Rouwen Hennings bagged a brace as Fortuna Düsseldorf drew 2-2 at home to Hoffenheim, who had Benjamin Hübner sent off early on.
Fortuna began the day in the promotion-relegation play-off spot, nine places and 15 points worse off than their visitors, but they could barely have got off to a better start at the Merkur Spiel-Arena with returning captain Hennings nodding home Kevin Stöger's cross after just five minutes. Opposite number Hübner - leading Hoffenheim out once again after returning from injury - was then given his marching orders after an incident with Kaan Ayhan in the visitors' box. Despite going down to 10 men, Hoffenheim's nerves soon settled and they got back on level terms when Munas Dabbur reacted quickest to Stefan Posch's rebounded shot to open his Bundesliga account. Hennings thought he had restored Fortuna's lead minutes later with another header, but the goal was ruled out with former Hoffenheim man Kenan Karaman having fouled Posch in the build-up. The hosts dominated possession for the rest of the half but failed to make their pressure tell and referee Sören Storks' whistle for the interval went with the scores at 1-1.
Despite the fact five substitutes have been allowed since the restart, both sides remained unchanged for the start of second half. Hoffenheim coach Alfred Schreuder looked like being vindicated when Christoph Baumgartner found Robert Skov in the Mainz box, but the Dane fired what might have been his fifth goal of the season over the crossbar. The visitors took the lead for the first time just past the hour, though. Skov turned provider and Steven Zuber was on hand to steer home from the edge of the box. The Switzerland international then made way for Pavel Kaderabek before Schreuder's opposite number Uwe Rösler sent on four players - Jean Zimmer, Niko Gießelmann, Kelvin Ofori and Alfredo Morales - with 25 minutes to go. The fresh legs certainly helped, with the hosts bombarding the Hoffenheim goal in the final stretch. Hennings had the final say, though, slotting home from the penalty spot after Havard Nordtveit had fouled Erik Thommy, and it ended 2-2.
- Hennings' opener - the 13th of his team-high 14 goals this season - was also Fortuna's fastest, coming after just five minutes.
- The Düsseldorf captain has opened the scoring eight times this term. Only Robert Lewandowski (10) has done so more often.
- The striker has also scored in each of his last three meetings with Hoffenheim. The previous two games had ended 1-1.
- Indeed, Fortuna have not lost to Hoffenheim since April 2013, when Roberto Firmino was among the scorers in a 3-0 win for the Sinheimers.
- Dabbur's first-half equaliser was his first Bundesliga goal, coming in his 10th appearance.
- With 84 shots on Hoffenheim's goal, Fortuna had their most in any game since promotion to the top-flight in 2018.
Fortuna: Kastenmeier - Ayhan, Hoffmann (Gießelmann 66'), Suttner - Zimmermann (Zimmer 66'), Stöger, Bodzek (Morales 66'), Berisha (Ofori 66'), Thommy - Karaman (Kownacki 83'), Hennings (c)
Unused subs: Rensing, Fink, Jorgensen, Skrzybski
Out: Sobottka (ankle), Steffen (knee)
Coach: Uwe Rösler
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Nordtveit, Bicakcic, Hübner (c) - Posch (Bogarde 85'), Rudy, Samassekou, Zuber (Kaderabek 61') - Skov (Grillitsch 85'), Dabbur (Kramaric 71'), Baumgartner (Bebou 62')
Unused subs: Pentke, Geiger, Akpoguma, Beier
Out: Adamyan (ankle), Belfodil (knee), Bruun Larsen (groin)
Coach: Alfred Schreuder