Branimir Hrgota helped promoted side Greuther Fürth win their first point of the 2021/22 season, scoring from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw at home to Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.
Fürth came into the game on the back of a heavy 5-1 defeat to VfB Stuttgart last time out, and they began here eager to make amends. Dickson Abiama was seemingly involved in everything early on, but he was unable to get the better of Stefan Ortega on two occasions. The match became a midfield battle after that, with goalmouth action rare until just before the interval when Branimir Hrgota played Abiama clean through on goal, but the forward dragged his shot well wide of the target. Bielefeld made the hosts pay for such wastefulness on the stroke of half-time when Cedric Brunner’s cross from the right was headed home by Fabian Klos.
It was not long until Fürth restored parity, though. Julian Green skipped into the box on the left early in the second and after Abiama hit the post with a delicate flick, a penalty was awarded for handball against captain Manuel Prietl. Ortega guessed the right way, but Hrgota’s spot-kick was too powerful and too precise into the bottom corner for him to keep it out. Bielefeld responded straight away, with Bryan Lasme’s shot tipped onto the post by Sascha Burkert before Klos saw a header go just over the bar. Yet momentum swung back Fürth’s way for the final 20 minutes when Alessandro Schöpf was sent off for a second bookable offence, but even the fresh legs of Jeremy Dudziak and Max Christiansen off the bench were unable to produce a winner for the Clover Leaves in a one-sided closing period, leaving both teams to settle for a point.
- Klos scored just his second headed goal in the Bundesliga; his first came against Schalke last season.
- Fürth have conceded six goals already this term, four of which have been headers.
- Hrgota scored Fürth's first Bundesliga goal since May 2013.
- Last season the Swede netted all four penalties he took in Bundesliga 2.
- Greuther and Arminia have played against each other 24 times in the second division previously, but this was their first Bundesliga meeting, making it the 932nd different fixture in top-flight history.
- Arminia hold a narrow lead from the 25 games between these two, with 10 wins to Fürth's seven. The visitors also have 580 Bundesliga games in the bank, compared to Fürth's 36 outings.
Fürth: Burchert - Meyerhöfer, Jung, Bauer, Itter - Seguin, Sarpei (Christiansen 71') - Green, Hrgota (c) - Abiama (Leweling 86'), Nielsen (Dudziak 78')
Unused subs: Funk, Hoogma, Fein, Seufert, Tillman, Barry
Out: Asta (thigh), Christiansen (match fitness), Kehr (groin), Ngankam (knee)
Coach: Stefan Leitl
Bielefeld: Ortega - Brunner (De Medina 66'), Pieper, Nilsson, Laursen - Kunze, Prietl, Schöpf - Okugawa (Hack 90'+1) - Klos (c) (Krüger 75'), Lasme (Serra 75')
Unused subs: Kapino, Ramos, Gebauer, Wimmer, Cherny
Out: Vasiliadis (ankle)
Coach: Frank Kramer