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
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