Hanover - Hannover 96's goalless draw with FC Twente leaves the Bundesliga club still top of Group L in the UEFA Europa League after Matchday 5. The Bundesliga outfit are now on 11 points, one ahead of Spain's Levante UD - their opponents on the final matchday.

A quiet opening hour was followed by a livelier final 30 minutes in which both 96, who had their passage into the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 already wrapped up, and the Enschede team, second in the Dutch Eredivisie, could have sewed up the match.

Twente more promising

Despite Hannover, with five changes to their starting formation from last weekend's home loss to SC Freiburg, giving the visitors an early warning five minutes into the game courtesy of Jan Schlaudraff's wide long-range effort, the visitors looked slightly the more threatening in a largely uneventful first half. Willem Janssen volleyed a cross from Roberto Rosales just wide after quarter of an hour before firing the wrong side of the post from a sharp angle, and Ron-Robert Zieler mastered his first real test in the 32nd minute, the 96ers goalkeeper collecting Felipe Gutierrez's shot from distance.

Numerous misplaced passes broke up the flow of the game and following that pattern, the home side almost benefitted from some sloppy play in the 36th minute with Schlaudraff's drive missing the target. At the other end, the lively Gutierrez failed to put Twente in front just before the break.

Ya Konan bringing 96 alive

Hannover head coach Mirko Slomka added new impetus to his attack near the hour mark by introducing Didier Ya Konan, and there were encouraging signs for his side soon after as they began to control events, with Sergio da Silva Pinto firing wide and Adrian Nikci going close. Only a minute later, Ya Konan could have broken the deadlock, shooting past the left-hand post from just inside the box. The Ivory Coast international should have done better fifteen minutes from time however when, virtually unmarked, he tamely headed Christian Pander's free kick straight into the arms of 42-year-old custodian Sander Boschker.

Twente threw bodies forward in search of a goal in the final stages, Janssen and Dusan Tadic bringing good saves out of Zieler, but they were then reduced to ten men when Rasmus Bengtsson stopped Artur Sobiech unfairly as the Pole slipped through the Dutch defence on a counter-attack. The game's last opportunity fell to Twente's Tadic, but he slid marginally wide.


Hannover: Zieler - Cherundolo, Eggimann, Haggui, Pander - da Silva Pinto, Christian Schulz - Nikci (71' Schmiedebach), Huszti (78' Rausch) - Schlaudraff (62' Ya Konan), Sobiech

Enschede: Boschker - Rosales (77' Breukers), Douglas, Bengtsson, Braafheid - Janssen, Brama, Pelupessy (63' Fer) - Gutierrez, Bulykin (71' Castaignos), Tadic

Goals: -

Red card: Bengtsson (84')