At the start of the new year in the 2nd Bundesliga, Hannover 96 managed to break free in the relegation battle.
Coach Christoph Dabrowski’s team won 1-0 (0-0) against their direct competitor Hansa Rostock. With 23 points, the Lower Saxony advanced to twelfth place, the lead over the relegation place is six points.
Linton Maina scored the decisive goal (58th) for the guests, who lost to Werder Bremen at the end of the year. Before that, the new coach Dabrowski got two wins at the start. After only three draws from the last six games, Rostock fell back to 15th place with 20 points.
The hosts caused big problems for Hannover in the early stages with high pressure. Haris Duljevic should have given the cogs the lead in the eighth minute, but the energetic Bosnian fired from five meters over the goal of Rio world champion Ron-Robert Zieler. Rostock remained more active until halftime, the Dabrowski team hardly took part in the offensive.
In front of empty seats in the Ostseestadion, Hannover came out of the break much better. Maina rewarded the visitors’ pressure phase with a shot into the right angle. Hannover, who started with newcomer Cedric Teuchert, remained more dangerous as a result. Rostock paid tribute to the high pace of the first round.