1. FC Nürnberg and 1. FC Union Berlin shared the points after the visitors twice led advantages slip in a goal-filled second half.
This saw two sides who are tipped by many to challenge at the top end of the 2. Bundesliga come the end of the season, however this game only really got going after half-time, with Simon Hedlund putting Union ahead.
Cedirc Teuchert brought Der Club level for the first time after that, with a late equaliser to snatch a point from Henno Behrens after Sebastian Polter had restored the lead for Die Eisern.
Potential promotion clash fails to live up to expectations
This match brought together two early season promotion favourites, who had been the league’s top two at the start of the weekend after winning theor first two games. Nürnberg though made three changes from their DFB-Pokal win against MSV Duisburg on Monday, with Teuchert, Ondrej Petrák and Adam Zrelak coming in. After making numerous changes for the cup, there was just one for Union from their 4-3 thriller against Holstein Kiel, with Stephan Fürstner back in for Marcel Hartel.
The hosts had the better of the opening stages, getting forward at will. Jakob Busk, forced to wear a t-shirt in goal after they forgot to pack his goalkeeping jersey, was not really tested by early chances for Behrens and Zrelak, but he might have been in trouble if a Sebastian Kerk cross from the left had dipped before going over. Enrico Valentini was then given the space to shoot over, with Jens Keller given plenty to think about defensively.
A good run from Zrelak into the Union box was halted by Toni Leistner, before Union had their first meaningful chance. Polter got through two Nürnberg defenders, passed to Damir Kreilach but his effort was intercepted by Valentini. They were having more opportunities to attack by now, but like their hosts they were struggling to find the target.
With both sides ultimately cancelling each other out by the end of the half, it was no surprise when the both went in goalless at the break, needing to find more of a cutting edge in the second 45 minutes.
Union throw away two leads in entertaining second half
It took Union less than two minutes to find just that, and it was little surprise that it came from Steven Skrzybski. He played a perfect ball through to Hedlund who finished neatly past Thorsten Kirschbaum to put the visitors in front.
That seemed to wake up Nürnberg though. Jakob Busk was forced into a trio of saves in the immediate aftermath of the goal, twice from Tim Leibold and the best of the lot from Valentini, parrying away an excellent curling strike after the right-back had cut into the centre. In this context the equaliser came as no surprise, with a superb side-footed volley from Teuchert following a cross from Nürnberg’s man of the season so far, Kerk.
Skrzybski then had a chance to restore Union’s advantage, only for his shot to be saved by Kirschbaum. They did score from the following corner though. Whipped in by Kreilach, Polter jumped highest to head it home, Kirschbaum in no position to turn round and save it.
Following chances at both ends for Teuchert and Polter respectively, Nürnberg captain Behrens really should have brought them level for a second time. He was perfectly placed to head in Valentini’s cross, with no one but Busk to distract him, yet his effort went well wide of goal. Georg Margreitter had an equally good chance as the minutes ticked on, his header though was tipped over excellently by Busk.
That was all academic when Behrens redeemed himself for his earlier miss to spare them a point in stoppage time. This time the cross came from substitute Edgar Salli, but he made no mistake with his head. It would finish all square, although Union played the closing seconds with ten men after Grischa Prömel was sent off for a stamp on Valentini.