1. FC Nürnberg 2-1 Greuther Fürth: Füllkrug is hosts' Frankenderby hero with late winner

It was a famous and deserved win for the hosts.

1. FC Nürnberg 2-1 Greuther Fürth: Füllkrug is hosts' Frankenderby hero with late winner
Image credit: kicker - Imago
1. FC Nürnberg
2 1
Greuther Fürth
1. FC Nürnberg: (4-4-2) Schäfer; Brecko, Margreitter, Bulthuis, Sepsi; Kerk (Blum 76'), Behrens, Erras, Leibold (Möhwald 58'); Burgstaller, Füllkrug (Hovland 88').
Greuther Fürth: (4-2-3-1) Mielitz; Heidinger, Franke, Röcker, Gießelmann (Wurtz 88'); Caligiuri, Gjasula; Stiepermann (Vukusic 62'), Zulj (Rapp 75'), Freis; Berisha.
SCORE: 0-1, Zulj 6'. 1-1, Kerk 40'. 2-1, Füllkrug 84'.
REFEREE: Günter Perl (Pullach). Booked: Leibold (23'), Sepsi (50'), Zulj (57'), Berisha (87'), Blum, Caligiuri (90+3'), Burgstaller (90+3').

A dramatic Niclas Füllkrug winner in the final five minutes gave 1. FC Nürnberg a vital 2-1 triumph over fellow Franks, Greuther Fürth.

The visitors had initially led after Robert Zulj's early opener, but were pegged back by a special strike from Sebastian Kerk.

Zulj strikes early

The home fans were expectant and hoping for a long-awaited home win or goal in the derby, with their last coming back in 2008. The score that day was 2-1, with Christian Eigler grabbing a late winner and after only seven minutes a similar score-line was required to break the curse.

Sebastian Heidinger showed 1. FC Heidenheim just what they were missing, driving down the right before sending in a low cross towards the near post. Robert Zulj came onto the ball and guided it into the bottom corner from where it came, shocking the near capacity crowd and capping off a fantastic move.

The hosts did stabilise quickly and had a chance to equalise through Sebastian Kerk's free-kick, though his effort from 30 yards was easily gathered by Sebastian Mielitz.  It wasn't until midway through the half that they really got in behind the Shamrocks' defence, though no-one could finish off Miso Brecko's dangerous cross.

Kerk's cracker

It was a game that seemed to be slowly drifting into the break without any major incident, unlike the 3-2 from earlier in the season.

However, Kerk had other ideas. He picked the ball up 25 yards from goal, nutmegged a defender and played a clever one-two with Hanno Behrens. The Freiburg loanee then struck a magnificent curling effort that found the top corner and meant the derby was level going into half-time.

Slow second half

The second half began with Fürth on top and, like the first half, they had the opening opportunity. A Jurgen Gjasula corner was flicked on at the near post and was heading towards the far top corner. The visitors thought they had retaken the lead, only for Laszlo Sepsi to produce an incredible and acrobatic header to divert it away from goal.

Nürnberg were getting most of their joy down the left, with Guido Burgstaller occasionally drifting wide to join Kerk in their bid to get forward. Heidinger was proving to be a worthy adversary and continued to thwart their attempts to break the deadlock. Around the hour mark, both managers began to look to substitutions, with Kevin Möhwald and Ante Vukusic coming on.

Those changes, as well as the introduction of Nicolai Rapp and Danny Blum, provided little change to the pace of the game. However, the midfield tussle that had engulfed the game would be broken before the end.

A hopeful ball into the box was brought under control by Niclas Füllkrug, who then headed powerfully past Mielitz to edge the hosts ahead. It was an odd goal but one which the players, fans and coaches were more than happy to celebrate. It wasn't long until the final whistle sounded which sparked even more euphoric scenes as the hosts went level with SC Freiburg in third, while Fürth dropped to 12th.