DAVID SMITH - Monday, August 24, 2009
Kenny Cooper netted his second goal with the Lions in spectacular fashion, however their defense was badly overrun as Karlsruhe cruised to 3-1 victory in the Allianz Arena.
After a difficult loss last weekend in Rostock, 1860 were looking to turn their homefield advantage into three points against a struggling Karlsruhe team who had already given their coach the early axe after only taking one point from their first two games.
Cooper once again started atop the attack alongside Benjamin Lauth and gave his team an early lead for the second time so far in this short season.
Receiving the ball from midfielder Aleksandar Ignjovski several yards outside of the area, Cooper cleverly fooled two defenders before launching a low shot towards goal, which skidded in just inside the left post for the 18th minute lead to the Lions.
They barely had time to celebrate before their visitors took advantage of loose defensive play, with diminutive French midfielder GaŽtan Krebs freeing Anton Fink up the middle, who slid the ball over to Christian Timm for a looping shot over Lions keeper Gabor Kiraly to bring things even less than one minute later.
While the Karlsruhe midfield was clearly able to dominate the flow of play, 1860 did mount occasional pressure around their visitors' goal, with one such instance leading to defender Dino Drpic fouling Louth in the area and handing the Lions the perfect opportunity to retake the lead.
Perhaps still dizzy from his tumble, Lauth's ensuing spot kick had the keeper diving the wrong way but bounced off the crossbar and ultimately to safety, keeping matters knotted into the half.
Cooper initiated a bit of danger three minutes past the break when he fired a cross into the box which Sandro Kaiser redirected towards Lauth with a glancing headed pass, however the latter was unable to hit his header on target with the ball sailing wide right.
The multiple wasted chances from 1860 ultimately came back to bite them as Timo Staffeldt set up Krebs for his 58th minute goal, putting Karlsruhe ahead.
If they Lions had any hopes of coming back, they were cruelly quashed with 18 minutes remaining until full time, after a perfectly-served free kick from Lars Stindl from the right flank found an unmarked Sebastian Langkamp, who easily redirected the ball into the net to effectively put things out of reach.
Cooper was subbed out two minutes later for Montenegran super-sub Ardijan Djokaj, but the introduction did little to turn the tide and the Lions were unable to mount any serious offensive to fall to the final 3-1 scoreline.
This second straight loss by 1860 leaves them languishing in 13th place following what had been a bright season start in week one.
They do have perhaps their best chance to turn things around in four days on their visit to last-place Ahlen, who have yet to pick up a single point through the season's first three games.