Then Came Malone: Magdeburg - Großaspach ⋆ An Old International

Then Came Malone: Magdeburg – Großaspach

Promotion might not be on the cards any more for FC Magdeburg but place 4 is still possible which would mean direct qualification for the DFB Cup next season. Opponent was Großaspach, a direct rival for said fourth spot in the table.

April has so far been a cold month without much sun but a lot of rain and even snow. The more there was an air of spring with temperatures around 17° and sunshine. Ideal for a football match on a Saturday match.

The game started slowly and lacked a bit of purpose on both ends with Magdeburg being proactive than the visitors. The home side’s game lacked structure not because they are a team of clobbers but because Großaspach tried to intimidate them with a very physical approach. Had this game taken place earlier this season, Magdeburg would have lost their nerves and the game. That they have not, is the result of Jens Härtel’s excellent work and proof of the progress the squad has made this season.

With half an hour gone, it was 1-0 for Magdeburg. The hosts were a little bit lucky here as the Großaspach defender’s thought the situation cleared but underestimated the speed of Michel Niemeyer who sprinted into the gap and finished with the outside of his left foot but was taken out by the keeper after the ball was gone. A yellow card was the answer for that and correctly so. Only 8 minutes later, a move initiated by Poulido found the captain Marius Sowislo who rolled the ball down the right flank to Sebastian Ernst. One quick glance and his cross was pin point on the head of goalgetter Christian Beck. 2-0. After that it was half-time.

The anticipated reply by Großaspach did not come with the start of the second half. This is one of the best teams away and they simply did not happen. Magdeburg on the other hand did very much happen and were all over them. A clearance fell short to Poulido whose quick shot left the keeper with no chance for the third time.

And then came Ryan Malone. What sounds like a third rate Western was the arrival of Ryan Malone after a long period of injury. The crowd chanted his name once he came onto the pitch. His first touch was a throw-in. Think Rory Delap in the German third division. The throw was long, very long. The ball was airborne for several seconds, time enough to mark any one in the penalty area of Großaspach. This did not happen. The ball met Löhmannsröben’s head who was unmarked and the ball was in the back of the net. Of course, the player was celebrated for his goal. Rightly so. Yet the coolest celebration came from Malone who simply turned to the crowd arms outstretched celebrating himself.

That was it. The rest was a celebration in the stands and enjoying the weather. It was a wonderful football afternoon in Magdeburg.

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