1860 Munich go third in the Bundesliga 2nd division as MSV Duisburg suffer their fourth league defeat in a row.
The Zebras arrived in Munich after a tumultuous week in which they handed their coach Oliver Reck the sack and quickly appointed Ivica Grlic as caretaker. Actually, he is sharing coaching duties with Bernhard Dietz, who was infamous in German football in the 1980s for 'Kampfgeist Made in Germany' (German fighting spirit).
The tone before the match was somewhat subdued, and for an unbeaten team, 1860 Munich was careful not to sound overly optimistic. However, as soon as the match kicked off, it was clear the home side had little to worry about from bottom-of-the-table Duisburg.
The action got off to a quick start when captain Benjamin Lauth scored in the second minute from a corner. The Lions dominated the first quarter hour of play, but slowly let the Zebras back into it. Though there were a few shots on goal by the visitors, 1860 keeper Gábor Király easily handled each challenge.
According to Director of Football Florian Hinterberger, the first half might not have been pretty, but 1860 showed themselves to be the superior side after the break. "We didn't lose the last two away matches, and with wins in both the home opener and tonight, I'm very pleased," said the smiling executive who deserves a lot of credit for the astute acquisitions in the close season.
Duisburg came out swinging in the opening minutes of the second half, but it was all to no avail. Both Antonio da Silva and Ranisav Jovanovic shot rockets from more than 20 metres, but the former was just wide of the post while the latter was easily dealt with by the in-form Király. It looked as if, with all of this newfound enthusiasm, Duisburg could force an equaliser, but, out of the blue, 1860 struck again to double the lead.
Left-footed Croatian Marin Tomasov moved unchallenged into the right-hand corner of the area and found Benjamin Lauth who powerfully headed home his second goal of the evening. At this point, matters began to turn a little ugly. Partly due to frustration at Jovanovic's goal in the 60th minute being disallowed (it was both a handball and he was off-side), the Rhinelanders became increasingly aggressive, and the official started dealing yellow cards like he was a blackjack dealer in Monte Carlo.
Any hopes of Duisburg escaping the lion's den without a defeat were resolutely dashed when Moritz Stoppelkamp went in for the kill and made it 3-0 in the 85th minute. The home fans had already begun to celebrate by then, and the mood in the stadium was quite jovial. After the match, Benjamin Lauth was generous with his time in answering reporters' questions and stated, "Better and better players are coming into this division, so it makes it just a bit harder each year."
If 1860 Munich continue improving like they have been each match, all the talk of promotion to the first division might not seem so far-fetched. Unbeaten after four games, they are now sitting pretty with eight points near the top of the table.