SV Wehen suffered a 3-1 defeat away to SV Darmstadt 98 on Matchday 33. Manuel Schäffler opened the scoring after five minutes, only for the hosts to turn the game on its head after the break at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor.
SVWW head coach Rüdiger Rehm made four changes to the starting XI that were beaten 6-0 by Nuremberg in midweek. Dominik Franke, Paterson Chato, Moritz Kuhn and Maximilian Dittgen were introduced to the fray in place of Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (suspended), Tobias Schwede, Jeremias Lorch and Marcel Titsch Rivero.
From the first whistle, SVWW showed that they were willing to give everything and that they wanted to banish the defeat to Nuremberg from their minds as quickly as possible. The game was only five minutes only when their courageous start bore fruit for the first time. Chato played a wonderful ball down the left flank towards Franke, who was afforded too much space to pick out a cross. Manuel Schäffler subsequently showed great desire as he slid in at the near post to bundle the ball over the line.
The Red & Blacks did not let up. Shortly after they had taken the lead, Kuhn fed Stefan Aigner with another through-ball – but the SVD defence managed to thwart the danger at the last moment (9).
Darmstadt grew into the game more after the first 10 minutes. The Lilies fared better in the one-on-one duels and gained the upper hand in the middle of the park. But Rehm's charges continued to look solid in defence and managed to stop the home side from converting their higher share of possession into goalscoring opportunities.
The visitors waited for opportunities to switch the play at speed but did not manage to win the ball back in promising positions in the minutes that followed. As a result, a Darmstadt equaliser seemed a likelier prospect. Serdar Dursun had the first major goalscoring chance in the 22nd minute but Heinz Lindner displayed lightning-quick reactions as he turned his shot from 16 metres behind for a corner. Lindner also came out on top in his second face-off with Dursun, before completing his hat-trick of saves to keep out Tobias Kempe's penalty. Nicolai Rapp had been fouled by Dittgen in the penalty area but Lindner saved the subsequent spot-kick to keep the visitors' lead intact (27).
With SVWW beginning to drop off after their strong start, Seung-Ho Paik almost equalised when he struck the side-netting on the half-hour mark. Manuel Schäffler picked up his 10th yellow card of the season in the first period and will therefore miss the Matchday 34 clash with FC St. Pauli through suspension.
The Red & Blacks had the best opportunity to double their advantage five minutes before the interval. Aigner followed up his solo run with a square ball to Dittgen but his shot did not trouble Marcel Schuhen in the SVD goal (40) and the score remained 1-0 to SVWW at the break.
Jeremias Lorch and Tobias Schwede replaced Dittgen and Gökhan Gül, who had both been booked, at the break and the entire team played with greater momentum and aggression after the restart. SVWW put SVD under early pressure and largely kept them away from their own penalty box. Darmstadt also continued to defend consistently, however, meaning the vast majority of the play in the early stages of the second half took place in midfield.
A set-piece on the hour mark brought about the first major opportunity of the second period. But although Platte managed to flick the ball on, Serdar Dursun could not quite get there to prod the ball over the line at the back post (62). The SVD forward had better luck a minute later, however, as he nodded home a Paik cross to restore parity (63).
But despite the setback, SVWW did not let their heads drop. Rehm's charges instead attempted to re-establish their lead, but it was the men from Darmstadt who got the next goal when the ball fell to the feet of Paik following a corner and he drove it low inside the near post of the SVWW goal (77).
Chato had tried to hit back immediately for the visitors but Schuhen was comfortably able to deal with his long-range effort (64). Rehm went all in and brought on another attacker, Phillip Tietz, in place of defender Benedikt Röcker with five minutes remaining. But Darmstadt eventually put the game to bed when substitute Ensar Arslan was played in and he squared the ball to fellow substitute Marcel Heller, who slotted the ball into the empty net to condemn SVWW to a 3-1 defeat (86).
SVWW: Lindner – Mrwoca, Mockenhaupt, Röcker (Tietz, 85), Franke – Gül (Lorch, 46), Chato – Kuhn (Ajani, 60), Aigner (Schönfeld, 78), Dittgen (Schwede, 46) – Schäffler.