VIIII – IX) 1860 München v. Fortuna Düsseldorf

1860 were desperate for points coming into this tie, having surrendered two points the previous week against Duisburg.
Die Löwen were falling away from the pack competing for promotion places and with a major chunk of the season behind them, the side needed to step up.
The crowd were eager for the match to begin and it was a slow opening period as both teams failed to find inspiration in the final third of the pitch.

The first real opportunity of the game produced a goal for 1860 in the 13th minute, Kai Bulow rising to meet a Kevin Volland free kick and plant a strong effort past Michael Melka.
Ken Ilsö and Sascha Rösler combined down the right minutes later, though Rösler’s subsequent was shot easily gathered by Kiraly.
Die Löwen should have been 2-0 up when Kiraly picked out a cross and immediately sent a long ball through for Lauth. The local lad ran through and held the ball up before sending in a pin-point ball for the onrushing Volland. However the youngster somehow sent his effort wide of the goals and the chance to go two goals up went begging.

Chances continued to come 1860’s way but they couldn’t convert their domination, Rakic sending an effort straight at Melka when Rukavina’s cross fell to his feet.
Düsseldorf started to get into the match too, with Kiraly twice called upon to make saves from a Islö and Rösler.
1860 again had a good oppotunity when Stephan Aigner made a mazy run towards goal before threading a ball through for Volland. The pass was slightly weak however, and Melka was able to dive at the feet of Volland to clear the danger for Düsseldorf.

Tackles were flying in hard and fast as both sides started responding to both sets of fans encouragement. With tensions rising there was a break in play as Düsseldorf’s Andreas Lambertz required extended treatment after a clash with Lovin.
The away fans were making plenty of noise and there was a wonderful exchange of chanting as each set of supporters took turns to shout the same insult to each other, “Arschloch, Wichser, Hurensohn!”.
The first half ended without any more action as fans alike decended away from the terraces for some much deserved Bier and Stadionwurst.

Düsseldorf came out for the second half the stronger of the two, Maximilian Beister immediately making an impact from the bench and forcing a save from Kiraly.
Ilsö soon had an opportunity too but he pushed his shot wide in the 48th minute.
The tackles were still flying around, with Adam Bodzek finally booked for a terrible foul and it looked like a red card could be on the horizon.
1860 hit back in the 59th minute with Stefan Aigner’s shot flying just wide, while Benny Lauth had a shot blocked after Rakic had brilliantly headed the ball down into his path.
As had been the case during the Duisburg match, the 1860 crowd were screaming for a second goal and again they may have inadvertently influenced the team’s mentality.
1860’s manager, Reiner Maurer, made a strange substitution when he replaced Ignjovski with Stefan Bell and it would prove catastrophic as Ignjovski had been playing out of his skin at left back and his departure left a gaping hole.

1860 continued to look the better side as a Volland cross found Djordje Rakic who headed straight at the keeper, and soon after Melka was called into action again to save a Stahl shot heading for the bottom corner.
However, for the second time in two games 1860 were made to pay for their failure to find a killer second goal.
Substitute Gaus took advantage of Stefan Bell’s mistake in defence and found the back of the net with a left-footed effort in the 77th minute.
Die Sechz’ger crowd was furious and many fans started venting their frustration. “Jede Woche, jede Woche! Immer das gleiche!”
Benny Lauth should have managed to seal the points for Die Löwen, however he first screwed his shot wide after Rakic had once again flicked a ball into his path, before planting a header from a Rukavina cross wide of the goals under intense pressure.

The game finished even and it was Die Löwen’s fourth home game without a win and the frustration amongst the fans was obvious.
Having dominated Paderborn only to go down to a first half penalty, then losing against Bochum due to dubious referee decisions, the club’s two recent home matches where they have surrendered a lead has put the club looking at midtable mediocrity for another year.
A few weeks back 1860 were looking upwards towards a potential promotion place, however that would be a big ask now with only 13 games to go.
Mid-table looks more likely, while there is still the possibility that the club could become involved in a relegation battle.

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