The points were shared at the BWT-Stadion am Hardtwald on Sunday afternoon as Sandhausen tied Werder Bremen 2-2.
A fun one for the neutral, Bremen opened the scoring before two goals from the hosts put them in front. It looked like Sandhausen were about to hold on to the win, but Niclas Füllkrug’s goal in stoppage time meant that game ended level instead.
Story of the match
It looked like Sandhausen were going to take an early lead when Erik Zenga got past the backline and played a low cross towards the backpost to Arne Sicker. He just couldn’t get on the end of it, though, mainly thanks to some heroic defending from Felix Agu.
That missed opportunity would haunt them as Bremen opened the scoring moments later. An absolutely stellar cross from Marco Friedl picked out Nicolai Rapp, and he made no mistake with the finish, slamming a shot into the back of the net from close range.
The hosts had another decent chance after an audacious pass from goalkeeper Michael Zetterer was intercepted in midfield. Dennis Diekmeier’s ball into the box found Pascal Testroet, but his headed attempt bounced wide of the post.
Sandhausen were then gifted a way back into the game when a woeful turnover from Lars Lukas Mai played Bashkim Ajdini through on goal. He was taken out by Zetterer, and the referee had no other choice but to point to the spot. Testroet then stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, and he buried it with a low shot into the bottom corner.
They nearly jumped in front a bit before the break. Chima Okoroji went on a mazy run, dancing past a few defenders and breaking free into space down the wing. His lay off went right to Ajdini, but he couldn’t score, hitting a first-time shot off target instead.
Both sides had a few half-chances to start the second half, but it was Sandhausen who probably should have scored near the 70th minute. Some quick passing play carved out an opening for FIFA Ultimate Team legend Alexander Esswein, but he dragged his effort wide of goal.
Bremen responded well. Romando Schmid’s strike from inside the penalty area looked promising, but he was turned away by a kick-save from goalkeeper Patrick Drewes.
It was Sandhausen who seemingly found a winner late on. Diekmeier flew forward on yet another run down the wing before hitting a perfect cross into the area, where Testroet was on hand to easily head home for his side.
However, just when it seemed like the result was sealed, Bremen snatched an equalizer in stoppage time through Nichlas Füllkrug, who slotted home from just a few yards out. They almost grabbed another, but they were denied by the woodwork.
It was a hectic ending to an eventful contest, but ultimately a draw was probably the most fair outcome.
The pressure is certainly on Markus Anfang. Despite Bremen being seen as favorites to go up this season, they are yet to really get going, and they now sit seven points behind the top three. That’s not good enough, and the manager has to turn things around soon if he wants to save his own job.
Man of the match - Pascal Testroet
He didn’t do much, but Pascal Testroet was able to do enough to secure a point for Sandhausen.
The scorer of both of their goals, his brace came via two relatively simple finishes. The first was from the penalty spot, and the second was a header from close range. Other than those two moments, the forward wasn't really involved.
That won’t matter, though, as Testroet still led his side to a decent result nonetheless.