Uwe Rösler's first game as a Bundesliga coach ended in huge frustration as a last-second equaliser by Eintracht Frankfurt's American midfielder Timothy Chandler denied Fortuna Düsseldorf and gave the teams a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goal: 1-0 Ayhan (78'), 1-1 Chandler (90')
A run of one win in six had seen Fortuna drop to the foot of the table ahead of Matchday 20's action, and in his pre-match press conference, former Manchester City striker Rösler had focused on the need for more goals to drag the club up the table. His side showed plenty of endeavour in the first half but struggled for that cutting edge, skipper Rouwen Hennings going closest when he shot wide from 12 yards.
The Eagles' recent switch to a back four precipitated impressive wins at Hoffenheim and against then-leaders RB Leipzig, but after a sluggish first half, they were then fortunate still to be on level terms as a VAR offside decision ruled out Nana Ampomah’s finish. As in the first half, Düsseldorf were making most of the running, with Frankfurt unable to build any kind of forward momentum. It felt like a mistake or some good fortune would be needed to break the deadlock, and the latter arrived 12 minutes from time when Ayhan’s deflected free-kick found the net. The seconds wound down and still Frankfurt showed little in the way of quality, but a set-piece proved their salvation as, with the last kick of the game, USA international Chandler stabbed home, with VAR confirming the legality of the goal.
- Düsseldorf had lost their last four league meetings with Frankfurt before this match.
- Düsseldorf's Kevin Stöger made his first start of the season, while new signing Valon Berisha also debuted for the home side.
- Frankfurt have not won their first three Rückrunde matches of a season for 53 years.
- Fortuna have managed to survive relegation despite being bottom of the league after 19 matches once before, doing so in 1985/86.
- Oliver Fink came off the bench for his 272nd appearance for Düsseldorf. The 37-year-old is eighth on the club's list of all-time appearance-makers.
Watch: Chandler: "I don't know what's wrong - I'm scoring!"
Fortuna: Kastenmeier – Zimmermann, Ayhan, Hoffmann, Suttner – Morales, Berisha (Fink 77'), Stöger (Sobottka 87'), Ampomah (Kownacki 70') – Thommy - Hennings (c)
Out: Bodzek (groin), Karaman (pneumonia), Skrzybski (hamstring)
Unused subs: Rensing, Adams, Barkok, Pledl, Gießelmann, Tekpetey
Coach: Uwe Rösler
Frankfurt: Trapp – Da Costa, Abraham (c), Hinteregger, N’Dicka (Durm 84') – Chandler, Sow, Rode, Kostic – Kamada (Ilsanker 46') – Paciencia (Silva 46')
Unused subs: Rönnow, De Guzman, Toure, Hasebe, Kohr, Cetin
Out: Dost (stomach), Gacinovic (adductor), Fernandes (hip), Russ (Achilles tendon), Torro (thigh)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Watch: Rösler: "It's been an emotional week"