Pavel Dotchev made two changes from Aue's 0-0 draw at 1. FC Kaiserslautern last weekend, as Martin Männel was welcomed back with open arms. The captain replaced Daniel Haas in goal, while Dimitrij Nazarov came in for Nicky Adler on the wing.
As for Friedhelm Funkel, his Fortuna side were held to a stalemate by 1. FC Nürnberg on Friday night and he also opted for two alterations from that side. Christian Gartner returned after a while on the sidelines and Adam Bodzek was back after a spell out. Kaan Ayhan and Julian Koch were the two players to miss out.
Schmitz saves Fortuna
Much like the rest of the division, things were slow and unspectacular in the opening 20 minutes in Aue. A freezing even and a hard pitch wasn't lending itself to much in the way of stylish football, and it was perhaps no surprise that three yellow cards were accumulated before there had been three meaningful shots.
Eventually, however, Aue managed to get it going and the attacking side of their game began to shine through. They were unfortunate on two separate occasions within five minutes, as Lukas Schmitz crucially cleared a Christian Tiffert header off the goal-line. Schmitz then made a vital double block to deny Cebio Soukou from close range.
Fortuna had fired over through the returning Bodzek earlier on in the half but their major opening fell to Marcel Sobottka. The former Schalke 04 midfielder showed good touch to get past his man and a good effort flew just wide. There was one late change for Aue, too, as Calogero Rizzuto replaced Sebastian Hertner.
Both sides come close to a winner
Fortuna picked up where they left off and almost found an opener through Ihlas Bebou's strong run and cross, though Rouwen Hennings' touch at the near post went just past the far corner. Looking ever more impressive, Funkel's men were now seemingly content with the less than helpful playing conditions.
Aue were still dangerous and were once again inches away from an opening goal. Nazarov fed Pascal Köpke and the striker looked to have beaten Michael Rensing but for the post to come to their rescue. The ball came back off Rensing's back, but Kevin Akpoguma was quick to recover and clear off the line.
Schmitz had been key throughout and was next to try his luck and really test Männel, yet his strong shot was beaten away by the Aue captain. Akpoguma was forced into a tactical foul to prevent Köpke from striding through on goal. Luckily the angle was against him and the tackle just outside the box, enabling him to get away with just a yellow.
Männel made a vital stop at the death, as both sides had to settle for a goalless draw. The stalemate does no favours for either side, as Aue remain in the bottom three and Fortuna failed to close the gap on the top three.