Victory. 90 minutes, three points, one dream come true. The FC Bayern reserves accomplished basically the only thing this season that was worth fighting for and beat the 1860 reserves 1-0 to win the derby. But first things first.
A couple of days earlier, the team lost at home against Fürth II in what was one of the more dramatic matches of the season. A quick Boy Deul goal was equalized after 20 minutes (Ilir Azemi) and the complete turnaround happened directly after the break when Fürth’s other striker, Stefan Kolb, beat Rouven Sattelmaier to make it 2-1 for the guys in green and white. When central midfielder Sebastian Dreier scored Bayern’s second with 20 minutes to go, hopes were raised that the match can be won. Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened. A very late goal, again Azemi, secured the win for Greuther Fürth, Bayern’s fourth loss in six matches after they had already lost the match against the Eintracht Frankfurt reserves despite Nils Petersen playing 90 minutes. Said Petersen scored the only FCB goal, Frankfurt’s strikers Marcos Alvarez (former FCB) and Dima Nazarov scored a goal each within seconds and cost Bayern three points in a painful manner. The only positive note was the return of right-back Nicolas Jüllich.
So there it was, the huge chance for the players to redeem themselves. An ‘away match’ against the local rivals in front of almost 4000 spectators. Bayern dominated the first half and, only 10 minutes in, surprise starter Koray Altinay headed the ball for what turned out to be the winning goal. The opponent apparently woke up during half time, the second half was a ‘real’ derby but the almost expected collapse didn’t happen this time and all three points went to red. A much celebrated win by both players and fans, the heated derby (8 yellow cards, 4 for each) was won.
Hoping that there’s no post-derby hangover, Bayern will face the Hoffenheim reserves this Sunday with a chance to start a winning streak and move past 1860 in the standings. Hoffenheim are anything but a pushover, though, being fifth in the league (third-best goal difference, second-best offense, second-best defense). Their top scorers are Nicolai Groß and captain Kai Herdling (18 Bundesliga minutes against Mainz in 2010), the starting goalkeeper is the talented Belgian Koen Casteels. The first leg in October was won by Bayern, Takashi Usami scored the only goal of the match.
Andries Jonker will have to make at least one change, Bastian Müller was booked for the fifth time this season so he won’t be available on Sunday. Emre Can is, at least I assume, still sidelined with an injury, Timothy van der Meulen (who recently announced that he’ll leave the club after this season) couldn’t play because of knee problems, current status unknown. Sebastian Dreier was ill but should be fit enough for the upcoming match. Takashi Usami, with the first team during the week, might return on Sunday. Nevertheless, you never change a winning team unless you have to so I expect this formation:
Jüllich – Köz – Pangallo – Vrzogic
Dreier – Strieder
Altinay – Deul – Jennings
Gyau – Herdling – Recktenwald
Wieser – Strobl
Ruck – Thesker – Gulde – Schäfer
Second win in a row, please. Score enough goals to make Hoffenheim say ‘Koan Koen’.