Kiraly Saves The Lions
Bundesliga Second Division Match Day 1
Allianz Arena, Munich, August 4 – All teams expect the new season to be better than the last. The pressure is even more so for TSV 1860 München who come into 2012-13 with an edge of desperation attached to those expectations. And their shortcomings are magnified since they share the same city as one of the world’s most successful clubs.
The Lions began their new season of hope against recently promoted side SSV Jahn Regensburg to being a new chapter of the Bavarian Derby, and it was an exciting, if not shaky debut for both clubs. Grzegorz Wojtkowiak scored in the 8th minute and goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly was huge in the most critical moments as Sechzig defeat Regensburg 1-0.
“We won today and that was important for us to get the three points,” said Kiraly. “We had new players on our team, we need to practice and that will take time. We played well, with some mistakes. We have to think positive, reduce our mistakes and move forward.”
Kiraly’s coach did not mirror the enthusiasm. “Of course I cannot be satisfied with the performance,” admitted head coach Rainer Maurer. “But yesterday, you could see how difficult it was for the other teams. We have a long way to go get up to a higher level.”
Overall the match may not have met his expectation, but the start was splendid. It didn’t take long for the Lions to take control. Lauth was playing on the right wing, trying to feed the ball into aforementioned new players, Marin Tomasov and Ismael Blanco in the middle. In the 7th minute, Lauth’s pass in found an open Blanco, he completely whiffed on this attempt. But SSV could not clear it, instead hitting it out for a corner.
On the ensuing kick by Tomasov, Wojtkowiak hit it, the ball took a deflection by Michael Hofmann, sending the 1860 fans who showed up on a this glorious summer afternoon into a frenzy.
Munich continued the pressure on Regensburg, who were unable to create anything on their end. If there was a chance, it was from afar or too easy for Kiraly.
At halftime, the stats were even, 1860 holding possession 54-46% but outshot by the visitors 5-2.
SSV regrouped in the locker room and came out right after the second half whistle. Mario Weidlich was the focal point. In the opening minute, he worked his way to the corner, fed it to Abdenour Amachaibou for a one-two and then looked for Francky Sembolo who couldn’t get set properly. The Sechzig defense could not clear it, allowing Weidlich a shot and Kiraly saved the first biggest threat.
Weidlich continued to create chances, but once again, they reverted to harmless chances.
In the meantime, Munich realized if they allowed Regensburg all the chances, they may fall into a trap. And from there, the teams went back and forth midway in the second half.
Maurer substituted in Daniel Halfar for Blanco and he immediately gave fresh legs to the Lions’ attack. His attempts did not net any goals, one free kick did hit the cross bar, but it matched the intensity from their visitors.
In the final stages of the match, the intensity picked up, but first, physically. Sembolo fouled Necat Aygün who took exception and ran after the Congolese striker. Aygün was held back by his teammates and after the sides cooled down for the moment, Sembolo was booked in the 76th minute.
And then came the key point in the match. This time it was Sembolo who was the victim of a hard foul, from Grigoris Makos in the area. Referee Bastian Dankert cooly pointed to the spot – penalty awarded to Regensburg! Amachaibou set up to take it.
“Before the match, we watched some videos and some situations, and we knew who would shoot and which way,” explained Kiraly. “In the end it was up to me to make the final decision.”
And he chose correctly. Kiraly stopped it but left the ball free in front. Amachaibou pounced on it for the rebound chance, but Kiraly was once again there to stop it. Two shots saved, match saved. The 45,300 in attendance roared.
“I was sure that I would make it and I hit it solid,” said a somber Amachaibou. “On the rebound he was lucky. It’s bitter, I feel for the fans who came all the way out here. We fought, played with passion, and it hurts that we could have earned a point, and then we don’t.”
Substitute Ramon De Macedo had one more chance before stoppage time but that was it. A clean sheet for Kiraly, three points for the Lions.
“We allowed a few scoring chances, unfortunately, could not exploit our opportunities,” said SSV head coach Oskar Corrochano. “The fact is that we leave with empty hands. We can win with our passion and organization. Mix in a little luck, and then we can earn some points.
With the recent promotions of FC Augsburg and SpVgg Greuther Fürth, Regensburg and Sechzig can begin a new Bavarian rivalry. If it were up to Munich, it would last at least for this season.
Munich are on the road for the next three matches, August 13th in Dresden and August 26th in Kaiserslautern in the Bundesliga. In between, they will play at FC Hennef 05 in the DFB Pokal on August 19th.
SSV Jahn Regensburg have a glamour matchup on August 20th at home against the German record champions FC Bayern Munich in the German Cup. Before that, they host MSV Duisburg on August 12th.
Here is the full list of fixtures and results for this weekend:
FC Ingolstadt 2-2 FC Energie Cottbus
Erzebirge Aue 0-0 FC St. Pauli
Hertha BSC Berlin 2-2 SC Paderborn
1860 München 1-0 Regensburg
VfL Bochum 2-1 Dynamo Dresden
Sunday 13:30 CET
MSV Duisburg – VfR Aalen
Sandhausen – FSV Frankfurt
Sunday 15:30 CET
Eintracht Braunschweig – 1. FC Cologne
Monday 20:15 CET
1. FC Kaiserslautern – Union Berlin