INGOLSTADT BOOSTS HOPES WITH WIN
Ingolstadt accomplished what it came to do in Frankfurt on Friday night, stealing away with three points and inching away from the relegation zone in the process.
Wolfsburg-loanee Caiuby found the back of the net twice, thanks to two airmailed deliveries from Stefan Leitl, while Jürgen Gjasula kept things close for the hosts with a second-half equalizer.
Former LA Galaxy striker Edson Buddle registered 18 minutes of action as a second-half substitute after the scoring had been said and done.
The Schanzer entered the Frankfurter Volksbank Stadium riding a two-game winning streak which already boded well for the visitors considering Frankfurt's four-game losing streak and lack of a win since January.
In the opening minutes, Ingolstadt didn't look like the next-to-last team in the 2. Bundesliga, controlling the tempo and snuffing out any attempt by the hosts to advance. Within the first five minutes, Hans-Jürgen Boysen's men earned three corners, the last of which resulted in a towering header from Marino Biliskov, who was called for a foul by referee Bastian Dankert.
Frankfurt needed about ten minutes to get an organized attack together and finally got into the penalty area in the 13th minute. German striker Sascha Mölders found Gjasula in the box, who retreated back and lofted in a feed for Aziz Bouhaddouz, but just out of the reach of the Morocco-born German.
The hosts struggled to keep the ball out of their end, with one Ingolstadt attack following another. In the 13th minute, Andreas Görlitz found Malte Metzelder for a nice header from top of the box that sailed well wide. Only a minute later Caiuby got his knee on a shot towards goal from the baseline that missed the mark.
Frankfurt finally saw a great opportunity in the 18th minute when Gjasula found Bouhaddouz sprinting behind the backline. The 23-year-old striker got a good shot off, but Ingolstadt keeper Sascha Kirschstein made himself big for the block.
While Bouhaddouz showed his potency on the left for Frankfurt, Caiuby did the same for the guests in the 23rd minute with nice ballwork through the middle to get off a shot, but saw his attempt deflected away.
Poor passing plagued the hosts as midfield giveaways prevented any substantial advance into Ingolstadt territory. After such a situation in the 26th minute, midfielder Markus Karl toe-poked down the right to Leitl, whose dangerous delivery across the goal face had to be headed out by Wunderlich.
Frankfurt's attack seemed to come to life in the 32nd minute, when left-winger Bouhaddouz found Sascha Mölders in the middle. The German striker chested down at the edge of the goal box, but too far to get a foot on it into the hands of Kirschstein.
Their resurgence continued into the 35th when Bouhaddouz headed a long pass back out for Gjasula, who pulled the trigger on a 25-yard strike with open space that sailed wide right.
Ingolstadt looked to put a stop to the momentum in the 38th when Leitl did will to shake off two defenders and find Samil Cinaz for a blast that didn't miss the crossbar by much. A minute later Müller caught up with a through-ball down the left side, and spotted Mölders streaming into the box, but Kirschstein met his strike at the post.
Forward Moritz Hartmann looked to close out the half with the lead for Ingolstadt with an individual effort a minute before the halftime whistle. Dispossessing Gledson on the left side, the 24-year old stepped up and fired, but watched his effort beam well over the bar, sending the squads into the locker rooms.
Ingolstadt clearly came out of the locker rooms on all cylinders, nearly opening the scoring within a minute after a header from Karl off a corner that required a Klandt clearance at the line.
They didn't miss their next time down the field, as Leitl picked out Caiuby from the midfield with a cross-field pass for the Brazilian on the left edge of the box. Caiuby smoothly tapped past Klandt to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Both teams settled into their rhythm, although Ingolstadt dictated the pace and held an advantage in terms of possession as they had in the opening minutes of the first half. The closest either side got to the net was in the 58th minute when Ingolstadt's Metzelder found Hartmann running towards goal, but was deemed just offside.
At the hour-mark, Hans-Jürgen Boysen decided to put some fresh legs on the field by bringing on Momar N'Diaye for Heitmeier, and Mario Fillinger for Cinaz.
The move paid off as Frankfurt's pressure led to a penalty call and eventual equalizer two minutes later. On the right flank, Christian Müller shook off defender Tobias Fink and crossed in to the box, a delivery that Görlitz unnecessarily handled while attempting a headed clearance.
Gjasula stepped up for Frankfurt and slotted into the open netting on the right for the 63rd minute equalizer, his fifth tally this season.
Immediately, Ingolstadt tried to counter with Hartmann controlling a long feed at the midfield and laying off to Leitl, who picked out Caiuby on the left. The dangerous striker dribbled through traffic and got off a deflected shot that Kirschstein easily cradled.
The visitors' resolve paid off in the 68th minute when Leitl once again connected with Caiuby to bring Ingolstadt back into the lead. Leading the Schanzers with ten goals this season, the 33-year old dished up a surprise silver platter pass from the right side for the Brazilian, who rose over Müller at the backdoor of the area, and headed home to retake the lead.
Only two minutes later, Ingolstadt looked to add to the lead when Caiuby let a long pass through for the trailing Hartmann, whose blast from ten yards out required an arching dive from Klandt.
FSV captain Björn Schlicke saw the first booking of the evening in the 71st minute after tripping up Hartmann in the midfield as he about to burst past.
A minute later Ingolstadt skipper Benno Möhlmann brought on Buddle for Hartmann, moving him up top with Leitl.
After the game, Buddle commented to YA about making his eighth appearance of the season. "It felt good. I was coming in as a sub, but you have to push through it," Buddle said. "With a 2-1 lead, we just had to hang on."
The two frontmen connected in the 75th minute with Buddle touching forward to Leitl who sprinted down the right side, cut back to the edge of the box, and fired too high.
With time winding down, Frankfurt tried to develop an attack and orchestrate an equalizer, but the Ingolstadt eleven controlled possession and won their seventh corner of the evening in the 83rd minute. Leitl delivered the corner from the right side that resulted in a 30-yard strike from Bambara that went a few yards wide of the net.
Frankfurt's final substitution, Brazilian Cidimar, entered for Mölders a minute later to boost the attack.
However, Ingolstadt continued to dominate possession with Buddle getting a chance of his own in the 86th minute. Sprinting down the left side on a breakaway, the former LA Galaxy striker tried to evade Gledson, but the Brazilian defender did well to snuff out the attack.
Frankfurt was able to fervently set up a final free kick from 25 yards out at the end of the one minute of stoppage time. With the 3100 in attendance making as much noise as possible, Gjasula stepped up for the attempt, but only managed to beam the ball straight into the hands of Kirchenstein, prompting referee Dankert to blow the final whistle.
Buddle reflected on the importance of the evening's away win in the context of his stint since transferring to the German squad.
"Coming here [in January], Ingolstadt was at the bottom of standings," Buddle recalled. "Now we're getting wins. It feels like the hard work has been worth it."
The win momentarily brings Ingolstadt out of relegation into 15th, with more results to be decided this weekend.
Ingolstaadt return home to prepare for next Friday's encounter against league leaders Hertha BSC at home.