1. FC Kaiserslautern 1-0 Würzburger Kickers: Glatzel goal gives Meier first win as Kaiserslautern boss
Image credit: Bundesliga.de

A solitary strike from Robert Glatzel with just nine minutes remaining was enough to secure a vital 1-0 win for 1. FC Kaiserslautern over Würzburger Kickers.

Level-pegging at the break

Both Norbert Meier and Bernd Hollerbach opted to name unchanged sides from their respective 1-0 loss to Hannover 96 and 1-1 draw with Eintracht Braunschweig.

The game was a battle from the beginning with both battling for early ground in the middle of pitch. After Rico Benatelli had an early attempt fly off target, the Red Devils nearly took the lead. A great cross from Osayamen Osawe picked out Kacper Przybylko but 39-year-old Robert Wulnikowski clawed the ball off the line with a super stop.

Sebastian Neumann was next in line to make a crucial intervention as Daniel Halfar marauded through the middle before playing in Osawe. Unfortunately for the hosts, the visitors' shining light in central defence made a superb sliding block. Würzburg were slowly working into the game, with Valdet Rama their main outlet in attack.

The home fans then felt aggrieved that Clemens Schoppenhauer was only handed a yellow card by Sören Storks after he hauled down Halfar as he went in on goal. This seemed to finally spark the visitors into live and both Patrick Weihrauch and Tobias Schröck had chances well saved by Julian Pollersbeck as the first-half ended level.

Glatzel gets the goal

The second half picked up where the first ended, with little in the way of clear cut chances or opportunities to break forward on either side. It wasn't until the hour mark before there was a shot of note, as Pollersbeck did well to deflect Benatelli's shot round the post. Neumann and Benatelli again had chances in busy period, but FCK stood firm.

Sebastian Ernst was brought on for his 2. Bundesliga debut by Hollerbach not long after and Max Dittgen was the man Meier looked to make an impact off the bench, yet it was proving a real struggle. Even when presented with a decent dead-ball opportunity, the wall stood firm to halt Sebastian Kerk's arching attempt.

Kerk was becoming increasingly involved for the hosts and it was his play that would make the breakthrough. A wonderful run - not for the first time in the game - saw him get on the end of a give-and-go and reach the by-line. His cross was slammed at Przybylko, and he turned it to substitute Glatzel to convert just two minutes after coming on.

Würzburg couldn't muster a response and for the second week in a row, an 81st minute goal had proved the difference as Kaiserslautern held on. They passed up the chance to go fourth with a game against 1. FC Heidenheim next weekend, while Meier's men travel to Fortuna Düsseldorf having climbed to to 12th.