Already at the parking lot, a breath of sausage scent wafted through the air. An unmistakable sign that things would be a bit like before. And indeed, at the third division game between SpVgg Unterhaching and SV Meppen on Sunday there were people in the stadium who did not wear shorts and socks – spectators called this species believed to be extinct before the corona madness and the era of ghost games. Driven by 1128 fans – up to 1425 would have been allowed – the Hachinger team was in great shape, especially before the break, in the end they prevailed with 2: 1 (1: 1) and after three wins from four games moved up to the table two in front, one point behind leader 1860 Munich.
SpVgg coach Arie van Lent could hardly hide his joy even before the game: “Finally spectators again! No matter how many there are, we will have the feeling that it is full.” And so his team appeared self-confidently after two 1-0 victories, constricting the Emslanders in their half, but without creating compelling chances. Meppen came dangerously in front of the Hachinger box for the first time after a quarter of an hour, a deflected cross from Hassan Amin landed at Marcus Piossek, who, under pressure from Max Dombrowka, served his colleague Hilal El-Helwe. From close range, the center forward completed the guests, the complaints of the red-blue about an alleged offside position went unheard.
But the Unterhachinger quickly recovered from this blow in the neck. Patrick Hasenhüttl used a cross from Markus Schwabl from the right to equalize (19th), the Meppen defenders had left a good distance to the Austrian center forward in accordance with the applicable hygiene rules. And the hosts continued to apply pressure, Hasenhüttl failed to goalkeeper Luca Plogmann, two meters away from Alexander Fuchs was completely free (21st). Lucas Hufnagel hit the post from an acute angle after a pass from Luca Marseiler, Moritz Heinrich pulled the ball past the gate from the left (31st), Hufnagel from the right (42nd), and in between Christoph Greger tried in vain an overhead kicker (42.). “We totally determined the game and should have scored two, three or even four goals by the break,” said Van Lent after the game.
You had the feeling that this flood of unused chances would take revenge in the second half. Promptly, the guest came better into the game, also because Haching had to pay a little tribute to the enormous speed from the first half. Goalkeeper Nico Mantl saved his team from falling behind again when he first mastered a 15-meter cracker by Piossek brilliantly and only moments later parried a header from Christoph Hemlein after defender Dombrowka had allowed himself a short break (56th).
Haching survived this first period of urgency of the guests, then fresh forces came into play, of which Dominik Stroh-Engel introduced himself with a header just over the goal (64th). Eight minutes later came the big hour for Niclas Anspach, who became the match winner in his third third division game. Schwabl first scratched the ball off the sideline with a heel trick, Hufnagel reacted quickly and sent Anspach on the journey, who still ran a few steps, pulled it from 15 meters and hit the goal with the help of the inside post – 2: 1 (72nd). “I ran up to the chain, nobody attacked me and I thought I would just try it,” said the 20-year-old afterwards Magenta Sports.
Arie van Lent had shown a lucky hand with the substitution. The coach later said he had the feeling that Anspach “might be able to help us today”, because recently he had often lacked the courage to simply finish. And of course, the former striker Van Lent also knows the iron rule of all offensive players: “If you don’t shoot, you can’t score.”
In the final phase, the Unterhachingen victory was in danger again and again, for example when Jannik Bandowski, who was also substituted, was just able to clear Meppens Valdet Rama (82nd). Then it was over and Meppen’s coach Torsten Frings was in the basement: “In the second half we were the better team, but we have to be even hotter for the 2-1. Haching won because they scored one more goal than us “grumbled the former international.
Coach Van Lent is not impressed by the fact that SpVgg is now in second place. “But it shows that we have scored points and that we are on the right track.” And that in turn will help for the next few weeks.