End of Break

It’s over. The time of year most loathed by football fans, the winter break (closely followed by the summer break), is past us. In one of only three matches that were given the go-ahead by the FA in the Regionalliga Nord, Magdeburg travelled to league leaders Holstein Kiel. Kiel had created some consternation among followers of the league when they sacked their manager before the winterbreak, all the while lying in first place. The new manager would be Falko Götz, formerly manager of 1860 Munich and Hertha BSC. Götz would also take over the general coordination of the sports department of the club. Rumor has it that Götz and his assistant Andreas Thom earn as much as 800,000 euros p/a.

However, Magdeburg came with the recommendation of being unbeaten 14 games in a row, winning 11. Additionally, Magdeburg brought with them about 3,000 supporters, more than Kiel’s average attendance. In total 8,250 spectators watched this fourth-tier match. The pitch was in a decent shape, considering the fact that it had been covered by three inches of snow until Thursday before the match. It had been cleared and attempts had been made to dry it up, with some success, I might add. However, it was in no shape to allow for a beautiful game. Instead both teams opted for a clear cut passing game. Duting the first half, both sides were evenly matched, with Magdeburg having the best opportunity to score, when Kiel’s Vujcic passed the ball back to his keeper who picked it up. Vujanovic fired a 14-meter-volley shot off the following indirect freekick, but Kiel’s goalkeeper saved in a brilliant manner. The half-time ended on a sad note, when Jan Sandmann – just back from injury – had to be subbed off. The former Magdeburg player had broken his ankle, without opposition interference.
In the second half, Kiel were more active, dominating play for large parts of the half, but not creating too many chances. Those that were there were denied by Magdeburg’s defense and goalkeeper Christian Beer. In the 72nd, Kiel put the ball out for a corner, a rather pointless move as there was no pressure, but a costly mistake. Watzka’s corner found Najeh Braham standing all alone in the box and the Magdeburg goalgetter – playing with a special bandage for his broken hand – put the guests in the lead. Certainly not what Kiel had expected after all their dominance, but not entirely undeserved either. Magdeburg’s celebrations only lasted 12 minutes, when fresh sub Dimitrius Guscinas made fools out of their defense and scored the equaliser. After that, Magdeburg had two more chances to win the game but on both occasions, the Magdeburg attackers were too late.
In the end a disappointing draw for Magdeburg, if only because they already had the lead. Still Magdeburg have 1 point more from the fixture than on day 2, when they had lost to Kiel at home.

Holstein Kiel: Frech – Sandmann (43′ Hasse), Jürgensen, Wulff (75′ Holt), Vujcic (81′ Guscinas) Lartey, Schyrba, Siedschlag, Nouri, Stier, Grgic
1. FC Magdeburg: Beer – Bankert, Wejsfelt, Rosin, Bauer – Matthias (57. Probst), Gewelke, Watzka, Dragusha – Vujanovic, Braham

Scoring summary
72′ Braham 0-1
84′ Guscinas 1-1


A rather long (thanks to trillions of postponed matches, I guess) match report video can be found at the mdr site, pictures from the match are here, and in several other places.

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