Hannover 96 1-0 Eintracht Braunschweig: Home town hero Füllkrug proves decisive on derby day
Image credit: Bundesliga.de

Niclas Füllkrug's revival since André Breitenreiter's arrival continued, as his goal secured a 1-0 win for Hannover 96 over Eintracht Braunschweig in the Lower Saxony derby.

Team news

Breitenreiter made just one change to his Hannover side that were held against Würzburger Kickers, as they aimed to get back to winning ways. Waldemar Anton came in for Uffe Bech, which pushed Oliver Sorg into the wing role on the right.

For Braunschweig, they were on a high after Ken Reichel's last-gasp goal beat Dynamo Dresden on Monday evening. Torsten Lieberknecht opted for three alterations to freshen up the side from Monday night's win as Quirin Moll, Julius Biada and Christoffer Nyman replaced Niko Kejewski, Hendrick Zuck and Suleiman Abdullahi.

Füllkrug heads home

The game began with the two teams coming forward at will, in what was a surprisingly open start. It was still slightly tense, although there were half chances at either end. Biada's ball along the face of the goal was just too far ahead of Nyman in the middle, while Jasmin Fejzic had to beat away Edgar Prib's dangerous free-kick.

Miiko Albornoz also brought an early stop from the Bosnian between Braunschweig's sticks, as his good run yielded little. Mirko Boland's corner then saw the Lions go close again in a topsy-turvy start, though Gustav Valsvik's towering header - after reaching above Philipp Tschauner - but his effort was glanced over.

Hannover were having the better of the play and both Prib and Füllkrug were at the centre of that, so it was no surprise that the duo combined to opener the scoring. After Fejzic dropped a routine free-kick and saved from Anton, the resulting corner was swung in by Prib and met by the powerful Füllkrug to direct it past Fejzic and into the side netting.

There was one major moment before the break where Biada appeared to go down under challenge from Martin Harnik. Sascha Stegemann waved play on, much to Lieberknecht's dismay. On second inspection, it looked like he had a very valid point.

Second half sees no further goals

It was a tight and uninspiring start to the second period, in which both sides opted to remain unchanged after the restart. Braunschweig were able to push forward more as Hannover kept faith in their back-line to defend the lead, though they still had the major opening. Marvin Bakalorz's 20-yard drive slipped narrowly wide of the far post.

The following phase of play was dominated by half chances, and there were plenty for both. Nyman's control let him down after some good play around the area from the visitiors, and a similarly impressive move saw Prib bring yet another good save from Fejzic. It was the same story 10 minutes later, with Harnik heading over the rebound.

Things stalled after that and a lack of action was finally broken by Moll's late run and drive, though that was easily dealt with by Tschauner. That's how the game finished, as Hannover claimed bragging rights over their near neighbours. The Reds went top as a result, just two points ahead of Braunschweig.