It’s the standard strength that counts: Heidenheim defeated fellow promoted team Darmstadt after an open exchange of blows. All of the hosts’ goals come from dead balls.
The impressive strength after dead balls gave 1. FC Heidenheim an important victory on the way to staying in the Bundesliga.
In the 3:2 (1:0) win against SV Darmstadt 98, all FCH goals came from set pieces kicked by Jan-Niklas Beste. With their fourth win this season, coach Frank Schmidt’s team extends their lead over the Lilies to five points.
In a hard-fought duel between the two promoted teams, the strong FCH, who scored 13 of their 14 points at home, celebrated after goals from Jan Schöppner (42nd minute) and captain Patrick Mainka (69th/71st minute). In the meantime, Darmstadt had turned the game around. First Tim Skarke equalized at his old stomping ground (52′), then the guests benefited from an own goal from Lennard Maloney (60′).
Heidenheim is always sloppy
There was still a question mark over the US international before kick-off due to an ankle injury. But Schmidt turned on the 24-year-old midfield engine. At first, Maloney and his teammates just ran after the ball. Oscar Vilhelmsson entered the penalty area under pressure, but FCH goalkeeper Kevin Müller raised his fist just in time (10th).
FCH coach Schmidt and Darmstadt’s Torsten Lieberknecht played together in the German U20 national team and have been good friends ever since. On the field, however, things were less friendly. Heidenheim’s top scorer Tim Kleindienst clashed with Klaus Gjasula, and referee Daniel Schlager left it at a warning after the argument.
The Heidenheimers repeatedly had misunderstandings both in defense and in forward movement. So Schöppner decided to pass instead of finishing himself, and a little later goalkeeper Müller played a ball directly into Vilhelmsson’s feet. However, the Swede couldn’t find a teammate.
Captain Mainka as match winner
The guests, who had changed five positions, had more of the game in the first half, won more duels and fired more shots. Nevertheless, shortly before the break, the majority of the 15,000 spectators in the sold-out Voith Arena cheered. Schöppner provided the best sixth assist.
“Our games are always close,” Lieberknecht predicted the course of the game. The Hessian coach was correct in his assumption, because an open exchange of blows developed. Especially since his team got going well after the restart. First Skarke scored, then Maloney unfortunately maneuvered the ball into his own goal.
The unlucky guy was replaced a little later and was then able to thank Beste and Mainka that his mishap had no consequences. Because after two more Beste corners, the central defender, who had moved up, scored within two minutes. Thanks to this double blow, Heidenheim remained undefeated in three home games in a row for the first time in their young Bundesliga history.
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