1-0, Ofosu-Ayeh 10'. 1-1, Nazarov PEN 57'.
Eintracht Braunschweig 1-1 Erzgebirge Aue: Lions drop more points as promotion push takes another hit
Image credit: Bundesliga.de

Eintracht Braunschweig 1-1 Erzgebirge Aue: Lions drop more points as promotion push takes another hit

Will the Lions be able to recover their form in time to keep pace with the promotion chasers?

Jonathan Walsh
Eintracht Braunschweig(4-4-2) Fejzic; Ofosu-Ayeh, Decarli, Valsvik, Reichel; Omladic (Zuck 46'), Moll, Correia, Hernandez; Nyman (Abdullahi 77'), Biada (Kumbela 60').
Erzgebirge Aue(4-2-3-1) Männel; Rizzuto, Breitkreuz, Susac, Hertner; Tiffert, Samson; Skarlatidis (Bunjaku 81'), Fandrich (Nazarov 46'), Adler (Kaufmann 46'); Köpke.
REFEREELasse Koslowski (Berlin). Booked: Fandrick (13'), Samson (29'), Tiffert (44'), Breitkreuz (46'), Ofosu-Ayeh (56'), Rizzuto (76'), Zuck (90').

Phil Ofosu-Ayeh may have given Eintracht Braunschweig the lead against Erzgebirge Aue, but his hand-ball helped Dimitrij Nazarov earn a 1-1 draw from the spot.

Team news

Following on from yet another 1-1 stalemate, against 1. FC NürnbergTorsten Lieberknecht made another raft of changes in a bid to bring them back to winning ways. Niko Kijewski, Mirko Boland, Salim Khelifi and Hendrick Zuck all dropped out as Ken Reichel, Nik Omladic, Quirin Moll and Julius Biada made their way into the starting side.

As for Aue, who were also coming into the game off of a draw themselves, Pavel Dotchev opted for two alterations. Both Mario Kvesic and Albert Bunjaku started against SpVgg Greuther Fürth but dropped to the bench in favour of Simon Skarlatidis and Nicky Adler.

Early opener from Ofosu-Ayeh

Under pressure to get off to a good start after a torrid return following the winter break, Braunschweig got what they wanted. After a period camped in the visiting half, it was a Ken Reichel cross that rolled along the face of goal to Ofosu-Ayeh at the back post and his wing-back partner made no mistake in finishing off from close range.

Aue steadied themselves after that and forced a handful of corners. However, when tasked with testing the hosts' zonal marking, they opted to send the ball back into their own half. Even Dotchev looked bemused as his side proceeded to waste a good opportunity to get themselves back in the game.

The remainder of the half produced little in the way of chances or moments of note at all for that matter, as the hosts went in with a well-earned lead.

Nazarov penalty earns a point

In a bid to try and liven the game up, both sides made changes. Zuck replaced Omladic in the centre of midfield for Braunschweig, while Fabio Kaufmann and Nazarov came on for the quiet Clemens Fandrich and Adler. That seemed to have the desired effect for the visitors, though Pascal Köpke couldn't convert a volleyed chance.

Nazarov's impact was felt immediately and goal aside, Ofosu-Ayeh was feeling the heat even more so. After his cross has skimmed along the face of goal, he hit a volley towards goal that was blocked by the Ghanaian's hand. Lasse Koslowski pointed to the spot, and Nazarov sent the ball into the bottom right corner for a deserved leveller.

However that sparked a return to form for Braunschweig, who peppered Martin Männel's goal. Christoffer Nyman couldn't keep his sliding effort down from Reichel's cross, while the two combined moments later to see Reichel fire wide. Jasmin Fejzic was kept honest at the other end by Nazarov, tipping over his 30-yard stinger.

Braunschweig pushed hard for a late winner and even when they created the chances, a bobble on the turf prevented Zuck from making clean contact. Bunjaku and Aue weren't done either and a set of opportunities for the Violets passed them by, in what was a frantic and tense final few minutes that eventually saw the game end all square.

The Lions remained third as a result, now seven points adrift of VfB Stuttgart at the top and just two ahead of 1. FC Union Berlin. As for Aue, it was a value point to take them into 16th - even if the rest of their relegation rivals are still to play this weekend.