Raphael Schäfer saved two penalties to ensure his team all three points.
Raphael Schäfer saved two penalties to ensure his team all three points.

Schäfer Nürnberg's hero against Braunschweig

Nuremberg - Ten-man 1. FC Nürnberg managed to come from a goal down to take all three points with a 2-1 win against fellow relegation battlers Eintracht Braunschweig, in a match which witnessed three missed penalties - a Bundesliga first.

Spot kick nightmare

The pressure of the situation seemed to play on Braunschweig and Nürnberg’s minds in the opening quarter of an hour, as both sides adopted a risk-averse approach to their attacking movements. Eintracht were the first to break out of their shell, as Havard Nielsen and Domi Kumbela both went close to opening the scoring.

However, the game swung well and truly in their favour just past the half-hour mark when Nürnberg captain Per Nilsson was sent off for hauling back Nielsen in a last-man situation, before Kumbela pounced on the lack of organisation in the hosts' backline to slip his marker and head home Norman Theuerkauf’s corner. Last week’s hat-trick hero should have grabbed his second minutes later but, having won the penalty, couldn’t beat Raphael Schäfer from the spot as the Lions took a one-goal lead in at half-time.

That all changed within two minutes of the restart though, as Nürnberg scored two goals in the space of just 95 seconds. Hiroshi Kiyotake got the ball rolling, collecting Josip Drmic’s pass and lashing an effort in at the near post from the edge of the area, before Tomas Pekhart was played in on the right and, with time and space, powered his shot under the body of Marjan Petkovic.

Nürnberg tightened things up at the back and looked to be coping well despite being a man down, but handed Braunschweig another lifeline when Nielsen was clipped in the box. Ermin Bicakcic stepped up to the spot and fired straight down the middle only for Schäfer to stick out a leg to produce his second penalty save of the afternoon.

Not to be outdone, Petkovic mustered up his own spot-kick heroics, tipping Kiyotake’s penalty onto the post after Pekhart had been hauled back en route to goal. However, it failed to inspire a change in the scoreline as the Lions fell five points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.

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