Huddersfield Town was beaten 3-2 by 2. Bundesliga side SV Sandhausen in the sweltering heat at the BWT Stadion.
David Wagner’s side’s unbeaten pre-season has come to an end, in a friendly which ultimately could pay dividends for match fitness due to the heat and intensity of the match.
Once again Town’s Head Coach rotated his starting eleven to allow the majority of his squad to complete 60 minutes during one of the Club’s first three pre-season friendlies.
Despite the blistering heat, the match started at a high tempo with both sides looking to take control.
The hosts had the first chance of the game when midfielder Manuel Stiefler created some space 20 yards in front of goal but his low driven effort dragged well wide of the Town goal.
The tempo of the game increased after the first opening as Town had a flurry of chances. The first fell to striker Laurent Depoitre. Scott Malone’s out-swinging corner fell perfectly for Elias Kachunga in the box; he took the ball down and unleashed a half-volley towards goal, which was inventively flicked on target by the Belgian international. However, to his agony it was cleared off the line by the defender.
Just a minute later Kasey Palmer produced a moment of magic on the edge of the area; the attacking midfielder skilfully turned inside and out taking the ball past three players before placing a shot on goal. His effort squirmed under the body of Knaller only for the ‘keeper to chase back and scramble it off the line.
Chances kept falling for David Wagner’s side; Depoitre latched onto a looping ball over the top and got away from the last defender only to see his driven effort saved by the legs of the on-rushing ‘keeper.
To Town’s disbelief another effort was blocked on the line by a defender; this time Collin Quaner was slipped into the box by Scott Malone; he placed the ball past Knaller but the back-tracking defender hooked his effort behind for a corner.
Despite Town looking the most potent it was the home side who took the lead; a quick break saw Vollmann receive the ball in the centre of the box, he turned right-back Sean Scannell and drove a fierce effort past Jonas Lössl.
Following the goal Town was forced into a change as Scott Malone came off injured and was replaced by Chris Löwe. Despite this, two half-chances fell Town’s way; Depoitre glanced a header just wide of Knaller’s goal after meeting a good cross from Quaner before Zanka beat his man in the air and glanced Palmer’s corner inches wide.
Half-time saw a number of changes for both sides; Town making five changes with Coleman, J Williams, Cranie, Lolley and Ince replacing Lössl, Scannell, Schindler, Quaner and Palmer.
The heat took its toll in the second half as the intensity of the match dropped slightly; albeit Town still dominating the game.
It was against the run of play when the hosts doubled its lead. Martin Cranie was caught in possession by Aygunes, whilst attempting to deal with a long ball forwards. The striker squared the ball across the face of Joel Coleman’s goal to Daghfous who tapped in from close range.
Another flurry of Town substitutes saw D Williams, van La Parra, Billing and Mounié replace Whitehead, Hogg, Kachunga and Depoitre.
Just three minutes after the changes Town pulled a goal back; substitute Rajiv van La Parra showed good pace and agility to get away from a defender before releasing the ball to Tom Ince. The winger cut inside, turned his man and bent the ball perfectly into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Town continued to search for an equaliser but it was the host that restored its two goal advantage. Jordan Williams was rounded after a skilful move from the SV Sandhausen winger who tried to roll the ball across the face of goal once again. Cranie tried to halt the on-rushing Holer and was adjudged to have fouled the striker by the referee. Holer stepped up and sent Coleman the wrong way to extended the host’s lead.
Despite Sandhausen’s third goal, Town continued to create chances. Joe Lolley curled an effort just wide of the post after linking up excellently with Steve Mounié inside the area.
Town’s final substitution saw youngster Rarmani Edmonds-Green enter the pitch for Zanka.
Rajiv van La Parra was instrumental once again for the Terriers’ second. He beat his marker down the right hand side before floating a teasing cross into the six yard box, which was met excellently by Mounié as the striker fired a bullet header past the ‘keeper.
The heat took its toll in the closing stages of the match as both sides struggled to create any late meaningful chances.
Town’s starting line-up:
Jonas Lössl (Joel Coleman, 45’); Scott Malone (Chris Löwe, 41’), Mathias Zanka (Rarmani Edmonds-Green, 75’), Christopher Schindler (Martin Cranie, 45’), Sean Scannell (Jordan Williams, 45’); Jonathan Hogg (Danny Williams, 60’), Dean Whitehead (c) (Philip Billing, 60’); Collin Quaner (Tom Ince, 45’), Kasey Palmer (Joe Lolley, 45’), Elias Kachunga (Rajiv van La Parra, 60’); Laurent Depoitre (Steve Mounié, 60’)
Harry Bunn, Mark Hudson, Jack Payne, Ryan Schofield