The hosting Hanseaten could have considered themselves unlucky in that they hit the post thrice while attempting to equalize against Heidenheim, but Friedl emphasized that he felt luck played no role in the loss.
Squad captain Marco Friedl – speaking to the Sky microphones pitch-side – was nevertheless left to comment on what was a most disappointing result. Entering the match undefeated in the new calendar year, not to mention riding a three-match winning streak – the Hanseaten failed to capitalize on their status as favorites against newly-promoted 1. FC Heidenheim.
Heidenheim opened up the scoring with a Lennard Maloney goal in the 12th. Shortly after that, Werder loanee Eren Dinkçi ran roughshod over his parent club’s ranks to set up Jan-Niklas Beste’s 2-0 in the 18th. Though Ducksch quickly pulled a goal back, the hosts weren’t able to erase the early deficit. Friedl could only rue the fact that the team didn’t parallel the efforts of the fans.
“Fascinating what the fans delivered today,” Friedl told his Sky interviewer, “I’m incredibly sorry that we couldn’t brighten up the birthday. It’s our own fault. I don’t think it was luck. If you look at the second half, one simply has to take a point. We had enough chances. We played right into Heidenheim’s hands and have to take a look at ourselves. We’ll cleanse our palette of this and get right back to work.”