1. FC Nürnberg comfortably saw off 10-man 1. FC Kaiserslautern on Tuesday evening, going on to record a 3-0 result in their first away win of the new 2. Bundesliga season.
It was Patrick Ziegler who cost his side the game, the defender sent off for the hosts after only 18 minutes following a reckless and out-of-control tackle that saw him dive in with two feet off the ground.
Even Hovland finally capitalised on the advantage and broke the deadlock for Nürnberg just before the break, his header having a big psychological affect on the Kaiserslautern players, with them just three minutes away from taking a goalless score in at half time.
The negative impact of this goal on the home side showed in the second half, with the visitors remarkably clinical as they took their third and fourth chances of the game to make it 2-0 and 3-0, the two strikes coming within five minutes of each other - Alessandro Schöpf and Guido Burgstaller the scorers.
Kaiserslautern tired as the game went on, allowing Nürnberg to dominate, but the score remained 3-0 when the referee blew his whistle for full time, putting the hosts out of their misery.
Both these teams came into the game enduring contrasting runs of form and off the back of two different results, and so the two managers were always bound to look at their last line-ups with opposite opinions.
For Kosta Runjaić and Kaiserslautern, the view was not a very positive one, with the team enduring a run of three winless games. They are yet to win this month, but at least came into the game off the back of a point on the road, which was gained at 1860 München at the weekend in a 1-1 draw.
With only two goals from their last four games, it was perhaps not a great surprise to see the hosts change to a 4-4-2 set-up from their usual 4-1-4-1, Lucas Görtler coming into the team to partner Kacper Przybyłko up front, replacing Marcus Plossek.
Another change saw Robert Pich drop to the bench in favour of André Fomitschow, with Alexander Ring partnering Ruben Jenssen in midfield as Daniel Halfar moved out onto the right.
René Weiler and Nürnberg, on the other hand, were victorious last time out against SV Sandhausen and came into this fixture pursuing a third win in four league games meaning that, as a result, they felt no need to change Saturday's starting 11, sticking with the same personnel and 4-2-3-1 formation for this match.
Even start but red card tilts game in Nürnberg's favour
Kaiserslatuern started the better of the two, with Nürnberg happy to let their opponents see more of the ball as they looked to play on the counter. Still, the visitors built up good opportunities in the early stages too, starting with five minutes on the clock as Burgstaller's low driven effort just missed the far post by a matter of inches from the edge of the box.
Though the hosts were enjoying more possession, their opponents were being more productive with it - more positive and incisive. However, it was Kaiserslautern who came closest to opening the deadlock in the 15th minute, Chris Löwe's cross inadvertently finding Halfar at the back post whose half volley was tipped onto the bar by Thorsten Kirschbaum.
This looked like it had sparked a good spell for the home side, with Przybyłko running at his marker and striking at goal, but, instead, a reckless challenge from Ziegler gave Nürnberg's the upper hand with 18 minutes gone - the defender shown a straight red card for his tackle on Burgstaller.
Despite protests, the hosts could not be frustrated with the officials, but more their own player for his foolish flying two-footed tackle that deserved nothing less than a dismissal.
Things go from bad to worse for Kaiserslautern
Runjaić had plenty to ponder regarding his 10 men, as this was certainly a game his side needed to win as they prepared to face table-toppers VfL Bochum at the weekend. However, a man down, the manager would have to be realistic and realise that this was unlikely now, with a draw to be a good result under the circumstances.
The fans would be keen to see a positive approach, but it was a defender who came off the bench on the half hour mark with Fomitschow having to leave the field injured - another blow for the team. Sascha Mockenhaupt came on, occupying the centre-back role that Ziegler vacated just over 10 minutes ago.
Nürnberg made a change at the same time, with Tim Leibold, who was walking a thin line after being booked earlier in the half, coming off for Jan Polak - a smart decision by Weiler, who certainly did not want to see the playing field become level.
Despite their disadvantage though, Kaiserslautern never looked on the ropes as half time approached. If anything, they had almost looked the more likely to score, with Nürnberg somewhat complacent knowing they had an upper hand, whilst the circumstances had seen the hosts really raise their level and come together to perform - especially defensively.
However, just as this started to become apparent, the visitors took the lead with only three minutes to go until half time. It was a goal at a crucial time, Hovland heading in Kevin Möhwald's corner to dishearten Kaiserslautern, who would have surely been boosted by a goalless scoreline at half time.
Instead, it was advantage Nürnberg at the break - by a man and a goal.
Nürnberg clinical as they extend their lead
Kaiserslautern, with nothing to lose now, came out in the second half very positively, with the visitors struggling to get on the ball early on, or even out of their own half.
Yet, this spell didn't last too long, with Nürnberg finding their feet and doubling their lead just over 10 minutes after the break. It was a superb goal, the starting line-up's two Austrians linking up as Burgstaller delivered a telling cross from the left that Alessandro Schöpf clinically converted, diverting it into the bottom corner of the net with his head.
It was a huge blow for the hosts, who had come out of the blocks quickly in this period, but the goal almost epitomised the visitors' display, with them able to take opportunities when they came their way.
The next chance that fell to Nürnberg was converted too, Burgstaller making it three just past the hour mark as he headed in another fantastic corner from Möhwald, who registered his second assist of the night in the process.
Substitute Jakub Sylvestr came close to making it four within three minutes of entering the field, but his near post header was nodded off target after good work down the right from Miso Brecko, whilst the Slovakian had an effort on target shortly after, though this was an easy save for Marius Müller to make as the strike from the edge of the box was hit straight at him.
Off the bench, Kaiserslautern's young Luxembourg international Maurice Deville was the only bright spark on a dull day, but even he could not inspire the team into a consolation as the hosts began to tire.
The final whistle eventually brought the nightmare to an end for the hosts, and all eyes now turn to the owners, with Runjaić's job already on the line and this result having done little to aid his situation.