This season is titled ‘Welcome Back’ for Magdeburg: 25 years without professional football. Today, the visitors have not been in Magdeburg for exactly the same time. Not once since 1991 have Magdeburg and Hansa played in the same league.
Before the season, the north Germans were considered among the favourites for promotion, yet they have found themselves at the lower end of the table and only slowly managed to climb up to 13 spot before the game today against Magdeburg.
No one could expect scintillating football today, too workmanlike the style of Magdeburg and Rostock. Both teams showed intent from kick-off, Rostock tried to push up and attack Magdeburg early, yet the first big chance fell to Magdeburg after 14 minutes when Beck and Chahed combined on the left, the latter crossed, Beck put the ball back in and Poulido came a step too late to make it 1-0. He had to turn, giving the Rostock keeper the chance to shut down the corner. The ensuing corner came to nothing.
In the following, the game was as not particularly exciting, yet it could have gone either way had the final passes found their destination. The standards, corners and free kicks, mostly for Magdeburg brought a reward. A corner from the right looked lost as Kinsombi’s ball bounced and flew past friend and foe. At the far corner the captain, Sowislo leaped for the ball and put it in the back of the net. The lead at this point was deserved.
Rostock woke up and started to play, just as Magdeburg did. The atmosphere on the stands likewise developed. The home support commenced and the Hansa fans tried to make themselves heard. A difficult as the ratio was 2000 Rostock supporters versus 18000 home fans.
Magdeburg had now the best part of the game. Their challenges left no space for Rostock, alas going forward the Blue-Whites looked blunt. However, out of blue came the second goal. A pass forward by Sebastian Ernst found Poulido whose first shot was blocked but luckily fell to his feet again and his second shot in the far corner, 2-0. On the other side, Rostock got their goal after a free kick got deflected and bounced off the post into the goal. No chance for Magdeburg’s keeper. 2-1, game on! It stayed that way until half-time.
The game was entertaining, betraying both teams’ normal style of play.
Part two of the game was just as the first ended: up and down it went. The game now fast and energetic. Every ball contested, any foul commented and discussed. With 25 minutes to go, the game calmed down a bit. Though Magdeburg created more chances but could not convert them. Rostock on the other side had the chance to equalize, but Jänicke found his master in Magdeburg’s keeper Glinker. It was one of Rostock’s best scenes of the match.
The first goal of the match came after 14 minutes, with the same time to go, it was Christian Beck, Magdeburg’s top scorer so far, made it three. It was a free kick from the left and his head put the right angle on the ball to go past the Rostock keeper. It was a relief for both: for Magdeburg to secure the game, for Beck to end his goal draught which began on 19 December when he scored against Mainz.
It was the end of the contest as Magdeburg took their time each with each interruption of the game. The defeat for Rostock meant that their wait for a win in Magdeburg will last longer. It is now 51 years that a team from the Baltic Sea left Magdeburg victorious.
It came worse. A silly handball in the area gave Magdeburg another goal from the spot. It was the last kick of the match when captain Sowislo converted low into the left corner. It was one goal too much for Magdeburg, yet Rostock should not let their heads down for long. With such a display of courage, they should stay up. They were a tad unlucky and could have made it 2-2. It was not to be. Magdeburg on the other side finish this week with 7 points from 3 matches and stay in the upper half of the table and will have nothing to do with relegation.