Rouwen Hennings on target as Fortuna Düsseldorf keep survival hopes alive

Rouwen Hennings scored to cancel out Florian Niederlechner's opener as Fortuna held Augsburg 1-1. Coupled with Werder Bremen's defeat, Düsseldorf stayed out of the automatic relegation places.

Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-1 Augsburg
Goals: 0-1 Niederlechner (10'), 1-1 Hennings (26')

Fortuna began the day in the relegation play-off spot, with five points to make up on automatic safety with just six left to play for. They started with fitting urgency at their Merkur Spiel-Arena. Hennings thought he had fired the hosts into the lead with his 15th goal of the season only for his effort to be ruled out by VAR review after a Kaan Ayhan handball was spotted in the build-up. Augsburg duly went up the other end and scored, Niederlechner finishing after fine work from Philipp Max on the left. Fortuna kept pushing forward and Erik Thommy was only a last-ditch Felix Uduokhai tackle away from restoring parity midway through the half. Hennings then got the goal he and his side deserved, firing low into the corner past Andreas Luthe after Valon Berisha had teed him up.

Max and Niederlechner nearly combined for another goal at the start of the second half, but after the former had whipped in a wicked cross, the latter headed wide. Florian Kastenmeier then turned a Ruben Vargas shot around the post for a corner as the visitors piled on the pressure. Fresh defensive legs helped Fortuna in the final 20 minutes, with defenders Mathias Jörgensen and Jean Zimmer replacing Andre Hoffmann and Matthias Zimmermann respectively. When Zimmer then sent a delivery in, Ayhan and Hennings were both inches away from converting what looked like a sure goal. Thommy should have had the final say late on but his shot lacked any venom. Düsseldorf now travel to Union Berlin on the final day knowing that victory would guarantee them a shot at saving themselves in the relegation/promotion play-off.

Match stats

  • Niederlechner has plundered the joint-most of any Augsburg player in the Bundesliga ever. Michael Gregoritsch – now on loan at Schalke – also got 13 goals in 2017/18.
  • The visiting striker took just a minute to open the scoring in his side's last away fixture – a 1-0 win in Mainz on Matchday 31.
  • Only Robert Lewandowski (33), Timo Werner (26) and Jadon Sancho (17) have scored more than Hennings' 15 in the Bundesliga this season.
  • With that goal-haul, Hennings has the most for Fortuna in the top flight since Thomas Allofs, who achieved the same way back in 1990/91.
  • Three successive seasons of Bundesliga football is not something Fortuna have achieved for almost 30 years.
  • Augsburg previously had a perfect record of two wins from two in Düsseldorf.

Watch: Hennings: "We have to win next week"


Fortuna: Kastenmeier - Zimmermann (Zimmer 68'), Ayhan, Hoffmann (Jorgensen 68'), Gießelmann (Suttner 80') - Stöger, Sobottka (Bodzek 46'), Berisha (Skrzybski 80') - Thommy - Karaman, Hennings (c)
Unused subs: Rensing, Morales, Kownacki, Ofori
Out: Barkok (knock), Fink (calf), Steffen (knee), Wiesner (ankle)
Coach: Uwe Rösler 

Augsburg: Luthe - Framberger, Gouweleeuw (c), Uduokhai, Max - Khedira, Gruezo - Bazee (Hahn 67'), Richter (Suchy 89'), Vargas - Niederlechner (Finnbogason 79')
Unused subs: Koubek, Lichtsteiner, Baier, Stanic, Löwen, Oxford
Out: Cordova (muscular), Giefer (foot), Iago (muscular), Jedvaj (suspended), Jensen (match fitness), Moravek (muscular)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich