Edisappointment? Frustration? Annoyance even because of the late Heidenheim equalizer to make it 2-2, which cost SV Darmstadt 98 the lead in the second Bundesliga? None of this was noticeable after the final whistle, neither from the players nor from coach Torsten Lieberknecht. “We’re happy to take the point,” he said after the game on Saturday afternoon. Midfielder Tobias Kempe agreed with the coach: “Of course you want to win when you lead twice. But everything is fine, ”was his inventory.
If one or the other “Lilien” professional felt a grumble when leaving the field – it was hardly noticeable to them. But the course of the game would have justified a bad mood. The Darmstadt team had Heidenheim in third place under control in front of 13,280 spectators and also knew how to deal with setbacks.
The home team countered the 1-1 equalization of Heidenheim by Patrick Mainka in the 70th minute, who equalized the Darmstadt lead by Braydon Manu (36th) almost out of nowhere, with a goal from Frank Ronstadt just six minutes later.
But because Tim Kleindienst headed in again to make it 2:2 (82nd), the SVD had to settle for a draw. The “Lilies” had the significantly better numbers in terms of shots on goal (19:8), the percentage of won duels (62 percent) and in the corner ratio (12:2). Nevertheless, Lieberknecht was satisfied with his team’s “good reaction” to the game at Hamburger SV last weekend.
Lieberknecht pointed out that many second division clubs that, like the “Lilien”, were able to win at HSV often lost the following game. “Then showing yourself on the pitch like we did today, with the necessary professionalism, with the necessary respect – you have to give the team credit for that.”
“Playing against Heidenheim is always disgusting”
Kempe spoke of a “strong game” by Darmstadt. “Playing against Heidenheim is always disgusting, they push you to the limit.” Striker Manu was also “not disappointed” after the game – although a win, in his opinion, would have been “not undeserved”.
Instead of mourning the missed league lead, the “lilies” were happy again, as Manu put it, for a “top team” in the second division, not only to have stood up to them, but even to have brought them to the brink of defeat.
At Böllenfalltor the expected battle-focused game had developed. In the 17th minute referee Arne Aarnink drew the yellow card for the third time. SVD professional Matthias Bader repeatedly caused danger, especially on the right side. “We had problems there and didn’t really get Bader under control,” said Heidenheim coach Frank Schmidt.
The fact that his team fought for a point despite falling behind twice was “worthy of all honor.” Even if Schmidt considered the point gain “not undeserved”, the 48-year-old coach admitted: “We didn’t get our running strength onto the pitch today .” Accordingly, fellow coach Lieberknecht is confident that he will find things in his analysis “that I really liked.”
What upsets Kempe
However, he also saw a “few interesting things” in the second half that could be improved in the future. This should include the defensive behavior in the creation of the 2:2 equalizer: After a long pass, Marvin Rittmüller had plenty of space and time to cross on the left and found Tim Kleindienst in the penalty area, who headed the ball into the goal. “A simple long ball that you can defend, that upsets me a bit,” said Kempe.
The “lilies” cemented their position in the top group of the second Bundesliga with the draw. They are at least on par with clubs like HSV and now Heidenheim. For Lieberknecht, after the game against Heidenheim, “the most important thing was getting the applause from the fans.” So it fits when Braydon Manu says with a view to the coming weeks: “We should watch from game to game, step on the gas and let the pig out.”