1860 could have gone into this match with a lot of confidence having finally ending their terrible run of home form by destroying Union Berlin last weekend. Past results also seemed to favour the boys from Munich who have the 3rd best away form in the league. Paderborn's home form is terrible, only better than last-place Regensburg. Football, as we all well know, isn't a game played on paper and with the arrival of new manager Rene Müller for the home side after the sacking of Stephan Schmidt mid-week, nothing could be taken for granted. It can often be difficult playing against a team with a new manager as it provides a lift to the club and players are driven to impress.
1860 started with a near identical team to the one which faced Union Berlin, with Arne Feick deservedly replacing the injured Grzegorz Wojtkowiak after a solid performance last week.
From the very first kick of the game it seemed that 1860's confidence had potentially turned to complacency as Paderborn hit the ground running. I had barely taken the first sip from my cup of tea when Kiraly was at full stretch to keep out a fine strike from Kachunga. From the resulting corner 1860 were unable to fully clear their lines, the ball found its way to left back Brückner whose delightful sweeping pass reached Meha on the right hand side. After a touch to control he rocketed a ball across the six yard box which a flying Saglik connected with, sending a crashing volley into the roof of the net. It seemed that 1860 were, as always, determined to do it the hard way.
Throughout the first half die Löwen were able to keep possession well without ever really threatening Kruse in the Paderborn goal. The one chance they were able to create nearly ended terribly. After a Lauth effort that was parried by Kruse, Paderborn broke quickly and manoeuvring the ball onto his right, Vrancic unleashed a powerful effort that cracked against the top of the post.
With around 10 minutes left of the first half remaining, the game-temperature rose considerably after a strong but fair challenge from Moritz Volz. The Paderborn players were incensed and surrounded Volz who needed an outrushing Kiraly to diffuse the situation, earning himself a booking in the process.
Paderborn definitely shaded the first half, as 1860 rode their luck at times. With the help of a few contentious decisions from the referee though, the home team were beginning to get riled. Unfortunately, the second half started much like the first, with Paderborn on the offensive from the word go. Things were further complicated after 59 minutes when Volz, having not heeded the words of the referee earlier in the match, flew into another strong challenge. This time, he missed the ball completely and the referee was left with no other choice but to send him off.
Knowing that they had nothing to lose, 1860 attacked. Paderborn's numerical advantage and uncanny knack of firing an early cross along the "corridor of uncertainty" would soon prove telling. Just ten minutes after Volz's red card, Brückner found space on the left wing yet again. Delivering a perfect early cross to the near post, Kachunga gratefully headed home from point blank range. Although 3-0 would probably have flattered the hosts they had many chances to make it a reality with both Hofmann and Yilmaz seeing shots clatter against the woodwork in the closing stages.
It was a frustrating day for 1860 but one that sees Paderborn mathematically safe from relegation. This was a case of playing the wrong club at the wrong time, as 1860 could not cope with the buzz around the Benteler Arena after the introduction of the new manager. The result bumps 1860 down to 7th position. 1860 fans will really be hoping for a performance more like last week's in the last game of the season, after which they can draw a line under a very average season and begin preparing for next season.
SC Paderborn 07: Kruse - Brückner, Strohdiek, Ziegler, Wemmer - Meha, (Krösche 23'), Vrancic, Demme, Kachunga - Saglik (Yilmaz 64'), Hofmann (Zeitz 85')
1860 München: Kiralz - Volz (Off 58'), Vallori, Bülow, Feick (Wood 83') - Stoppelkamp, Stahl, Fathi, Halfar - Lauth (Tomasov 63'), Friend
Goals: 1-0 Saglik (4'), 2-0 Kachunga (69')
Red cards: Volz (58')
Referee: Norbert Grudzinski