In the most stunning result of the season, Reinhold Yabo scored a second half hat-trick as his side tormented a makeshift Braunschweig defence.
A Jan Hochscheidt own goal had started things in the first half, with Julian Börner adding the second. Keanu Stadue also scored in the midst of Yabo’s 11-minute treble, as Bielefeld moved out of the bottom three and left Braunschweig in tatters ahead of potentially three more games this season.
Must win for both sides
This was a game with implications at both ends of the table. Bielefeld had needed a win to give them the best chance of staying up. Indeed if they’d lost and results of four others game went against them, they could have been relegated.
Braunschweig’s 3-1 win against 1. FC Union Berlin on Monday night all but guaranteed at least a play-off for Bundesliga promotion, but they knew a win could give them the best chance of sealing on automatic promotion spot, depending on the result of the between Hannover 96 and VfB Stuttgart. That would prove an irrelevance.
The hosts made just one change from the draw with VfL Bochum last weekend, with the suspended Brian Behrendt replaced by Stephan Salger in defence. Braunschweig made two changes from the win against Union Berlin, also at the back, with Maximilian Sauer and Joseph Baffo out for Niko Kijewski and Saulo Decarli.
Bielefeld take advantage of lacklustre Braunschweig
The first ten minutes of the game were rather quiet, with the only shot coming for Braunschweig from Ken Reichel. Typically for him it was from outside the box, but it lacked power and took a deflection off Börner to send it wide.
The Lions were then stunned when Hochscheidt inadvertently put the ball in his own net. Staude did excellently from the left, forcing his way into the box. His ball across came off Hochscheidt, with anyone who could have stopped it going in, including Jasmin Fejzic, caught completely cold.
It got worse for promotion-chasing Braunschweig ten minutes later. They couldn’t deal adequately with a looping ball into the box, Andreas Volgsammer flicked it on, Börner pounced and fired it in.
And things didn’t get any better for them after that. It was Bielefeld who were still posing the biggest threat, with Yabo seeing a shot deflected wide just before the break.
Yabo the star of stunning second half blitz
Torsten Lieberknecht knew his side had been poor in the first half and made two changes at the break, with Julius Biada and Quirin Moll brought on, but it made little difference. Bielefeld kept peppering Fejzic’s goal, yet nothing could prepare those watching for the onslaught to follow.
Twenty minutes into the second half, Christoph Hemlein found himself with acres of space to charge down the right, with his perfect, low cross finding Yabo to score what would be his first of the afternoon. Voglsammer set him up for his second and Bielefeld’s fourth also straight after, flicking it from his chest. Yabo’s header just trickled in off the post.
Unbelievable, it would get far, far worse for Braunschweig, and much, much better for Bielefeld. A flick on for Tom Schütz set up Staude for a stunning goal, aimed perfectly at the far post leaving Jejzic little chance. If five was embarrassing for the visitors, then six was something else. A corner from Schütz was headed across by Görlitz, and Yabo again headed in for his hat-trick.
It had been a defensive horror show from Braunschweig, and it could have been even worse if Fabian Klos had put his late shot on target. This stunning win for Bielefeld though pulls them out of the bottom three, ahead of 1860 Munich on goal difference.
After Hannover 96 beat VfB Stuttgart, and given the massive hit to their goal difference, Braunschweig will most likely finish third and face third-bottom in the Bundesliga in the play-off. Whether it’s Hamburger SV, VfL Wolfsburg or someone else, they will fancy their chances of staying up after this display from the Lions.