TSV 1860 Munich picked up where they left off at the weekend with a deserved 1-0 win over FC Paderborn at the Allianz Arena. The difference between the two sides was a cheeky first half finish from Lions captain Benny Lauth to give the home side all three points.
The win moves 1860 up to 5th place in the table, leapfrogging a decent Paderborn side, who arrived in the Bavarian capital unbeaten in their last seven matches.
It was a daring line up from new Lions coach Alexander Schmidt. He opted for a 4-4-2 formation with American Bobby Wood joining Lauth up front. Regular defensive duo Guillermo Vallori and Gregorz Wojtkowiak were demoted to the bench, whilst highly rated 20-year old Stefan Wannenwetsch retained his place in midfield.
The home side dominated the first half and took a deserved lead in the 38th minute. Daniel Bierofka spotted ex- Fulham defender Volz, playing at right back, exploiting the space in front of him. Volz neatly controlled a long pass and crossed into the penalty area for Lauth to steer into the goal with a neat flick. A sublime finish from the former German international, notching his eight goal of the campaign.
Paderborn played themselves back into the match in the second half as The Lions struggled to exert the same authority on the game as they managed in the first 45 minutes. Wannenwetsch was replaced at the break by Grigoris Makos and the Greek international immediately announced his arrival with a late tackle, but luckily avoided a booking.
Winger Daniel Halfar made way for defender Vallori 4 minutes after the hour mark which allowed Arne Feick to push forward a little more on the left flank. The third change followed eight minutes later when Maxi Nicu got a run out in place of Bierofka, which meant Wood lasted a full 90 minutes for the first time in his Bundesliga career.
There were a few nervy moments for Lions fans in the closing minutes but Gabor Kiraly made an acrobatic save to deny the visitors a share of the spoils. 1860 held on and recorded only their second win in eight games.
Previous coach Reiner Maurer preferred to only use one striker. Against Paderborn a new strike duo was employed by Schmidt with the Hawaiian Wood combining excellently with the experienced Lauth.
"I think we played well, I'm just happy that we got the win. I'm pleased that I got to play the whole 90 minutes, I've been dreaming of this opportunity since I've been at the club," Wood said after the match.
Meanwhile, former England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson was watching from the stands for a third successive game, which will do little to dampen speculation that the high-profile Swede is in the frame for a permanent position with the 2nd division side.
TSV 1860 München: Kiraly, Volz, Bülow, Schindler, Feick, Stoppelkamp, Bierofka (72' Nicu), Wannenwetsch (46' Makos), Halfar (64' Vallori), Wood, Lauth
SC Paderborn 07: Kruse, Ornatelli, Gulde, Strohdiek, Brückner, Kempe, Zeitz, Demme, Bertels (64' Wissing), Vrancic (64' Hofmann), Yilmaz (70' Poljanec)
Goals: 1-0 Lauth (38) Referee: Dr Robert Kampka Attendance: 13,300