Kaiserslautern robbed of three points as a late penalty decision goes against them, despite that it was a point that Fortuna Düsseldorf deserved.
Fortuna Düsseldorf have been rather poor since the start of December and they’ve found it hard to win consistently, despite their poor form they still find themselves towards the top end of the table. In 7th place going into this game they needed a win to jump above RB Leipzig. Since December they’ve won just four games in the league and the latest one was against second place Darmstadt, unfortunately they couldn’t build on that win and last weekend were thumped 4-0 by struggling St. Pauli. They’ll need a similar performance to the one against Darmstadt if they’re to overcome their guest’s.
Kaiserslautern came into the game in good form they’re last five league games has seen them win three and draw two, they were held to a goalless draw in their last away trip as they faced Karlsruher SC, however last weekend they won 4-0 against Heidenheim. A won for them tonight will see they go into second place above Darmstadt and three points behind league leaders Ingolstadt.
Kaiserslautern wasted no time in asserting themselves and after a good spell of pressure on Düsseldorf they quickly took the lead after just eight minutes. A clearance wasn’t cleared well and a header to Markus Karl saw him hook the ball over the top to find Simon Zoller. The striker managed to beat the offside trap and get enough space away from his marker to calmly slot past Michael Rensing with the outside of his foot.
Düsseldorf came close to an equaliser after fourteen minutes, a great corner in saw Charlison Benschop peel away towards the back post and the French striker was left miles unmarked, luckily for Kaiserslautern he’s header was straight at Tobias Sippel.
Kaiserslautern started the better of the two and Düsseldorf were looking vulnerable, however they soon started to wake up in the last twenty minutes. Although they failed to create many clear cut chances they were causing Kaiserslautern problem’s with their quick counter attack’s down the wings.
Crosses were causing Kaiserslautern the most problems, however they continued to remain strong to deny Benschop the chances he craved. Benschop finally managed to get a chance he wanted, a long ball over the top saw him go through, sadly for the hosts he slipped as he struck his effort from the right of the box, Sippel reacted well as the strike still needed a good save.
The second half began quite slowly and it took till ten minutes into the second half for there to be a good chance. Axel Bellinghausen whipped in a terrific cross from the left and Tuğrul Erat tried his best to stretch and head in, unfortunately he could only get the slightest of contact’s on the cross and it wasn’t enough to direct it in.
Moment’s later they had another great chance to score, Michael Liendl played a perfectly weighted pass out wide to Bellinghausen and after opening up his body he unleashed a powerfully effort, however it was straight at Sippel, who managed to palm the shot into the ground.
As the game edged towards the last twenty minute’s Erat had another opportunity, Liendl played him through and after some pressure from a defender he lost his balance and the chance was gone.
Düsseldorf were finishing the second half the same as they did the first and Erat had another half chance, a cross from the left was just too high for everyone, however it fell to Erat at the back post and his effort was hit into the ground and bounce just wide.
The late pressure on Kaiserslautern was continuing to increase and another chance was carved out by Düsseldorf, a cross into the area saw Oliver Fink leap the highest and his header flew just wide. Shortly after substitute Ihlas Bebou tried his luck from range and despite it being a good strike it didn’t test Sippel in goal as it rocketed over.
Two minute’s from time Düsseldorf’s pressure paid off and they were given a penalty, Willi Orban climbed over Joel Pohjanpalo and the referee pointed to the spot. Liendl was the man that stepped up and he coolly slotted into the bottom right corner as Sippel dived the wrong way. In all honesty the penalty was a very harsh one to give against Kaiserslautern, the host’s deserved the goal but the guest’s weren’t happy.
That late equaliser proved to be the last of the action and a point was fair on the balance of play, the unfair part was the penalty decision. With that draw Kaiserslautern still regain second place, however they’ll be sitting five points behind Ingolstadt. Düsseldorf stay in 7th and move four points clear of Sandhausen and three points behind RB Leipzig. Up next they’ll be facing the leader’s Ingolstadt, while Kaiserslautern host RB Leipzig again on Monday.