Arminia Bielefeld have effectively secured promotion to the Bundesliga with a convincing victory over an increasingly-forlorn Dynamo Dresden.
Jonathan Clauss gave them the lead early on but they didn’t pull away until the second half. Andreas Voglsammer, Fabian Klos and Cebio Soukou struck in the second half to seal the deal.
They need a further point to officially confirm their return to the Bundesliga after 11 years, and a first top flight campaign for 2. Bundesliga stalwarts like Klos and coach Uwe Neuhaus, but due to their goal difference they are pretty much already there.
Clauss starts the party
Clauss is leaving for RC Lens in the summer so he won’t be joining them there, yet here he set his current side well on their way, all bar the shouting at least. It was a beautifully-worked goal ten minutes into the game, lobbing Kevin Broll after being found by an intelligent long ball from Marcel Hartel.
His night personally didn’t end well – he appears to sustain an injury at the end of the first half, and despite coming back on for the second, he only lasted three more minutes before being replaced. If the goal was to be his final contribution for the club, it couldn’t have been more important.
It was left to Bielefeld’s main men to put the icing on the cake in the second half. Voglsammer, making his first start here since his metatarsal injury in January, added the second which was then followed by Klos’s 150th goal for the club. How sweet for the captain, with Bielefeld since 2011, to reach the landmark in such a pivotal game for his team. Soukou then finished the rout late on.
Technically, they can still be caught by VfB Stuttgart, but the margin of this victory makes it even more unlikely that Die Roten, beaten at the weekend, could realistically catch them. The celebrations at the end reflected the certainty of their fate. How they would have loved to have done it in front of their fans though.
Early goal gives Bielefeld control
Both teams had only played three days ago – effectively playing twice over the weekend – and there were multiple changes on both sides. Bielefeld made three after their goalless draw with SV Sandhausen, with Nils Seufert and Anderson Lucoqui, surprisingly in for Florian Hartherz, joining Voglsammer in the line-up.
Dresden, with their insane three-games-a-day schedule continuing, made six alterations from the devastating late defeat to Hamburger SV, and crucially were without Simon Makienok after recent ankle problems.
The Dane has been the biggest shining light for the league’s bottom side, but his absence would be keenly felt here. And the task was made even harder by Clauss’s intervention after a quiet opening ten minutes to the game.
Bielefeld continued to be dominant but didn’t make immediate advantage of this, with efforts falling the way of Seufert and Voglsammer mostly wasted. Dresden showed occasional signs of life. The closest they came was from a Josef Hušbauer free-kick, headed on by Kevin Ehlers, with Patrick Schmidt’s rather weak effort saved by Stefan Ortega in the Bielefeld goal.
The first half ultimately was in keeping with how both teams have been playing. Bielefeld weren’t able to find another gear, with only the occasional strike towards goal – a Voglsammer curler was typically harmless – whilst Dresden tried to maximise their possession but lacked the final ball or precise finishing. Poor marking of Klos nearly cost them before the break, but he headed wide.
Dresden running out of steam
Bielefeld remained in control after the break but again didn’t force the issue much until the hour mark. They had mostly defended resolutely but the barricades were eventually, and inevitably, breached. Seufert headed down a ball for Voglsammer who managed to find a gap in the box to put in the second of the game.
The third was another well worked goal. Soukou, Clauss’s replacement, crossed in to Klos, who managed to keep hold of possession despite Kevin Ehlers staying close to him, and the league’s top scorer knew exactly what to do next. There was no sitting back now.
Dresden were noticeably flagging by this stage, with Markus Kauczinski’s changes mainly to save some legs rather than try to find a way back into the game, even if they switched to 4-4-2.
Schmidt had had a quiet night but made the most of being in the middle with two chances before his withdrawal, including forcing a save out of Ortega. Perhaps they would have been better off with him, rather than the quiet Alexander Jeremejeff, leading the attack here.
The final blow was delivered by the one attacker without a goal. Soukou won the ball on the halfway line from Brian Hamalainen and was left unchallenged as he ran all the way to the box before pulling the trigger. The result was long already decided though. Kauczinski’s side look increasingly doomed.
Bielefeld: Ortega; Brunner, Pieper (Behrendt 90’), Nilsson, Lucoqui; Prietl, Seufert (Kunze 81’), Hartel (Salger 90’); Clauss (Soukou 48’), Klos (Schipplock 82’), Voglsammer.
Dresden: Broll; Wahlqvist, Ehlers, Ballas (Müller 80’), Hamalainen; Nikolaou (Klingenburg 70‘), Petrák (Hartmann 73’); Schmidt (Königsdörffer 80’), Hušbauer (Horvath 70’), Terrazzino; Jeremejeff.
Goals: Clauss (10’), Voglsammer (62’), Kloss (65‘), Soukou (87’).
Referee: Johann Pfeifer.