Shechter Fires Kaiserslautern To First Victory


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Flanked by former FC St. Pauli of Hamburg and Germany U-21 international attacker RICHARD SUKUTA-PASU (16), an ethnic Congolese born and raised in Wuppertal, Israel international striker ITAY SHECHTER (9) runs off after scoring what will prove to be the winning goal for 1.FC KAISERSLAUSTERN against visiting FSV 05 MAINZ in the second half of the Bundesliga match at the venerable Fritz Walter Stadion originally built in 1920 on the Betzenberg Hill.
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It had shot the goal that gave 1.FC KAISERSLAUTERN its first point of the season in the Bundesliga. And now, it has fired the go-ahead goal that propelled the club to its first victory of the season in the German top flight. Is it a bird, is it a plane?

No, it is Israel international striker ITAY SHECHTER, the off-season acquisition purchased from Ligat Ha’Al club FC Hapoel Tel Aviv for the modest transfer fee of 2.5 million Euros.

Like any good striker, Shechter was lurking in front and, in the 54th minute, able to capitalize on a fortuitous rebound off a corner kick to fire 1.FC Kaiserslautern to the lead in what became a 3-1 victory over FSV 05 Mainz. A second goal of the season for the 24-year-old import proved to be critical as die Roten Teufel captured their first Bundesliga triumph this term at the sixth attempt. With the three points secured against FSV 05 Mainz, 1.FC Kaiserslautern were able to move out of the dreaded relegation zone and up to safety in the standings … if only for the time being.

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Supporters of 1.FC KAISERSLAUTERN waive handkerchiefs during the Bundesliga match with visiting FSV 05 Mainz at the old Betzenbergstadion in Rhineland-Palatinate; knowing the competitive and fun-loving nature of German football fans, the fans of die Roten Teufel (the Red Devils) are probably offering their counterpart guests from Mainz, which is also located in the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate, crying towels.
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One of the oldest clubs in all of German football, 1.FC KAISERSLAUTERN were founded in June of 1900 and later became one of the original members of the Bundesliga when the new nationwide league formed to start the 1963-64 season in what was still then West Germany. In all, die Roten Teufel have claimed four national championships in its history, including the two Bundesliga titles captured during the 1990s. The Red Devils have also won the Deutscher Fussball Bund Pokal (German Cup) on two occasions.

1.FC Kaiserslautern are the only German team to ever finish first in the 2.Bundesliga standings one year (1997) and, upon promotion, capture the Bundesliga crown in the very next (1998) campaign. Nowadays, the overriding concern of die Roten Teufel would be to avoid a return to the German second division, where they had spent four consecutive seasons prior to the promotion to start last season. Although the club did finish a very respectable seventh in the top flight upon its return last term, 1.FC Kaiserslautern are still recovering from the financial difficulties which began to overwhelm the club after the new millenium.

One player the Red Devils are specifically counting on to deliver the goals this season is Shechter. The in-coming Israel international was picked out by club management to replace the departed Croatian striker SRDAN LAKIC, who led 1.FC Kaiserslautern with 16 Bundesliga goals for the 2010-11 campaign. Of course, the 27-year-old Lakic left this summer and signed with Vfl Wolfburg on a free transfer.

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Israel international striker ITAY SHECHTER (9) of 1.FC Kaiserslautern, who scored 22 goals in 34 league games for FC Hapoel Tel Aviv two seasons ago, shakes hands with die Roten Teufel trainer MARCO KURZ after registering the go-ahead goal in the second half of the Bundesliga match with FSV 05 Mainz at the Fritz Walter Stadion.

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