Dynamo Dresden started this 2. Bundesliga season just like they had the last, with a 1-0 victory over MSV Duisburg thanks to a Lucas Röser goal.
He struck for the hosts just before the end of a competitive first half, whilst Jannis Nikolaou could have made it two just before the break.
Kevin Wolze was denied in the second half for Duisburg by Markus Schubert, whilst debutant John Verhoek hit the bar as the Zebras failed to prevent the Dresden victory.
Röser gives Dresden lead but Nikolaou can’t double it
After a disappointing campaign last year, Uwe Neuhaus picked four new signings. Those were Dario Đumić, Linus Wahlqvist, Patrick Ebert and Brian Hamalainen, although new goalkeeper Tim Boss was injured meaning Schubert – who has spent the past couple of seasons as back-up to the departed Martin Schwäbe – started. There was just two new faces for Duisburg, Sebastian Neumann and Verhoek, looking to build on an impressive showing last year. Richard Sukuta-Pasu, a new arrival from SV Sandhausen, had a suspension carried over from last season to serve.
The hosts started the game well, attacking down the right through the lively Moussa Koné. The best chance he set up after Neumann gave away the ball, but Ebert struck wide. Duisburg had early chances as well, with a Moritz Stoppelkamp effort held by Schubert, but a better chance came on the break, with Wolze setting up Boris Tashchy, only for the striker to fire wide of the post. There was then confusion on the edge of the box between Schubert and Hamalainen, although Dresden, would have been relieved to see Tashchy blast his shot over the bar.
Dresden then had a great chance as a ball long to Koné left a couple of defenders bewildered, however Daniel Davari saved the winger’s shot, and although he got it back, he couldn’t test him again. Duisburg then had a good spell though, with Stoppelkamp doing well to retain possession before having another long-range effort saved. A rebound effort from Fabian Schnellhardt went over.
Duisburg may have appeared in the ascendancy, but from a Philip Heise throw-in the hosts would take the lead. Röser got the ball, ran down the left before turning into the box. There were plenty of yellow shirts to aim for but he went alone, beating Davari at his near post to give Dresden the lead, just as he had when they last met here 53 weeks ago.
There was a blow for Dresden just before the break, as skipper Marco Hartmann pulled a hamstring and was forced off, however his replacement Nikolaou should have doubled their lead in stoppage time. A free-kick from Ebert wasn’t dealt with by the Duisburg defence, and newcomer Nikolaou connected with the loose ball, but turned it the wrong side of the far post.
Wolze and Verhoek close, but Dresden hold out
The hosts resumed slowly after the break, but thanks to Koné, again, they soon got going. On one occasion, when found be Ebert, he did well to control the ball and turn, but struck over. Almost straight after that, he combined with Röser, running into the box, but had his latest effort saved by Davari.
Whilst Haris Duljević was guilty of a shot from distance sailing over, nothing at all seemed to be coming off for Duisburg, with the ineffective Tashchy taken off and Verhoek was having even less influence on the game. Stoppelkamp is never shy to take aim after his side has pushed forward frantically he decided, upon receiving the ball, to try to chip it in, but to no avail.
Their hopes were reawakened from a dead-ball situation. Wolze took it with his left foot, and Schubert reacted late, but in time enough, to tip it over the bar and deny Wolze following Marvin Knoll and Felix Kroos in scoring from a free-kick this weekend. Shortly after, he then found Verhoek in the box, with the Dutchman flicking the ball with his second touch onto the bar.
Aside from a tame Koné effort, the latter stages were all about Duisburg trying to find an equaliser. They tried everything they could, including playing the ball long towards Verhoek, whilst Stoppelkamp had a shot blocked. From the resulting corner, Dresden countered with substitutes Baris Atik and Rico Bentatelli, with the latter’s poor effort going into the side netting.
Neuhaus’s men didn’t did the cushion of a second goal, and after a difficult campaign last time out they will have been glad to start this one, as they did the one before, with a win over Duisburg, whose own performance will give Ilia Gruev plenty to ponder.