Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-0 Eintracht Braunschweig: Fortuna fire past poor Braunschweig
Credit: Kicker

A first half Joel Pohjanpalo strike was enough to earn caretaker Fortuna Düsseldorf boss Patrick Hermann consecutive wins and lift the ESPRIT Arena side into 13th place. 

The struggling hosts dominated the entire first half and were rewarded as the Finn hooked away his first of the season; although Karim Haggui saw red early in the first half die Flingeraner were able to hold on despite a late chance for Salim Khelifi. Torsten Lieberknecht's side for the most part were largely unimpressive after last weekends victory against Bochum.

Die Flingeraner dominate die Löwen

The struggling hosts, who have won only four games all season under the ill-fated stewardship of Frank Kramer and now with interim Peter Hermann, took the game to the away side straight from the off - despite the table suggesting Torsten Lieberknecht's side should be clear favourites for the game at the ESPRIT Arena. 

Sercan Sararer - without a goal since his summer switch from VfB Stuttgart - had the first real chance of the game, although staying true to real form the Turk blazed his effort into touch after beating the Eintracht Braunschweig defender with ease. Sararer's team-mate Axel Bellinghausen however went much closer, after being fed by the Turkish Fortuna winger, dragging his effort slightly wide of Rafal Gikiewicz's post - but unfortunately for die Flingeraner still not close enough. The former FC Augsburg and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Bellinghausen, had his own shout for a penalty but referee Christian Dietz turned the appeals down after the ball had appeared to strike a die Löwen hand. The Fortuna Düsseldorf left flank proved to be a real source of output during the first half.

A lackluster start from the visitor was confirmed on the twenty five minute mark as the hosts finally broke the deadlock. A rather aimless long punt from Michael Rensing was salvaged by an Idrissou Bebou header that landed at the feet of Joel Pohjanpalo; the Finnish striker on loan from Bayer 04 Leverkusen took the ball in his stride around twenty yards from goal before reversing a looping right footed effort across Gikiewicz's goal and into the bottom right corner - sending the ESPRIT Arena faithful delirious, save for the band of Eintracht Braunscheig fans that had made the trip from Lower Saxony. 

All Lieberknecht's side could muster in response throughout the half were a series of wasted free-kicks and corners, sourced mainly from defensive errors courtesy of Karim Haggui and Alexander Madlung. A poor showing from the Eintracht-Stadion side, following a good showing against VfL Bochum last weekend in a 1-0 victory.

Four minutes that turned the game on its head

As to be expected, the visiting side started the second period much improved from the dire and dank showing of the first half; presumably following a rousing speech from Lieberknecht.

Haggui, who had previously miss-timed a number of challenges in the first forty-five continued in the same vain and was promptly branded a yellow card for his efforts by Dietz. The Tunisian defender lived to regret this and seemingly did not learn his lesson as he earnt a second yellow minutes after this first and was subsequently given his marching orders; the game turned on its head in a matter of minutes, four to be precise. A rather foolish move from Haggui compiled as his partner in crime, Alexander Madlung had to be withdrawn a mere ten minutes after through injury. 

Despite being down to ten men, it was die Flingeraner who were afforded the next chance - however Sararer did not have the legs on die Löwen right wing back, Philemon Ofosu-Ayeh to get onto the end of a through ball.

However, as to be expected, the dismissal of Haggui handed the impetus firmly to Torsten Lieberknecht's Eintracht Braunschweig. They would fashion a good chance of their own, but Hendrick Zuck blasted the ball high and wide. Ken Reichel also nearly hauled his side level but at the vital moment Pohjanpalo cleared the ball before the left wing back could hack the ball into the back of the net.

Into the final ten minutes and die Flingeraner were holding on for dear life, as a tide of Braunschweig players piled forward towards Michael Rensing's goal. Yet it took until the last minute of added time, for the Saxon side to fashion a meaningful chance. The ball was worked eventually into the path of an unmarked Salim Khelifi - the game seemed to halt to a stand still, the stage was set for die Löwen to break Düsseldorf hearts and steal a late point - however the Swiss choked and hit the side netting. A huge, huge win for Patrick Hermann and back-to-back wins for the interim boss confirmed seconds later.