Karlsruher SC 1-0 SpVgg Greuther Fürth: Diamantakos decisive as KSC move clear of relegation zone

A solitary strike from Dimitris Diamantakos was enough to give Karlsruher SC a deserved win over high-flying Greuther Fürth.

Karlsruhe were still struggling and desperately needed a win before Christmas to try and lighten the mood around the Wildparkstadion. Surprisingly, Markus Kauczinski opted to replace his captain, Dirk Orlishausen, with René Vollath. Enrico Valentini missed out after seeing red in their last game, meaning Sascha Traut started in his place.

Greuther Fürth made two changes from their last outing, as Stefan Ruthenbeck aimed to prolong their promising start to the season. Veton Berisha and Niko Gießelmann came in for the suspended Goran Suaklo, with Stefan Thesker resigned to the bench.

Stalemate at the break

The opening stages were very even, with both sides keen to come forward. The two teams were eager to use the flanks, and a ball in from Boubacar Barry caught the arm of Benedikt Röcker but their penalty appeals were waved away. Karlsruhe were not without their defensive worries, however, as Vollath did well to smother chances for Tom Weilandt and Robert Zulj.

Sascha Stegemann was heavily involved with his whistle in the first-half, but it was his decision not to blow for a penalty on Manuel Torres that angered the home fans. He appeared to have been brought down by Gießelmann, though the referee opted not to award a spot-kick to the Baden side.

That seemed to be the tale of an otherwise tough half for the attackers, who couldn't find a way through the defensive lines of their opposition. Gaetan Krebs was looking for another spot-kick when his shot struck Berisha's hand, but Stegemann was unmoved. That was the final action of an otherwise difficult half.

Diamantakos strikes for KSC

The second period began with a bang, and an opening goal for the hosts. After Tobias Kempe's cross found Torres, the Spaniard brought a fantastic reflex save from Sebastian Mielitz. Unfortunately for the visiting stopper, his stop would mean little when Dimitris Diamantakos tapped in from close range, much to the delight of the home support.

A fine run from Barry almost brought a second goal in as many minutes, though Mielitz was equal to his effort. The Shamrocks were reeling but a Marcel Franke header that glanced past the post was a signal that they were not out of the game just yet. 

Despite bringing on Stephan Schröck and Stefan Maderer, Fürth still struggled going forward. Mielitz was called into action again by Barry and Hiroshi Yamada, as the clock began to tick towards 90 minutes. Neither side could fashion a meaningful chance in the latter period of the game, meaning KSC held on for a valuable three points in the battle to get back up the table. The visitors were rather toothless, and worryingly so.