Würzburger Kickers 0-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf: Hosts unfortunate not to claim three points
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Würzburger Kickers 0-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf: Hosts unfortunate not to claim three points

The hosts will wonder how they managed to pass up so many chances.

Jonathan Walsh

Despite the best efforts of both sides, neither Würzburger Kickers or Fortuna Düsseldorf could be split during an entertaining nil-all draw.

Team news

Bernd Hollerbach's Würzburg fell to a disappointing 1-1 stalemate with Erzgebirge Aue last time out, even after enjoying the better chances in the game. The head coach made a pair of alterations to the starting side as Sascha Traut and Rico Benatelli were replaced by Clemens Schoppenhauer and Felix Müller.

Fortuna and Friedhelm Funkel opted for two changes following their 2-2 draw with Hannover 96 last weekend, with Arianit Ferati and Robin Bormuth coming in for Lukas Schmitz and Oliver Fink.

Goal or no goal?

A chilly Würzburg greeted the traveling Fortuna faithful but it was the visitors who began brightly, in spite of Kevin Akpoguma's early yellow card. A clever ball across the face of goal from Ferati almost picked out the run of Rouwen Hennings at the back post, but the slippery surface helped take the ball out of his reach.

From there on it became more difficult for both sides to create anything meaningful, and the cold day had seemingly got to the two teams as they tried to come forward.

Suddenly, towards the end of the half, the hosts sparked into life. Peter Kurzweg rattled the inside of the post after a superb move, which involved a superb backheel from Müller. Moments later the aluminum was struck once more, this time a knuckleball free-kick from Junior Diaz clipped the joint on the way over the bar.

The best chance of all and the solitary goal in the game came just before the break. However, it was never given. Tobias Schröck was the unlucky party as he bundled the ball over the line from close range, which Michael Rensing managed to claw away. Fortunately for the visitors, it wasn't spotted by Florian Heft or his linesman.

Rensing proves key

From the start of the second half and almost the entire way through, it was a case of Rensing proving the difference between his side hanging onto a clean sheet or not. Some more good work from Müller saw him cross to Elia Soriano, only for the Fortuna stopper to pull off a brilliant reaction stop. It was a similar story from David Pisot's effort.

Rensing continued to thwart Würzburg with some confident claims, while at the other end Robert Wulnikowski was doing star-jumps to try and keep himself warm. The entrance of Valdet Rama put new life into the game yet his header immediately after coming on was just past the post and Schoppenhauer's outstretched boot.

Fortuna then responded as Ihlas Bebou went on a one-man mission to cause problems left and right, although his crosses were dangerous they were never met confidently by a team-mate. However, Soriano would have the final opportunity but he failed to convert from just a yard out. Rama's cross was stopped dead instead of being simply tapped in.