European Lower League Week In Football
Table toppers Sassuolo & Livorno continued their fine starts to the season with home wins at the weekend. Sassuolo beat Serie B newcomers Pro Vercelli 2-1 in front of a disappointing 2100 crowd at Modena’s Stadio Alberto Braglia, whilst Livorno had a comfortable 4-2 win over lowly Empoli with Luca Siligardi on target for the fourth game in a row.
There were two other sides with 100% records but they disappeared on Monday when they fought out a 2-2 draw. Varese will be disappointed with the outcome as they were leading Bari 2-0 with just three minutes left on the clock. The fixture billed as the game of the weekend certainly lived up to its name as local rivals Vicenza & Hellas Verona fought out a tight affair which visiting Hellas won 3-2. Daniele Cacia, starting only his second game for the club, became an instant hero with a brace for the Gialloblu.
Grosseto won their first game of the season thanks to a Ferdinando Sforzini goal on the half hour but they still remain bottom having started the season on -6 points. Cesena picked up their first point of the season in Pierpaolo Bisoil’s opening game in charge as they drew 0-0 with Ternana who also registered their first point. Empoli drop into the bottom three after their loss at Livorno as do Padova, despite picking up a useful point in a 0-0 draw with Brescia. Promoted Spezia lost for the first time this season at Ascoli & Di Carmine grabbed the only goal as Cittadella beat Virtus Lanciano.
The battle between the early season pacesetters ended all square in the Principality as AS Monaco & Dijon drew 1-1. The visitors thought they had won it when former Le Havre striker Brice Jovial gave them a 74th minute lead but Monaco levelled in the 82nd minute through 19 year old Belgian Yannick Ferreira Carrasco. Caen had the chance to join Monaco on 14 points but they slipped up, losing 2-0 to Le Mans.
Nantes climbed into 3rd place but they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Guingamp. It took Les Canaries less than two minutes to open the scoring through Serge Gapke but Guingamp rallied in the second half and levelled through Mustapha Yatabare’s 5th goal of the season. Istres failed to make it three wins on the bounce but they will be happy with a 0-0 draw at Auxerre that takes them into fourth place. Angers go fifth after a fine 3-1 home win over Le Havre & Arles remain sixth after a goalless draw at Niort making it just one defeat in the opening seven games for Thierry Laurey’s men.
Gazelec Ajaccio won their first game of the season with an impressive 1-0 win at Nimes, an early goal from St Etienne loanee Idriss Saadi on his debut lifting the Corsicans out of the bottom three. Sedan fall back into the drop zone after a disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Laval. Tours & Clermont complete the bottom three after they drew 1-1 in front of a poor 2878 crowd at Clermont’s Gabriel Montpied home.
Eintracht Braunschweig’s remarkable start to the season continues after Dennis Kruppke’s second goal of the season made it 15 points from 15 with a 1-0 win over a battling Jahn Regensburg. Cottbus & FSV Frankfurt remain second & third respectively after they fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw on Friday. Defender Tim Huebach thought he had won it for FSV when he made it 2-1 on 86 minutes but Boubacar Sanogo fired his fifth goal of the season in injury time to earn Cottbus a point.
Kaiserslautern join Cottbus & FSV on 11 points after they beat pointless Duisburg by two goals to one. Mimoun Azaouagh, a summer signing from Bochum hit the winner with nine minutes remaining. After a slow start Hertha Berlin have now won three on the spin & move up to fifth place. Aalen were the latest team to suffer at the hands of Hertha, second half goals from Ramos & Ronny giving the hosts a comfortable win. 1860 Munich remain unbeaten as they did well to leave Bochum with a point courtesy of some fine defending.
Union Berlin drop into the bottom two following a 2-1 defeat at Ingolstadt taking their tally to four defeats from five games. The biggest crowd of the weekend (45200) witnessed FC Koln climb out of the drop zone with a 0-0 draw against St Pauli.
Koln are still without a victory as they prepare for a visit to fellow strugglers Union Berlin on Friday. Jahn Regensburg have three points & sit in 15th Aue are one place above after they were beaten at home to 10 man Paderborn & the men from Saxony have now failed to score in four of their five games.
Helmond Sport made it five wins from five games as they won a seven goal thriller with local rivals FC Eindhoven. Emrullah Guvenc notched a hat trick for Helmond taking his season’s tally to nine goals in five games. MVV Maastricht remain in second place after a 1-1 draw at De Graafschap, Sparta Rotterdam join them on 11 points after a convincing 3-0 win over previously unbeaten Go Ahead Eagles while Cambuur inflicted a fifth straight defeat on Almere City with a 5-2 win which takes the Leeuwarden based outfit into fourth place on ten points, one above Volendam who were beaten by a Abdelaziz Khalouta goal at Fortuna Sittard.
Den Bosch put points on the board for the first time with a fine 3-0 win over Excelsior lifting them above FC Eindhoven & Emmen who drew 0-0 at Telstar & into 15th place. Veendam warmed up for next week’s derby at Emmen with a 2-0 with over AGOVV however both teams will be missed key players as Veendam had Luis Pedro red carded & Emmen saw Alexander Bannink sent off.
Sporting Gijon were the latest team to leave empty handed after facing Elche, a 2-1 win for the Ilicitanos giving them a maximum 15 points thanks to a last minute Albacar penalty. Fernando Cavenaghi’s 3rd goal of the season gave Villarreal a 1-0 win over Hercules & put them in 2nd spot, whilw Almeria are third after crushing bottom side Guadalajara 4-0. Girona move up to fourth after they hit five for the second time this season this time against Las Palmas without reply. Alcorcon claimed their third win on the trot to move up to fifth place with a narrow 2-1 win over Cordoba who have made a disappointing start to the season.
Barcelona B chalked up their third win on the spin since they were defeated at Real Madrid Castilla with a 2-1 victory over Ponferradina in front of a sparse 2074 crowd at Mini Estadio. Racing Santander recorded their first victory at the fifth time of asking with a comfortable 3-0 win over Recreativo Huelva, former Crvena Zvezda frontman Andrija Kaluderovic making it three games & three goals since joining from Chinese side Beijing Guoan.
Sabadell striker Anibal Zurdo scored his fifth goal in a week in a 3-2 win at Real Madrid Castilla, Huesca ended promoted Lugo’s unbeaten run by beating them 4-2 in their own backyard despite an Oscar Diaz double. Mirandes will be more than happy with a 2-2 draw at Murcia & Xerez ended a run of three successive losses with a 2-0 home victory over Numancia