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Stop Me If You Think That You’ve Heard This One Before (with apologies to The Smiths)

“Nothing’s changed. I still love you; oh, I still love you…”

Not less. Not even slightly less, to be honest, but you are NOT making this easy.

Once again, the story goes along the lines of one team dominating play in pretty much every aspect of the game, while the other team manages to finish with points that would otherwise seem to have been undeserved.

Though the end result today was not a loss, it has the stink of a loss all over it.

The Billy Goats were going for their third consecutive victory, which would have been a nice trend to take into the international break, while also maybe going a long way in washing away some of the memory of the traumatic start to the  2. Bundesliga campaign.

A home match on Monday night in front of a full stadium against a team that was similarly situated in the lower portion of the table seemed like a promising way to finish the match day with a statement to those who have delighted in pointing and laughing at the early-season failures of 1. FC Köln.

Rather being in the log jam in the second half of the table among six teams all sitting on nine points at the break, a three-point victory by the Effzeh would have pushed the club all the way into 9th place, with every reason to believe the return to action in 12 days with a visit to Jahn Regensburg would signal the beginning of the fight to ascend the top half of the table.

Yet, we’ll all be left to sift through the staggeringly one-sided statistics from the Monday night tilt and puzzle over what could possibly be the piece that’s going to turn this sort of domination into victories.

  • Shots: 26-6
  • Possession: 67% to 33%
  • Corner Kicks: 7-3

Granted, statistics for football are not quite the story tellers they are in other sports.  But anybody watching the game from the very beginning would have to be thinking it was going to very quickly turn out ugly for the guests.  Well, okay, maybe anyone except for those of us who’ve been watching this team all season and have, hence, seen eerily similar story lines.

Still, it would be difficult for even the most-optimistic of Dresden fans to say that their team even appeared to have come out of the locker room. They will be too happy to go home with the point, which was clear when they did everything they could think of to waste as much of the 13 minutes remaining after Anthony Ujah headed home a ball to pull the home team even.

I’m certain I wouldn’t even be able to write this had this goal not been scored. It borders on insanity!

In the end, it’s hard to blame Dresden for tightly packing the defensive zone and hoping for good things via counter-strike. It doesn’t lend itself to particularly interesting football for viewing, but it ended up working in their favor.

Oh, but what IF Christian Eichner and Sascha Bigalke don’t let the ball sit between them for a moment, confused over who was going to move it, allowing Robert Koch to run the other direction with the ball like he stole it (which, I guess he did, really) and put it in front of Mickael Pote who did just enough to pop it over the sprawling Timo Horn for a goal?

We’ll never know.

What we must admit, though, is that the amount of space the team concedes on the quick counterattacks is a bit alarming. The chances allowed were few, but many of them were a little too good. Dresden can probably comfort themselves with the away point, but they also know that they allowed a few golden opportunities to open up a larger lead escape them.

For us, it’ll be the same as it’s been the last several weeks. We’ll tell ourselves that, surely, all these near misses while dominating possession and chances cannot continue to miss. It’s just bad luck, after all, and luck has a way of balancing eventually.

Right?

So…that’s my mantra until next Saturday when I fully expect a similar effort in Regensburg, but with much more-exciting results for Effzeh fans.

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