SV Wehen Wiesbaden lost 1-0 (1-0) at home to SV Sandhausen on the evening of Tuesday 26 May. SVS shocked the home side when Dennis Diekmeier slotted home right before the interval in a hard-fought match at the BRITA-Arena. The goal, which came in first-half stoppage time, ultimately proved the difference between the teams.
SVWW head coach Rüdiger Rehm chopped and changed his starting XI for the third game in a row, with suspensions and injuries forcing his hand. Törles Knöll replaced the suspended Stefen Aigner in attack, while at the other end of the pitch Benedikt Röcker and Sascha Mockenhaupt returned to the heart of defence. Jeremias Lorch shifted from his central position to take up the right-back berth vacated by injured SVWW captain Sebastian Mrowca.
Lorch took no time at all to showcase his attacking threat. The match was only 40 seconds old when the right-back whipped in his first dangerous cross towards the head of Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, but Aleksandr Zhirov deflected the ball behind for a corner. Sandhausen's first goalscoring opportunity fell to Julius Biada a short while later, though his shot from a centre-left position sailed well wide of the Wehen Wiesbaden goal.
It quickly developed into the hard-fought and physical match that coach Rehm had expected, with both teams flying hard into the many challenges and aerial battles. The two sides cancelled each other out as a result and the only moments of danger were efforts from long range. But Maximilian Dittgen's effort and Biada's free kick from 35 metres – in the ninth and 14th minutes respectively – did not prove successful.
SVWW started to have more of the game around the 20-minute mark and focused their attacking efforts on quick wing play and crosses, although the balls into the danger zone lacked the necessary precision. Defensively, however, Lindner and the defenders in front of him were as solid as ever. The agile Biada attempted to play a through-ball towards his team-mate Emanuel Taffertshofer in the 22nd minute, but the Austrian between the sticks for the Red & Blacks made the interception.
The first gilt-edged opportunity of an increasingly lively-looking game fell to the hosts in the 23rd minute. A briliant defence-splitting pass picked out Knöll 16 metres from goal, but Tim Kister made a strong last-second intervention to thwart the forward as he prepared to shoot. The No. 39 popped up in another dangerous position in the six-yard box following a Schwede corner four minutes later, though this time he could not generate sufficient contact and the game remained goalless.
The Red & Blacks largely kept Uwe Koschinat's charges in check with their alternation between deep defending and early pressing. But Sandhausen increasingly adjusted to the home side as the opening half wore on. There was little action of note at both ends, however, in a match characterised by challenges and misplaced passes.
Lindner showed outstanding reactions to tip a Leart Paqarada free-kick around the post in the 44th minute, but he was powerless to prevent the opener two minutes later. SVWW failed to clear the ball following a corner and Dennis Diekmeier took full advantage, heading the visitors in front from close range. A bitter setback on the stroke of half-time.
Having had their backs to the wall, SVWW now needed to go on the offensive. But it was Sandhausen who had the first opportunity of the second half through Denis Linsmeyer, with his excellent volley from the edge of the box well saved by the SVWW shot-stopper in the 48th minute.
SVWW came back into the game around the hour mark. Manuel Schäffler picked out substitute Marvin Ajani in the 61st minute, but his effort was gathered by Fraisl at the second attempt. Together with his fellow substitute Phillip Tietz, Ajani appeared to inject new momentum into the attack – and the duo combined to create the best chance of the match for the hosts on 68 minutes. Tietz played Ajani's cross into the path of Tobias Schwede, whose curling effort sailed only centimetres over the SVS goal.
SVWW's desire was now evident as they challenged hard for every ball, but their build-up play was lacking accuracy in the decisive moments. Within the space of 60 seconds, Dittgen picked up his fifth booking (78) and Tobias Schwede was sent off for a second bookable offence (79). The Red & Blacks will now be without the duo for Sunday's trip to Hamburg. SVWW could have doubled their advantage around this time when Biada went clean through, but he fired wide of Lindner's goal.
While Rehm's charges threw everything forward in the closing stages, being a man down meant gaps naturally opened up for Sandhausen. However, Aziz Bouhaddouz and Marlon Frey failed to convert a huge double chance and kill the game for the visitors, Lindner and Niklas Dams combining brilliantly to thwart the danger in the 88th minute.
The hosts battled hard until the final whistle. But their last effort – a Dams shot following a Kuhn free-kick in the 93rd minute – was off target and the score remained 1-0.
SVWW: Lindner - Lorch, Mockenhaupt, Dams, Röcker (Titsch Rivero, 75), Schwede – Chato – Kyereh (Ajani, 58), Schäffler, Dittgen (Kuhn, 84) – Knöll (Tietz, 58).