Monatsarchiv: August 2010

Not for the faint of heart

After a successful start in the league – beating Lübeck 2-0 at their Lohmühlestadion – 1. FC Magdeburg were to play the first round in the Saxony-Anhalt Cup against Landesliga side VfB Ottersleben. Ottersleben, from a suburb in the West of Magdeburg, play in tier VII, so most 1. FC Magdeburg fans expected a dominant win.
In the match itself, however, Magdeburg showed nothing of the tactics that new manager Ruud Kaiser had tried to instill into the team: it was not a quick passing game, but one dominated by long passes and long dribblings. As neither of these yielded much success, regulation time ended with a nil-all draw.
Luckily, just a few minutes into extra time, FCM’s Stiefel scored the lead. But Ottersleben were far from giving up and produced a number of great counter-attacks that could have led to an equaliser, but in the end they failed to produce a goal from these opportunities. The punishment soon followed when Magdeburg’s Becker scored another to make it 2-0 for the final score. With a sigh of relief, FCM fans noted that the club with his new team had just „won“ the second of two competitive matches, and had again not conceded a goal.
Only three days later, the second cup round was scheduled, this time against tier VI side Preussen Magdeburg. Everyone and their dog were convinced that this would be a different game compared to the first round match – and they were right. Only not in such fashion as they had thought. The match got off to a good start, when Stiefel’s free-kick in the third minute was deflected into the goal and Magdeburg took the lead. The next twenty minutes the Regionalliga side dominated play, but then Preussen began to take over. To be exact, 1. FC Magdeburg were exclusively defending now – and badly at that. Consequently Preussen – whose starting line-up included no less than nine (!) former FCM players – scored the equaliser and with the half-time whistle took the lead. An abysmal FCM defense saw Preussen increase their lead to 1-3 after captain Daniel Bauer involuntarily deflected a long pass to a Preussen forward.
Spirits in the stands weren’t exactly high, most of the spectators no longer believed FCM could turn the match around. With 7 minute to go, however, Magdeburg’s Verkic let one go from 25 yards out, and, luckily, the ball hit the inside of the post to make it 2-3. The match had become hectic, so much so that referee Schweinefuß had failed to send off Preussen’s captain for unsportsmanlike conduct after he pushed Bauer over following a foul. After Magdeburg’s goal, however, a Preussen player was sent off with a second yellow for disagreement. The match did not get any easier for FCM though, as Preussen fought tooth and nail to hang on to their lead, but to no avail, as Denis Wolf scored the equaliser with three minutes left on the clock. In extra time, it was again Preussen who could have taken the lead, but their forward only managed to hit the bar. But in the second half of extra time 1. FC Magdeburg took the lead for the second time in the match, when Eddy Vorm headed the ball in from close range. While spectators were still celebrating, repeatedly chanting „Eddy, Eddy“, Preussen equalised again, when goalie Tischer failed to make contact with a cross. This was completely avoidable, especially as the referee had sent off another Preussen player for a cynical foul on Wolf. Penalties were then needed to decided the match. Here 1. FC Magdeburg had the better goalie, Tischer saved one shot, and made two takers shoot the ball over the goal: 1. FC Magdeburg were in round three. Remarkably, fans celebrated rather than pour out criticism over the young team that had tortured them so much in the game.
On Monday, the team were treated to a 90-minute video analysis session with their manager, and by now should have put the match behind them, especially defender Daniel Halke who admitted it had been his worst match in the past three years. However, none of the players were able to say exactly why they had failed to produce a good performance that day. In any case, 1. FC Magdeburg has won all three competitive matches so far, although there is room for improvement in the manner of these victories.

The dirty deed is done

As I indicated yesterday, the Football Association of Saxony-Anhalt (FSA) does not agree with my opinion that culpability should play a role in determining which youth teams participate in the DFB-Pokal and NOFV-Pokal.
For reasons I cannot find in any of the statutes governing youth football or football in the FSA territory, officials have decided to register Hallescher FC’s Under-19 team for the DFB-Pokal and 1. FC Magdeburg’s Under-17 team for the much less prestigious NOFV-Pokal.1
1. FC Magdeburg have reacted with a press release that is mild in my opinion, but nevertheless manages to call the decision „unsportsmanlike“. It further adds that the decision reflects exactly a statement from Halle’s youth coordinator made last week and reported as „the only fair solution“ in Halle-based newspaper Mitteldeutsche Zeitung. The press release closes with words of regret with regard to the notion of fair play that is always propagated by the FSA, but seems to not have any influence on the association itself.
Magdeburg’s cooperation was not rewarded – the club had readily agreed to switch the final locations to Halle instead of Magdeburg in order to get the matches to be played. In essence, the decision rewards Halle’s boycotting the final at the close of last season with a spot in the DFB-Pokal. And while FSA president Werner Georg has apparently assumed full responsibility for the mess and also promised an internal investigation, I am not holding my breath for anything constructive.

All I can hope for is a resounding defeat for Halle in the DFB-Pokal – and in the Under-19 Bundesliga match against Magdeburg that is scheduled for 22 August.

  1. NOFV is the regional FA governing football in Brandeburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Berlin, Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt []

Top of the table – and a cup farce

Yesterday, Magdeburg won their first league match of the sesaon, beating Lübeck 2-0. In a repeat of last year’s inaugural fixture, both teams were nervous and not able to consistently play a decent attacking game over 90 minutes. Magdeburg’s defense held tight, allowing only two real opportunities for Lübeck, none of which was converted. In contrast, Magdeburg scored two out of their three opportunities, both by Denis Wolf. This result saw Magdeburg top the table (shared with Eintracht Braunschweig II, but let’s ignore that, shall we?). Pity there’s no way to keep that position for the remainder of the season.
League favorites RB Leipzig only drew Türkiyemspor in their first game, but considering that they bought last season’s top scorer Daniel Frahn for 250,000 Euros and Rot-Weiß Erfurt’s talent Kammlott for 800,000, one can imagine what they’ll do if things look dull in their promotion campaign…