SV Sandhausen took a big step towards safety with a surprisingly convincing 3-1 win over a poor Hannover 96.
After a goalless first half they race into a 2-0 lead after the break through Julius Biada and Gerrit Nauber, and had two goals disallowed before Philip Türpitz did make it three.
John Guidetti had pulled one back but Hannover’s attacking players were virtually anonymous, and will have to improve if they are to keep out of the scrap at the bottom.
Inability in air costs Hannover
They last time they were in Sandhuasen in 2017, Hannover had sealed promotion but here they were bitterly disappointing over the course of 90 minutes, with Kenan Kocak, returning to his former club for the first time, unable to work his magic and get anything out of his team. Six changes from the midweek draw against Karlsruher SC and a seven-hour coach trip to nearby Heidelberg the day before cannot have helped.
Their inability to deal with Sandhuasen’s ball in the box can’t be excused though. All three goals came from crosses or corners, and they even conceded two more such goals that were disallowed. Leart Paqarada, in particular, were incredibly dangerous from out wide whilst top scorer Kevin Behrens set up the goals for Biada and Türpitz.
“That was a day to forget. We deservedly lost,” admitted Kocak after the game. His counterpart Uwe Koschinat was obviously a lot happier. “I think that victory was deserved in the second half due to the very determined football and the clear amount in chances,” he said.
Despite a poor start to 2020, Sandhausen have now lost just one in six and have won two games on the bounce. A switch to 5-2-1-2 (or 3-4-1-2 if you prefer) has worked perfectly for Koschinat, winning seven points over the past week, and survival for an eighth time at this level looks increasingly likely.
Hannover get away with it in first half
Among the players coming in for Hannover were Miiko Albornoz and Marvin Bakalorz, who played in the 1-1 draw here three years ago, with Felipe back from injury on the bench. They were without Waldemar Anton, who was suspended, and his presence was missed at the back here. Sandhausen made only one, enforced, chance, Marlon Frey replacing the suspended Emanuel Taffertshofer, yet they looked anything but weary.
Hannover, by contrast, were sluggish from the start. Bakalorz did come close early on but couldn’t beat Martin Fraisl, although an early collision with Dominik Kaiser resulting in a rib injury that ultimately ended his afternoon early.
Sandhuasen would have been wondering how they didn’t take the lead in the first half. Denis Linsmayer hit the post after a misjudged back pass from Genki Haraguchi, Robin Schau went wide after a well-worked throw-in, before Aleksandr Zhirov’s header was flipped over the bar by Ron-Robert Zieler. Zhirov also headed wide as the home side showed a real danger from their set pieces.
So did Hannover though, especially when Marcel Franke, making his first start since November, hit the post from a Kaiser corner. But even though they were playing the more expressive football, they weren’t able to make that count, and Sandhuasen came close again before the break, Zieler saving from Behrens.
Too easy for the hosts
Sandhausen couldn’t have asked for a better start to the second half. Behrens set up the first goal, brushing off Josip Elez with ease on the right before finding Biada with his cross. That was followed just five minutes later with Nauber easily beat Haraguchi in the air to head home Paqarada’s corner, his first goal since joining from MSV Duisburg in the summer.
Despite the double blow Hannover quickly got back in the game. Haraguchi made up for his weakness for the second half but beautifully setting up Guidetti to score. They were struggling at the back though. They were lucky when Behrens ran the ball out of the ball having gotten round Zieler, and another Paqarada corner almost caught them out when Behrens thought he had scored, but he appeared to use his hand so the goal was disallowed.
Kocak rung the changes but couldn’t do anything about his side’s vulnerability in the air. Biada had two headed attempts on goal, one taken by Zieler and the other going over, and Hannover probably should have gone 3-1 down when Zhirov headed in the latest corner from Paqarada. However Biada was stood in an offside position and moved close enough to the ball as it went in for the flag to go up.
A third was more than deserved when it came. With Hannover’s defence wide open, Biada found Behrens out wide and he crossed in to find Türpitz on the far side, with the substitute striking home to make the game safe.
A frustrating return in the end for Kocak, who will no doubt be raging at his team only taking 1 point from games against struggling Karlsruhe SV and Sandhausen. Koschinat won’t be counting his chickens just yet, but with six points between them and the bottom three, and five games left, this was a massive step towards another season of 2. Bundesliga football for the Baden-Württemberg club.
Sandhausen: Fraisl; Diekmeier, Zhirov, Kister, Nauber, Paqarada; Frey, Linsmayer (Paurevic 90’); Biada (Dieckmann 90’); Scheu (Halimi 55‘ (Türpitz 75’)), Behrens.
Hannover: Zieler; Franke, Hübers (Felipe HT), Elez; Maina, Bakalorz (Ochs 33‘), Kaiser, Albornoz (Muslija 74’); Haraguchi; Teuchert (Weydandt 61‘), Guidetti (Ducksch 62‘).
Goals: Biada (51‘), Nauber (56‘), Türpitz (82′); Guidetti (58‘).
Referee: Deniz Aytekin.
Elsewhere on Saturday
Arminia Bielefeld took a big step towards promotion to the Bundesliga with a 2-1 win at Holstein Kiel. Sven Schipplock scored his first goal for three years in stoppage time, after strikes from Jonathan Clauss and Alexander Mühling.
Karlsruher SC and FC. St Pauli drew 1-1, with Jérôme Gondorf quickly cancelling out Dimitris Diamantakos’s opener, whilst 1. FC Nürnberg and VfL Bochum played out a goalless draw.