1. FC Kaiserslautern has defended fourth place in the 2nd Bundesliga.
In the top game at Hannover 96, the weakened guests won 3:1 (0:1) despite being behind and continued their successful away series.
This season, the promoted team has not yet lost a game in the distance.
With a win, Lower Saxony could have overtaken Kaiserslautern.
In front of a first-division crowd of 36,800 spectators, defender Derrick Köhn (17th minute) scored for the slightly superior hosts on the first second-division matchday of the new year.
Julian Niehues (49th) equalized for the guests, who had improved in the second round.
Terrence Boyd (66th) then scored the opener for Kaiserslautern after some good preparatory work from the strong full-back Hendrick Zuck.
Substitute Philipp Hercher (90+7) increased just before the final whistle.
"It was a decent game, we didn't allow much," said FCK trainer Dirk Schuster at Sport1. "We wanted to step it up a notch in the second half, and we succeeded."
The climber from the Palatinate had to do without Philipp Klement and Nicolai Rapp for a short time.
On the other hand, 96 coach Stefan Leitl, who had been suspended before the World Cup was interrupted, was absent.
Assistant coach Andre Mijatovic represented Leitl on the sidelines.