Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top

Promoted Paderborn went top of the Bundesliga helped by an extraordinary 80-metre strike at Hanover on Saturday as champions Bayern Munich were held to a goalless draw by struggling Hamburg.

Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top
Paderborn players celebrate after defeating Hanover 2-0 to go top of the Bundesliga. Photo: DPA

Elias Kachunga scored in the 71st minute and Moritz Stoppelkamp added his memorable long-range strike in the third minute of injury time in a 2-0 win which took Paderborn to eight points and top spot.

Bayern Munich, meanwhile, were unable to get the better of a Hamburg team under new coach Joe Zinnbauer playing out a 0-0 draw.

The reigning champions also have eight points from four games but are sitting fourth behind Paderborn, Mainz 05 and Hoffenheim on goal difference.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said his team struggled just days after a tough mid-week battle against Manchester City.

"After the Champions League match, it was tough to play," said Guardiola. "We have to keep on working hard."

Paderborn coach Andre Breitenreiter, who saw his team win their first home match in the top flight, said: "We just want to keep collecting points to avoid relegation. Now we can go to Munich next week with confidence."

The match also saw midfielder Stoppelkamp score from an estimated 83 metres out.

"I didn't know that I could even shoot that far," said the scorer.

Zinnbauer was delighted with his point against Bayern.

"Getting a point against Bayern is a big story. The guys showed they were willing to run, but there was more team spirit today. And the team deserved to celebrate with their fans," said Zinnbauer, whose team was the first to keep Munich scoreless this season.

Paderborn's time atop the league will last at least until Sunday as Mainz beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in Saturday's late game thanks to goals by Shinji Okazaki in the 66th minute and an own goal by Matthias Ginter in the 74th.

Mainz have eight points and Dortmund have six.

Bayer Leverkusen — leaders coming into the weekend with seven points — face VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday.

Hoffenheim claimed a 2-0 win at bottom club Stuttgart thanks to goals by Anthony Modeste after 15 minutes and Tarik Elyounoussi in the 84th.

Werder Bremen's streak of coming back from deficits to collect points was snapped as Augsburg won 4-2 at home.

Bremen jumped ahead through 19-year-old Davie Selke in the third minute. But Daniel Baier equalised after 14 minutes and Paul Verhaegh gave the hosts the lead in the 44th from the spot.

Franco Di Santo equalised for Bremen from the penalty spot in the 56th minute. But Tobias Werner gave Augsburg the lead again in the 76th minute and Tim Matavz added a fourth goal three minutes into stoppage time.

Schalke's struggles continued with a 2-2 draw at home in a hot-headed clash against Eintracht Frankfurt where two Schalke players and one Frankfurt player saw red.

Schalke, still hunting a first win this season, fell behind 2-0 at home after just 24 minutes following goals from Alex Meier and Marco Russ.

But Eric Choupo-Moting pulled a goal back in the 40th minute from a penalty. And the German-born Cameroonian striker set up Julian Draxler's equaliser in the 50th minute.

Kevin-Prince Boateng was sent off after 61 minutes while Draxler followed 11 minutes later with a red card.

Frankfurt went a man down for the final five minutes as Solodan Medojevic was shown his second yellow card.

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EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches

The German Bundesliga kicks off on Friday evening with a match in Mönchengladbach. Here's a run-down of the Covid rules for football fans itching to join the crowds at the stadium.

EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches
Crowds cheer at a match between FC Kaiserslautern and Borussia Mönchengladbach, on August 9th, 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

All eyes will be on Mönchengladbach this evening as the Bundesliga season kicks off with a match against reigning champions Bayern Munich – and this time, a crowd will be present in the stadium.

READ ALSO: German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

With several states liberalising their rules for public gatherings in recent months, many football fans are looking forward to enjoying a lively atmosphere at football matches once more. 

There’s just one problem: there are different rules for different stadiums. Here’s what you need to know about the Covid rules before you book your ticket for any of the upcoming fixtures. 

How many fans are allowed in the stadiums? 

According to a recent decision by the federal and state governments, football stadiums around the country are allowed to fill half of their seats and sell up to 25,000 tickets to fans. 

Of course, how much this limit affects the overall atmosphere – and the football clubs’ bottoms lines – depends on the capacity of the stadium. In Borussia Dortmund this weekend, the full 25,000 tickets have been sold – but that only equates to 30 percent of the stadium’s full capacity.

READ ALSO: German football: Which Bundesliga club should I support?

Meanwhile, in the stadium owned by Berlin’s FC Union, selling just 11,000 tickets is enough to fill half of the available seats. 

What do I need to show to get in? 

That really depends on the stadium in question, although in general anyone over the age of six will need to show a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery – the so-called ‘3G’ rule – to enter the grounds. But other clubs, such as FC Cologne, have decided to only permit people who are vaccinated or recovered to attend matches from August 28th onwards – with exceptions for people who can’t get vaccinated, like children and pregnant woman.

At Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park stadium, however, unvaccinated fans can enter with a negative test, though visitors who’ve stayed in a high-risk or virus variant area over the past two weeks will be unable to enter – along with people who’ve had recent contact with someone who has Covid. 

If you want to see action like this at FC Cologne’s stadium, you’ll need to get your Covid jabs sorted first. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund has taken a middle ground. While the 3G rule applies in principle, only 1,000 of the available 25,000 tickets will be sold to people who are providing a negative test. The remaining 24,000 seats will only be available for those who are vaccinated against – or recently recovered from – Covid. 

If you’re not vaccinated and are keen to see a match, it’s worth checking on your local club’s website beforehand or sending them an email to double-check whether you will be allowed in. 

What else do I need to know about? 

You’ll need to bring a FPP2 mask with you to matches to wear in your seat and while heading to the bathroom or bar, and also observe social distancing rules – meaning staying 1.5 metres apart from your fellow fans.

In most states, you’ll also need to provide your contact details, which will be saved by the club and potentially passed on to local health authorities in order to monitor a potential Covid outbreak. 

Will these rules continue throughout the season?

That’s still an open question. If infection rates in Germany continue to rise or high-profile superspreading events occur at future matches, the government could potentially crack down further on sports events in autumn.

This could involve limiting the seat numbers even further, or (more controversially), introducing a ‘vaccinated-only’ rule for entering stadiums. 

READ ALSO: Should Germany bring in Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people only?

A recent outbreak of Covid in the Mainz football team has also dampened celebrations slightly in the run-up to the start of the Bundesliga – leaving club owners urgently calling for both fans and footballers to get vaccinated. 

Speaking to WDR ahead of the season’s start, FC Cologne’s managing director Alexander Wehrle said widespread vaccination was the best route back to normality – a message reiterated by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann.