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 →
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 →
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 →