Braunschweig - Despite not having a single point on the board going into their game against 1. FC Nürnberg, Eintracht Braunschweig were left frustrated by the 1-1 draw that got their 2013/14 campaign up and running.
Hlousek's dream comeback
Adam Hlousek's first-half goal caught Braunschweig cold, but Omar Elabdellaoui's second-half equaliser earned the newly-promoted club a well-deserved point in an entertaining clash between the Bundesliga cellar dwellers.
Braunschweig started brightly as Nürnberg's revamped back four came under intense scrutiny in the opening stages, with Elabdellaoui nodding a diving header wide less than a minute into the game, and Karim Bellarabi failing to get the better of Raphael Schäfer despite having only the goalkeeper to beat. Last season's Bundesliga 2 top goalscorer Domi Kumbela then issued another warning to the visitors, but he narrowly missed the target with a header.
With the hosts unable to capitalise from their dominance, however, Nürnberg started finding a way into the game, Hiroshi Kiyotake was at the heart of their play, although he was unable to provide the breakthrough himself. Instead the deadlock was broken by Hlousek, making his comeback after almost 18 months on the sidelines, when he coolly finished Timothy Chandler's cross after beating the opponents' on the break.
Braunschweig setting the pace
Despite that setback, Braunschweig remained the better of the two sides in a high-tempo match. Indeed, Torsten Lieberknecht's men could have twice levelled matters before the break, but long-range efforts from Ken Reichel and Elabdellaoui both failed to seriously threaten Schäfer's goal.
Nürnberg were much improved in the early stages after the break and Daniel Ginczek had the best chance to double their advantage, but missed from close-range having been released by Kiyotake, who was partnered by his newly-signed compatriot Makoto Hasebe for the first time in the Frankonian's midfield.
Pressure finally paying off
Braunschweig were never going to give in, however, and began upping the pressure near the hour mark when Karim Bellarabi only just failed to find the net from a counterattack. Marco Caligiuri saw another effort go wide before Kumbela and Theuerkauf and further efforts saved, much to the frustration of Eintracht coach Lieberknecht.
The home side were eventually rewarded for their efforts when Bellarabi set up Elabdellaoui on the edge of the area, and the midfielder rifled the ball into the left corner, leaving Schäfer no chance. Braunschweig continued to push for a much-needed maiden victory this season, but failed to get the better of Schäfer again and were forced to settle for a point.
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