1860 blow chance to reach Relegation

On another day, a point against high-flying Hertha might have been a good result but not at this stage of 1860's season. Photo: Saintameader, FlickrTSV München von 1860 came into this game knowing that realistically they needed a win to remain in competition for third place and a shot at promotion. In Germany, the bottom two in the Bundesliga are automatically relegated and replaced by the top two in the 2. Bundesliga whereas the third-bottom team from the first division plays off against the third-placed team from the second division in a two-legged battle for the right to play top-flight football. Oddly for English speakers, these two games are called Relegation, which is in fact more of a hint towards the meaning of the result than the position of the teams. Today's opponents Hertha Berlin lead the chasing pack, and alongside Eintracht Braunschweig, look certainties for one of the two automatic promotion places with a large gap to the cluster of teams chasing third. 1860 started the day four points off the Relegation spot with nine games left.

The first-half was a relatively even but cagey affair with neither side really able to carve out a clear-cut opportunity. Hertha probably just shaded the half, courtesy of the nature of their attacks, dropping playmaker Ronny deep and allowing runners from midfield to get behind the 1860 defence. For the home sides part, the best player was their nominated playmaker, Moritz Stoppelkamp. Unfortunately his Bundesliga experience and class was not enough to make the difference, as several crosses aimed towards Canadian and former Hertha Berlin target-man Rob Friend were not quite accurate enough. Unsurprisingly it proved to be scoreless at the interval.

1860 started the second-half the brighter of the two teams. The left-footed Marin Tomasov was playing quite narrow on the right and the Croatian was unlucky a few times, the final ball just failing to find its intended target. It was Tomasov who had the game's best chance shortly before the hour mark. The ball was slid in on the right-hand side just inside the box and he opened up onto his left foot only to fire a curling shot just over the crossbar with the keeper at his mercy. Tomasov was later guilty of wasting a good opportunity from a free kick, which he fired high over the bar. As the game entered the last ten minutes, neither side looked like scoring. Perhaps the visitors were happy to take a point to preserve their status as league-leaders, although their advantage was cut to one point as Braunschweig won away at Bochum. 1860 must be disappointed with just a point, as it leaves them with little chance of making the Relegation play-off.

There are big changes afoot at 1860. Two years ago Jordanian investor Hasan Abdullah Ismaik invested several millions of pounds to save the club from insolvency and this week there was a massive boardroom restructure, with Josef Monatzeder becoming the new President. Under the auspices of this new leadership team, Monatzeder has assured 'Sechszig' fans that his top priority is promotion to the Bundesliga. On this evidence, although 1860 may have the foundations of a decent team, promotion to the Bundesliga looks to be beyond their grasp for this season at least.

TSV 1860 München:
Kiraly - Volz, Buelow, Vallori, Feick (46' Wojtkowiak) - D. Stahl, Fathi - Stoppelkamp, Tomasov (77' Kamara) - Lauth, Friend

Hertha Berlin: Kraft - Pekarik, Janker, Franz, Kobiashvili - Lustenberger, Morales - Allagui (71' Sahar), Ronny, Schulz (66' Ben-Hatira) - Ramos (80' Wagner)

Attendance: 25,4000
Referee: Bastian Dankert

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