About Schmidt (and Sven)

There was some doubt as to whether TSV 1860 Munich's trip to VfR Aalen would survive heavy snowfall but thanks to hardy volunteers, the surface was cleared and the game went ahead as scheduled on Friday. Caretaker manager Alexander Schmidt kept faith with the starting eleven that prevailed against Paderborn on Tuesday evening.

The paying spectators were probably berating those volunteers during a dire opening period. The pitch was stodgy and so was the fare provided by both sides in a truly unmemorable first half. The away side enjoyed the 'Lions' share of possession but failed to create any meaningful chances. 1860 goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly was a virtual spectator but he at least had the consolation of his trademark grey tracksuit bottoms to keep him warm in the freezing conditions.

The second half continued in the same vein with the visitors dominating possession but with absolutely no threat at the business end of proceedings. Admittedly, the pitch was not conducive to free-flowing attacking football - Viewing was still very heavy-going.

And then we had some light relief with the match suddenly bursting into life just after the hour mark. The Lions fell behind after being caught cold by a quick Aalen counter attack in the 62nd minute. Robert Lechleiter finished off a slick move with a sweet volley over Kiraly's head. It was a goal of some substance and quite frankly totally out of place with the entertainment up to that point in the game.

1860 responded in the right fashion with an equaliser of equal brilliance from American striker Bobby Wood. The Hawaiian's first ever Bundesliga goal was one to remember - his jinking run and dribble from inside his own half - ending with a sublime finish into the roof of the net on 69 minutes. Credit must go to Schmidt for plucking Wood from obscurity and giving him a chance to make a name for himself.

Both sides seemed content with a share of the spoils and there was no late drama. The draw ensures Aalen and TSV 1860 Munich are still locked together in joint 5th place in the 2nd division table on 26 points.

For once in recent weeks, former England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson was not watching The Lions from the stands. Obviously a trip to the Scholz Arena in Aalen was not that high on the Swede's bucket-list of destinations. His recent jollies to the tourist hot-spots of Berlin and Munich as a 'friend and adviser' of 1860's Jordanian investor, Hasan Ismaik, proved more than enough to fill his travelling appetite.

Schmidt remains unbeaten as 1860 coach but speculation is still rife that Eriksson, the high-profile Swede, remains in the frame for a permanent position with the 2nd division side.

TSV 1860 Munich: Kiraly - Volz (Wojtkowiak 70'), Bülow, Schindler, Feick - Wannenwetsch, Bierofka - Stoppelkamp (D. Stahl 81'), D. Halfar (Ziereis  67') - Wood, Lauth  

VfR Aalen: Fejzic - Traut, B. Hübner, Barth, Buballa - A. Hofmann, Leandro (Junglas 72')  - Dausch, Valentini - Lechleiter (Cidimar 87') - Reichwein (Klauß 78')

Goals:  1-0 Lechleiter (62'), 1-1 Wood (69')

Referee: Tobias Stieler (Obertshausen)

Attendance: 8,500 



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