The script for this match reminds seasoned readers of the time when Manchester United got their goals late in many a games by sheer will.
There is not much that can be said about the derby against Halle. It was an unfortunate defeat, unnecessary as the goal came with the last action of the match after 93 minutes. Up to this point Magdeburg were about to get a point and a deserved one at that. However, a lapse in concentration and all the possible gain went out of the window.
This is particularly frustrating since it could have been avoided. Magdeburg have had their chances, pressed Halle back into their own area, yet could not reward themselves with a goal. It appeared as though the blue whites were nervous and their actions were hasty once they got the ball and went forward. It was as though they wanted to force an early decision, an early goal by all means knowing fully well that their energy would not last 90 minutes of such a physical and intense encounter.
Alas, their actions were too erratic and Halle had no problems dealing with them. In return their movements forward looked calm and structured but equally brought no reward. However, Halle made four changes in comparison to their last game, Magdeburg only one. This was irresponsible. Yes, the argument for this same team was that they have won the last couple of matches. The argument against is the number of games in January up to this point: five; and two more to come. Those to come are against 1860 Munich and Viktoria Köln; Munich are promotion contenders, while Köln have only two points more than Magdeburg. The latter must be beaten, a point against 1860 would be a bonus.
A coach has to see that a team, as successful as they may have been just three days ago needs a break. The squad counts around 30 players and many of them would have been more than willing to play in this match, in the derby. The reasons why the coaching team has decided against are speculative. Is it perhaps an admission that the squad is not good enough? This would reflect badly on the head coach, Thomas Hoßmang, who has assembled the squad during the summer. Once again, there is hardly any criticism thrown at the team or the squad but the focus almost always is on the coach.
At the end of the day, Magdeburg slip back under the line that marks the drop zone but they are within reach of the non-relegation zone. Almost all teams have played somehow for Magdeburg, Dresden beat Kaiserslautern, Rostock beat Duisburg, Zwickau winning against Unterhaching: they are underneath the line due to goal difference hence a point in Halle would have meant more than just a point but would have been psychologically so important: with the win in Duisburg Magdeburg have heaved themselves above the line and that little point in Halle would have meant they stayed above the line. Another confirmation of that upward trend. Alas, it was not to be and Magdeburg have made life for themselves unnecessarily complicated. Again.