Niklas Hauptmann created the sensation in the DFB Cup with Holstein Kiel and eliminated FC Bayern Munich. The midfielder, who is on loan from 1. FC Köln to the Störche, converted the fifth of six penalties in the final act of a dramatic game. Hauptmann is said to develop similarly at Kiel as Salih Özcan did before him. But its future is still open.
Cologne / Kiel – Also at 1. FC Köln you should have looked closely on Wednesday evening when Niklas Hauptmann ran for the penalty kick. The pressure on the 24-year-old was maximum. Nine shooters before, four from Kiel and five from Bavaria, had already turned. Hauptmann stepped to the point as the last shooter of the regular round on penalties. National goalkeeper Manuel Neuer could have become a Bayern hero if he had kept Hauptmann’s shot. But the Cologne-born and actual FC player remained ice cold. In the snowstorm he loaded Neuer and sent him the wrong way.
That’s how it’s been going for Hauptmann in Kiel
A sovereignly converted penalty by Hauptmann, who came on as a substitute in the 77th minute when the score was 1: 2 from Kiel’s point of view. The storks saved themselves in stoppage time with a last-minute goal to make it 2-2 in extra time. Because there were no more goals in the next half hour, the penalty shoot-out had to decide. Kiel won – also thanks to Hauptmann. A great success for Hauptmann and motivation for the coming weeks. In Kiel, the midfielder is something like the 12th man, the first substitute. He was in the starting line-up of the second division five times and came off the bench eight times. Hauptmann only missed the last two league games sick. Otherwise he always stood up for the storks, although not as often from the start as the 24-year-old would have hoped.
Like Salih Özcan last season, Hauptmann usually plays in one of the two eighth positions in coach Ole Werner’s 4-3-3. Less dangerous than Özcan, Werner appreciates the man from Cologne, who is on loan from FC, for his running qualities. However, Hauptmann still has to improve on the offensive. So far he has not been directly involved in any goal of the Kiel. Even before his time at 1. FC Köln, Hauptmann had done the supposed dirty work at Dynamo Dresden (two goals and four assists in 59 games), while other players shone in the spotlight. At FC he was also only able to deliver one template in twelve second division appearances.
Future open in Cologne – see you again at the beginning
But Hauptmann collects important match practice that he would not have got at FC. As third in the table, Kiel is even fighting for promotion. An important season for Hauptmann, especially since his contract with the billy goats from summer 2021 will run until 2023. Whether the 24-year-old will actually return to Cologne after his time in Kiel is still open and may also depend on the future league membership of the FC. Until then, Hauptmann can still prove himself in the second division – and also in the DFB Cup. The win on Wednesday against FC Bayern – thanks in part to Hauptmann’s penalty kick – brought Kiel and the loan player to the round of 16 against SV Darmstadt 98. Then Hauptmann met his former coach from Cologne, Markus Anfang.