Magdeburg’s chances for promotion have received a knock last week when they were defeated by Neustrelitz, who deserve to be top of the league. The visitors, Plauen, had nothing to lose as they are safe from relegation and have nothing to do with promotion either. Nonetheless, it was an entertaining match on a wonderful sunny afternoon in Germany.
The home team were caught on the wrong foot: 2 minutes were played and they were 1 goal down already. A misplaced pass on the right wing saw 2 Plauen attackers quickly combining and finishing. The aftershock of last week’s defeat was very much visible. Matters were made worse only 2 and a half minutes later when a corner was headed into the net by Christian Beck, Magdeburg’s top scorer this season. It could not get worse.
Luckily for Magdeburg’s supporters, the team showed some resolve and gradually got back into the game. Initial attacks lacked precision or were interrupted by Plauen who showed their pluckiness. After 15 minutes it was almost there, the goal to lift the team’s mood and ignite the supporter’s singing. When it finally came after 18 minutes, the jubilation was followed by a huge sigh of relief.
A nice run down the flank found Fuchs who headed the ball back into the centre where Christian Beck headed home from 4m out. It was his 19th goal of the season. Plauen almost got their 2-goal-lead when a free kick hit the post after just 20 minutes.
To conclude these first breathtaking 25 minutes of this match, Magdeburg equalized with a fierce long range shot by Timo Schmunck that dipped in front of the keeper and left him stranded. 2-2.
What followed was a level game with chances on either side of the pitch. Magdeburg had more possession but could not convert this into an advantage, whereas Plauen waited for chances to counter; with a make shift Magdeburg defence this was a clever tactic. Albeit it brought no reward for the visitors.
One Way Football
The second half was an entirely different game. Magdeburg and only Magdeburg played. And almost despaired. Their own incapability to convert their chances caused the 5000 strong crowd to get agitated and almost lose their faith in the team. On the contrary, Andreas Petersen, Magdeburg’s coach remained calm, showing confidence in his team’s ability.
That this was there was almost forgotten as a number of chances were wasted; either the attempted finish was too hasty or the final pass found no destination. This state of affairs lasted 30 minutes. With the clock mercilessly ticking away, Magdeburg upped their effort and were finally rewarded after 78 minutes. A long ball found Beck winning a header inside the Plauen area and found playmaker Fuchs. There were doubts as the keeper was left on the ground after the duell with Beck. However, the referee awarded the goal. 3-2.
The game was not over as it was now one way football. Once Magdeburg got their momentum there was hardly anything Plauen could put in their path to stop them. In injury time, the team captain Marius Sowislo made it 4-2 after a text book move by Magdeburg. In midfield Teixera won the ball, passed to right flank, where Fuchs crossed low into the 6 yard box. The keeper was beaten and Sowislo had no problem to convert. Game over.
Magdeburg deserved the 3 points but were caught cold when Plauen scored twice within 5 minutes. However, the home team showed courage and resolve to come back and beat a strong Plauen team. Unfortunately, Neustrelitz, the top team in this division, won on Saturday, leaving a 7-point-gap between top spot and Magdeburg in second place. It is almost impossible that Neustrelitz might lose 3 games out of the 8 remaining games of the season. Therefore, Magdeburg will finish a resepctable second with an uncertain future as Andreas Petersen is leaving at the end of the season.