Struggling Greuther Fürth dismissed their head coach during the week and they quickly appointed former coach Michael Büskens. His last spell at the club saw them earn promotion into the Bundesliga, however he had a tough challenge in his first game back, Kaiserlsuatern were looking to continue their fine form.
Kaiserslautern started the brighter of the two sides and they almost found an opener after just four minutes. Jean Zimmer did well to tease some defenders before picking out Michael Schulze, who was charging towards the area, he flew past a defender before unleashing a terrific effort which forced Wolfgang Hesl into a good save to his right.
The home side were denied a penalty after the twenty minute mark, Tim Heubach’s shot struck the hand of Niko Gießelmann and the referee decided not to award the spot kick.
Most of both teams attacks came from the wings, attacks down the left proved to be the most effective way for both teams, Zimmer for Kaiserslautern and Stephan Schröck for Fürth. Unfortunately despite some bright sparks, neither side created many clear cut chances.
Kaiserslautern managed to take the lead seven minutes before the break, Zimmer came in from the left and under no pressure he was allowed to unleash a tremendous strike which flew past Hesl, it was poor defending that created the goal, however it was an unstoppable strike from the youngster.
The second half started perfectly for the hosts as three minutes into the half Kaiserslautern were awarded a penalty. Simon Zoller was brought down in the area by Ronny Philp and left back Chris Löwe stepped up to convert it excellently into the top corner.
After the goal the game didn’t provide much action as both sides cancelled each other out, Kaiserslautern were looking to see out the game and Fürth despite their possession where struggling to break down the home side’s defence. They finally managed to late on in the game to set up a nervy finish for Kaiserslautern and their fans, in the 85th minute Gießelmann stepped up and brilliantly curled his freekick into the top right corner, leaving Tobias Sippel with no chance of reaching it.
One of the low points in this game game shortly after Fürth’s goal. Erik Thommy’s second appearance for Kaiserslautern was cut short after a push from Zlatko Tripić, the youngster landed badly and had to be stretchered off after just a couple minutes on the field. This also meant that the home side had to play the remaining minutes with just ten men as Thommy was their last change. Fortunately for the home fans their side were able to withstand some late pressure and keep hold of their advantage.
Kaiserslautern were on course to move into 2nd place with this victory, however it wasn’t to be as Darmstadt came up with a late winner, earning 2nd spot thanks a better goal difference. Kaiserslautern will now have to prepare for the tough challenge of knocking out Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB Pokal on Tuesday night. Their next match in the league sees them travel to face Union Berlin. As for Greuther Fürth they will be hoping that their second game under Büskens is more successful as they have another away trip, they’ll be facing Aalen.