Despite the visitors, Sandhausen, dominating the first half possession they fell two goals behind, and on both occasions they were the architects of their own downfall. First Stefan Kulovits miskewed a clearance into the path of Adler, before Marcus Karl played in Köpke with a poor backwards header.
Although they came out in renewed spirits for the second half, Kenan Kocak's side were unable to haul themselves back into the game as the Aue defence held firm. The hosts nearly extended their lead through Christian Tiffert, but the woodwork was at hand to prevent Sandhausen falling further behind.
Architects of their own downfall
Whilst the visiting SV Sandhausen dominated the early possession, it was Pavel Dotchev's Aue that came closest to breaking the deadlock. Mario Kvesić firstly saw his bending freekick strike the woodwork, before Marco Knaller had to save well from Nicky Adler after Philipp Klingmann was caught out of position. The Bulgarian, Dotchev, named the same eleven to the one that was defeated against Heidenheim last weekend.
But Adler wouldn't have to wait long before he opened the scoring both in the game, and Erzgebirge Aue's account for the season. Veteran Christian Tiffert whipped the ball in from wide into the path of Pascal Köpke, who was bundled over by Daniel Gordon. Referee Robert Schröder waved away any appeals, but Sandhausen captain Stefan Kulovits did his side no favours by clearing into the path of Adler, who beat Knaller with a first time effort.
The Erzgebirgsstadion resembled more a building site, than it did a football ground as half of the historic stadium is undergoing renovation. However the fans that were present, created a real vociferous support to support die Veilchen and the goal midway through the first half only helped to improve this.
Though they had dominated possession, all Kenan Kocak's side had to show for it was number of tame Thomas Pledl freekicks and ten minutes after Kulovits had been the architect of their first downfall the other central midfielder, Marcus Karl, was the architect of their second. The summer signing from 1. FC Kaiserslautern horribly miss-timing his back header into the path of Köpke, who gratefully ran through and curled above the on-rushing Knaller.
The 20 year old, Köpke, had proved a real hit last season as Aue instantly returned to the 2. Bundesliga. His 10 goals were one of the main factors for die Veilchen's promotion, and if the Saxon side are to survive this season the former Karlsruher SC and SpVgg Unterhaching man will be key.
On the stroke of half time the visitors, SV Sandhausen reminded us that they were still a threat in the game. It required a last ditch Julian Riedel interception to prevent Richard Sukuta-Pasu from opening his acount for the season after a summer move from Energie Cottbus, as a result a good ball in from Pledl.
Aue hold firm despite renewed Sandausen impetus
The former Waldhoff Manheim manager, Kocak, named the same eleven to the one that drew against Fortuna Düsseldorf on the opening day. However his faith hadn't been rewarded and he opted for an early tactical change at half time as Leart Paqarada replaced Damien Roßbach. The Kosovan almost intsantly had an impact on the game as his cross was met by Andrew Wooten; however the American's volley produced an easy save from Aue captain, Marvin Männel.
Aue's Bosnian attacking midfielder, Kvesić, was a thorn in the side of the Baden-Württemburg side throughout. As well as the aforementioned freekick, he forced Knaller into another smart save again from a dead ball.
Despite not having the same amount of possession as in the first half, SV Sandhausen were proving much more of a threat in the second period as they looked to grant themselves a lifeline. Daniel Gordon was presented with their best chance, after a Pledl corner, but his powerful header was well parried by Männel as the Erzgebirge Aue defence held firm. The free signature of Gordon from Karlsruhe epitomising Sandhausen as a club - one of relative small stature, operating on a small budget. Their achievements over recent years remarkable.
As the game drew to a close the hosts, die Veilchen, pushed to add further gloss to the scoreline. After some neat play by Köpke, Christian Tiffert curled an effort against the crossbar before recent signing Dimitrij Nazarov flashed wide from the rebound. Philipp Riese also saw a long range effort fly just wide of Marco Knaller's upright.
However there would be no need, as their staunch defence held firm and die Veilchen cruised to the three points. Whilst the positives would rightly go to Adler and especially Köpke, the endeavours of Steve Breitkreuz and Julian Riedel in defence could not go unnoticed. Although sides like Dynamo Dresden and Würzburger Kickers achieved promotion through their goal scoring prowess, it was the ability of die Veilchen to keep clean sheets that saw them instantly return to the 2. Bundesliga.
If Friday nights showings, as well as last weekends at Heidenheim despite defeat, are anything to go by they'll be able to replicate that this season, and enjoy an equally as successfull campaign this year.