In what was a quite incredible game, a late Sebastian Freis strike secured victory for Greuther Fürth.
Greuther Fürth left it very late to claim a point against lowly MSV Duisburg last weekend, with Marco Stiepermann's 93rd minute strike saving the day. Stefan Ruthenbeck remained confident in a largely similar line-up, although Sebastian Freis was replaced by Goran Sukalo in a more defensive switch.
Despite claiming a hard-fought win against Fortuna Düsseldorf last time out, René Weiler still opted for three changes to freshen up his Nürnberg starting eleven. Tim Leibold, Rúrik Gíslason and Danny Blum all dropped out, meaning Laszlo Sepsi, Niclas Füllkrug and Alessandro Schöpf all earned a place in the line-up.
Nürnberg open the scoring
Fürth began the stronger side and looked dangerous early on with Veton Berisha running the channels. Unfortunately, however, a freak goal would give their rivals the lead. Sebastian Kerk set the ball up for Guido Burgstaller to strike from 25 yards, but a deflection off of Andreas Hofmann's boot looped the ball up and over the helpless Sebastian Mielitz and into the top corner.
The Shamrocks continued to stay calm and went back to attack in search of an equaliser. Goran Sukalo almost issued an immediate reply but saw his shot zip just past the post. The lively Berisha went even closer moments later, though his mazy run was ended by Thorsten Kirschbaum's smart save.
The hosts continue to dominate
Berisha capitalised on some poor defending by Georg Margreitter to race through on goal and finally had the opportunity his hard-work deserved. However, after rounding Kirschbaum, he shot into the side netting and was nearly made to pay soon after. Kevin Möhwald's snap-shot was well-saved by Mielitz before Füllkrug rocketed a volley over the bar.
The first half was a real spectacle and both goalkeeprers were playing their part. Tom Weilandt went on a similar run to that of Berisha's but cut from left to right across the box, dancing past several players before Kirschbaum stood tall to parry his shot. As the first 45 was drawing to a close, Fürth finally got their goal.
Berisha levels it up, Weilandt puts Fürth ahead
A free-kick from Jurgen Gjasula found the head of Sukalo and he nodded back across goal towards Berisha. The marking was extremely poor and the hosts were not going to pass up another opportunity, as the Norwegian forward headed home on the goal-line to level matters.
The second half began quietly and there was little action of note in the opening ten minutes, but the game was shocked into life soon after. Gjasula was at the heart of the move once more and his run and clever pass set Weilandt through on goal. He made no mistake in slotting into the bottom corner, sending the fans and bench into jubilant mood. There was, however, a mistake from the linesman who failed to notice that the goalscorer was offside.
Visitors come back into the game
Möhwald came back firing and had hearts in home mouths as his rasping rive from all of 25 yards zipped just past the post. Burgstaller went even closer with 20 minutes to play and had his header blocked on the line after some fine play by Füllkrug out wide.
The visitors were not going down without a fight and Mielitz had to be at his best to keep out Schöpf's free-kick. They had more and more set-piece chances but the former Freiburg stopper was confident in coming to claim the ball, or punching clear when needs be.
Late drama sees both sides trade goals
There was absolutely nothing he could do with Schöpf's late stunner, which brought his side level. Hanno Behrens collected a lose ball and laid it off to the Austrian on the edge of the box before he struck what was a fantastically clean shot into the top corner. His effort kissed the post as it went in, and it was nothing less than their play deserved.
A dramatic finish was set up and Mielitz made two great saves to keep the scores level, as they hung on to the death. Those stops proved vital as Sebastian Freis won it in the 92nd minute. A long ball forward was flicked on by Domi Kumbela and his striking partner drifted in behind the visiting defence to round the goalkeeper and slot home; cue the start of wild celebrations in the home end.