as he was superb in the opening 15 minutes. Playing in a side that pressed high, if not frantically, the Karlsruhe midfielder was always about with midfield colleagues Steffen Haus to win tackles, mop up loose balls and make the side tick over by playing simple forward passes. Braunschweig, for whom Lieberknecht had made several personnel changes and had moved various other players into new positions, seemingly possessed no such player, and therefore, they played with no such rhythm. Although Braunschweig continued to panic in one-on-one duels and still had no one to support Kumbela in attack as we approached the 20-minute mark, the home side’s defence were doing their job well – narrowing into a semi-ring shape whenever their attacking colleagues lost the ball, and taking advantage of the fact that Kumbela was always receiving passes in the centre with no yellow-shirted player on the wings. 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

Eintracht Braunschweig 3-1 1860 Munich

The first half formations

Newly-promoted Eintracht Braunschweig fired a warning shot to the rest of the league as they tactically outwitted 2. Bundesliga stalwarts 1860 Munich with a potent display.

Match preview here.

A vociferous home crowd couldn’t prevent the visitors from jumping into the driving seat early on, bossing the ball, winning a corner, and having three blocked efforts on goal. With Collin Benjamin throwing himself into a mopping up job with relish, the former HSV man helped maintain 1860s pacy start, and ruined Braunschweig’s attempts to position their midfield bank of four as near to the lone striker Dominick Kumbela as possible. Nevertheless, the away side gradually became a bit too quick for their own good, and began to leave gaps. Braunschweig were beginning to acclimatise to the tempo by the fifth minute, and when Dennis Malura was robbed on a burst upfield, Mirko Boland robbed him, played a one-two with Kumbela, and his subsequent jinx drew a free-kick on the wing in a decent position. Continue reading

Eintracht Braunschweig-1860 Munich preview

The opening round of the 2011/12 2. Bundesliga season enters its third day today, with the club promoted as champions from 3. Liga hosting the perennially troubled capital city side. Little over ten years ago, 1860 Munich were playing Leeds United in a Champions League tie. But, in the years since, both clubs have suffered financial turmoil and prolonged spells in the lower leagues, although Leeds’ star shined a little longer than 1860’s before dimming. Nevertheless, the Bavarian club’s financial situation is getting better thanks to some mooted Jordanian investment, and a wage dispute dating back to November was resolved earlier this week. Continue reading