Düsseldorf were looking comfortable after going 3-0 up inside the first 15 minutes with goals from Rouwen Hennings, Benito Raman and Takashi Usami. Goals late in the half from Marco Grüttner and Jonas Nietfeld gave the hosts hope though.
They completed the comeback in the second half, with Marvin Knoll converting from the penalty spot and Sargis Adamyan scoring the winner, as they moved up to fourth in the table and deny their guests the chance to return top.
It was all going so well for Düsseldorf
After disappointing results last weekend, both sides made three changes for this game. Joshua Mees, Marc Lais and Jann George all dropped out of the squad for the home side following the 1-0 loss at Dynamo Dresden, with Benedikt Gimber, Sebastian Stolze and Nietfeld coming in. After being held by SpVgg Greuther Fürth, Julian Schauerte, Marcel Sobottka and Davor Lovren were replaced by Adam Bodzek, Usami and Raman for Düsseldorf.
The opening 15 minutes could not have gone any better for the visitors. Coming in from the left, Raman and Oliver Fink moved the ball into the centre for Hennings. The Düsseldorf striker’s shot came off Philipp Pentke, but the contact from the goalkeeper was not enough to stop its momentum and Hennings had his side ahead inside the first three minutes.
Raphael Wolf had a couple of saves to make to prevent Regensburg responding, with his side making it two about nine minutes later. Usami, on the right, made the most of a mistake at the back, and although he slipped as he put in the cross but was still able to find Raman, with Pentke again unable to make enough contact on the shot from Raman.
It got even better for the promotion-chasers just a couple of minutes later. With the ball won in their own half, Florian Neuhaus launched into over the hallway line, finding Usami. Knoll almost got it off him but the deflection off him fell straight back to the Japanese winger. All that was left the do was place the ball over Pentke and in.
Marco Grüttner reignites the hosts
A knock to Kaan Ayhan that needed treatment gave the hosts a much-needed time-out, yet it made little difference initially. Ayhan was back on the field soon after to send a curling shot smashing into the post. Raman, soon after getting booked for deliberately kicking the ball at Benedikt Saller in retaliation, then combined again with Usami, although this time he was denied by Pentke.
Having avoided conceding any further goals, which would surely have meant game over, Regensburg regained a foothold in the match. From a corner, the ball took a deflection off Gimber, with Grüttner the quickest to react, striking the ball past Wolf to give his side something to hang on to.
They nearly had another soon after, with Nietfeld connecting with a Grüttner cross but seeing the effort go just wide. He would add his name to the ever-growing list of scorers though soon after. Saller’s low cross found him, he took the ball on the turn and hit the ball in.
They had done well to get back into the game, however that hard work was nearly undone by Raman. Getting ahead of Sebastian Nachreiner, he had only Pentke to beat, but as well as getting the ball over the keeper, he also managed to place it over the bar. His side still had a narrow advantage to defend going into the break though.
Fortuna go missing as Regensburg complete incredible comeback
Regensburg remained on top after the resumption, with Nietfeld having a shot saved by Wolf before Ayhan put out a cross from Grüttner. But the first big moment of the half came when Nietfield was nudged in the shoulder by Bodzek, enough for Marco Fritz to point to the spot. Knoll had the chance to bring his side level, and despite Wolf guessing right and getting his hand to the ball, he did just that.
A foul by Niko Gießelmann on Grüttner in the centre circle was innocuous enough, however it directly led to his side going behind a few moments later. The free-kick was taken by Nachreiner, who found Adamyan in the box. His chest and volley beat Wolf before any Düsseldorf player could react, although he was probably offside when the set piece was taken.
For a side that had looked so good in the early stages of the game, Düsseldorf were offering absolutely nothing now. A Usami cross was too far ahead for Hennings to connect with, whilst Gießelmann struck wide and substitute Lovren had a chance from the left side of the box saved by Pentke.
Regensburg could in the end have won the game by even more, with a deflected free-kick going into the post and Grüttner shooting wide after a mistake from Gießelmann. However they didn’t need that extra cushion and got the three points to move them to within just one point of Holstein Kiel in third. Düsseldorf remain second, and could fall three points behind 1. FC Nürnberg if they win at VfL Bochum on Sunday.