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All square in test
The Löwen play out a 1-1 draw with Waldhof Mannheim
On Tuesday evening, coach Torsten Lieberknecht’s men took on SV Waldhof Mannheim 07 at the ‚Carl-Benz-Stadion’. The game was to end in a 1-1 draw, following goals in the closing phase. Domi Kumbela was on target for the Blau-Gelben, with the familiar figure of Raffael Korte finding the net for the hosts.
Prior to the match, the Löwen spoke of facing a good and ambitious opponent – which was subsequently to prove the case! In the first minute, Jan Hochscheidt delivered a corner into the area, which SV’s first-half keeper Markus Scholz punched clear. On the quarter-hour mark, Hochscheidt was again the provider, this time for Christoffer Nyman, who brought a good reflex save from the keeper. In the final ten minutes before the break, there were a couple of chances for Mannheim to open the scoring. But on both occasions, Löwen keeper Marcel Engelhardt was on hand to avert the danger.
Late goals – determined opponents
For the second-half, Lieberknecht introduced Salim Khelifi, Domi Kumbela and Steffen Nkansah. The first opening of the period was created by coach Gerd Dais‘ men. A ball delivered across the box found a Mannheim attacker, but the shot on goal was cleared off the line by Joe Baffo. The Blau-Gelben then pressed again, with a cross from Boland finding Kumbela, whose header landed just the wrong side of the upright. Just minutes later, Boland bustled his way through again and poked a pass through to Khelifi. The pacy winger swung in a cross, but Kumba was unable to make a connection in the centre.
With five minutes to go, the deadlock was finally broken – with the hosts taking the lead. A defensive error saw the ball fall to the feet of former Löwe Raffael Korte, who merely need to slot the ball into the empty goal. The Blau-Gelben duly found a quick response. Substitute Niko Kijewski made a burst down the left and laid a pass square for Kumbela to fire home the equaliser. Eintracht almost went on to secure a victory, but a late free-kick effort from Eros Dacaj was stopped by the SVW keeper.
Torsten Lieberknecht: „That was a decent test today against a determined opponent. We seized the ball well defensively and after the 0-1, it was clear to see that the lads really didn’t want to lose. With the equaliser, we showed an immediate reaction. You could see that the lads were basically on their last legs, but we never let up."
Julius Biada: „That was a good test, which demanded a lot from us. Such games are all part of a training camp. Mannheim had a good team out and they didn’t make it easy for us. We should of course have made better use of the chances we had in front of goal, but we are happy not to have lost the game and that we immediately responded the way we did. We must continue to work hard now."
The game at a glance
Engelhardt - Baffo (68’ Decarli), Breitkreuz (68’ Moll), Valsvik (45’ Nkansah), Hochscheidt (68’ Becker), Reichel (68’ Kijewski), Boland (68’ Dacaj), Samson (68’ Biada), Zuck (68’ Tietz), Hernández (45’ Kumbela), Nyman (45’ Khelifi)
1-0 Korte (85’)
1-1 Kumbela (88’)