1. FC Nürnberg 1-1 1. FC Heidenheim: Thomalla free-kick secures a point for FCH

It was lively from start to finish at the Frankenstadion.

1. FC Nürnberg 1-1 1. FC Heidenheim: Thomalla free-kick secures a point for FCH
Image source: Bundesliga.de
1. FC Nürnberg
1 1
1. FC Heidenheim
1. FC Nürnberg: (4-3-3) Schäfer; Brecko, Margreitter, Bulthuis, Sepsi; Behrens, Mühl (Salli 61'), Alushi; Leibold, Sylvestr (Teuchert 84'), Burgstaller.
1. FC Heidenheim: (4-4-2) Müller; Strauß, Kraus, Wittek, Feick; Rasner (Atanga 73'), Griesbeck, Titsch-Rivero, Schnatterer (Beermann 90+3'); Kleindienst (Widemann 87'), Thomalla.
SCORE: 1-0, Sylvestr 11'. 1-1, Thomalla 56'.
REFEREE: Harm Osmers (Hannover). Booked: Sepsi (4'), Strauß (66').

Neither 1. FC Nürnberg or 1. FC Heidenheim could be split on Friday evening, as they played out an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Jakub Sylvestr gave Nürnberg the lead against the run of play, but Denis Thomalla conjured up a superb equaliser from a free-kick.

Edgar Salli's introduction in the second half sparked a run of late chances, especially from Cedric Teuchert, but Heidenheim stood firm.

Coming into the game, Alois Schwartz opted to field the same eleven that drew in Dresden. As for Frank Schmidt, he opted for Martin Rasner in place of Tim Skarke following their win over Erzgebirge Aue.

Heidenheim dominant, but behind

Much like the colour of their shirts, Heidenheim were electric in the opening 10 minutes of the game. For not one moment did they stop hassling and harrying, and it wasn't until the very end of that period when Nürnberg earned some respite. Beforehand, however, Arne Feick's volley was denied superbly by Raphael Schäfer.

Unfortunately for Frank Schmidt, his team didn't take a number of half chances that followed and were suitably punish by their opponents' first real attack of the game. Miso Brecko and Guido Burgstaller exchanged passes before the former crossed for Sylvestr. The forward wasn't picked up in the middle and guided the ball into the far corner.

That didn't seem to shake Heidenheim whatsoever and the aimed to hit back at der Club almost instantly. Marc Schnatterer managed to wriggle free for the first time in the game, and his deflected cross looped towards the back post and Marcel Titsch-Rivero. Despite his best efforts, he couldn't quite get his header on target.

Schmidt's side pushed for the equaliser right until the break but were denied by Schäfer on the whistle; he stuck out a foot to halt Schnatterer's shot from Thomalla's cutback.

Thomalla and FCH get their reward for persistence

Heidenheim were still the better team in the second half, but found themselves on the back foot initial as Nürnberg pushed for a second goal. That was not forthcoming, despite half chances from a few crosses high into the area; Kevin Müller was more than equal to the tasks at hand.

From there, the pendulum began to swing back in Heidenheim's favour. A dangerous cross from Schnatterer caught out everyone but proved too good for even his team-mates, as it skidded to the back post and was hooked away by Miso Brecko.

Eventually an equaliser did come after all that pressure, and in some style. Awarded a free-kick almost 30 yards from goal, it looked like Schnatterer was lining up to shoot. Instead it was Thomalla and he whipped the ball up and over the wall to find the bottom corner, with Schäfer powerless to prevent his clean sheet from slipping away.

From there, it was all going the way of der Club. They pushed and pushed in search of a late winner but found Müller in defiant form. He denied Guido Burgstaller's header and watched Georg Margreitter's fall narrowly wide of the mark. The former also had a half volley hit the side-netting, and Teuchert went close, but it just wasn't to be.

A hard-fought draw but one which both sides will feel they could have won, though Heidenheim will be the more disappointed given their first-half chances. They meet Würzburger Kickers after the DFB-Pokal break, while Nürnberg face a tricky trip to Eintracht Braunschweig.