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Tuesday 08/01/2017

Eintracht earn a point at Düsseldorf

Intensive clash finishes 2-2

At 20:30 CET, the waiting was finally over and the ‚Braunschweiger Löwen‘ got their season underway. In front of a crowd of 25,492 spectators in Dusseldorf’s ESPRIT arena, an attacking spectacle ensued over the full duration. The hosts took an early lead through Sobottka (9‘), but the Löwen levelled before the break through Baffo (35‘). After the re-start, Eintracht impressed with a display of determined attacking play and were duly rewarded for their efforts, with substitute Nymann firing the visitors in front (60‘). An unfortunate lapse at the back allowed Neuhaus through though to equalize for Fortuna (79’) and the final score 2-2.

The low-down

It’s difficult for any trainer to analyse his opponents ahead of the first match of a season and filter the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses. That was indeed the difficulty faced by both Torsten Lieberknecht and Friedhelm Funkel ahead of the Monday night game. What the coaches did share though was their anticipation to finally get their competitive season started.

The line-up

Lieberknecht began with one new signing, Steve Breitkreuz, in the starting eleven. The defender was joined at the back by Joe Baffo and Gustav Valsvik, whilst three further signings, Steffen Nkansah, Louis Samson and Robin Becker, took places on the bench. As Lieberknecht had touched on, there would be tough decisions to make in setting out his side and that was the case for two of last season’s first choice selections, Onel Hernandez and Christoffer Nyman, who were initially reduced to the role of substitutes. Funkel was of similar opinion to his opposite number and began with just one new signing, Niko Gießelmann, in from the outset.

Highlights

9th minute: Goal for Fortuna Düsseldorf! The hosts take the lead. Gießelmann bustles his way through on the right and fires across the face of the goal. Reichel is caught unawares and can only clear directly to the feet of Sobottka, who drives the ball over the line from five meters out.

16th minute: A free-kick delivery to the back posts falls for Kumbela. Rensing can only parry the number 7’s shot, but Hennings reacts quickest to clear.

17th minute: Next chance for Blau-Gelb! Khelifi finds space on the right and delivers to the area, where Hochscheidt turns the ball on goal, but unfortunately directly into the arms of Rensing.

22nd minute: A further opportunity for the home side. Schmitz shifts the ball onto his strong left foot and fires on the turn, but  Valsvik slides in to block the ball away for a corner – albeit with the ball touching the bar on the way over.

32nd minute: Hochscheidt intercepts a diagonal pass and gets a Braunschweig counter-attack going. The ball is subsequently passed from Boland to Khelifi, but the winger is denied from a tight angle by the Fortuna keeper.

35th minute: GOOOAAALLL for Eintracht!!! Following a foul on Hochscheidt, the number 11 chips in a delivery to the head of Kumberla, who is initially denied by Rensing. The loose ball falls kindly for Baffo, who slams home without fail – 1-1!

47th minute: Free-kick fort he hosts on the edge of the box. Gießelmann tries his luck directly but proves narrowly off target. Fortune favours Eintracht on this occasion.

57th minute: Moll goes agonisingly close with a driven effort from 20 meters out.

60th minute: GOOOAAALLL for Eintracht!!! Great direct combination play by the Löwen! Zuck and Moll set up Nyman, who needs only to slot the ball into the empty net from close range. An element of tiki-taka football in the ESPRIT-Arena and a deserved lead for Blau-Gelb!

69th minute: Another dangerous free-kick from the Löwen. The delivery by Hochscheidt is met in the centre by Valsvik, but Rensing goes full-stretch to make an impressive stop. The loose ball eludes Baffo this time.

76th minute: Schmitz plays a pass from the left in behind the Blau-Gelben defence. Bebou flings himself at the ball but fails to make a clean connection. A let-off for Eintracht!

79th minute: The equaliser for Fortuna! Schmitz dribbles his way through in the box and lays a pass back to Neuhaus. The 20 year old drives his shot past Fejzic to make it 2-2.

86th minute: Nielsen hits a free-kick through the wall, but Fejzic makes an excellent save.

The game at a glance

Düsseldorf
Rensing – Gießelmann, Hoffmann, Ayhan, Schmitz, Sobottka, Bodzek (61‘ Nielsen), Kiesewetter, Fink (C) (39‘ Neuhaus), Hennings (69‘ Hennings), Bebou

Eintracht
Fejzic – Reichel (C), Valsvik, Breitkreutz, Baffo, Hochscheidt, Boland, Moll, Zuck, Khelifi (66‘ Hernandez), Kumbela (52‘ Nyman / 90‘ Samson)

Goals
1-0 Sobottka (9‘)
1-1 Baffo (35‘)

1-2 Nyman (60‘)
2-2 Neuhaus (79‘)

Second booking (red card)

Moll (81‘)

Attendance
25,492

Photos: Agentur Hübner

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