DUSSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – The Bundesliga’s bottom side Paderborn rode their luck as they came away with a potentially vital point in a 0-0 draw at fellow strugglers Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday.
Paderborn had lost four in a row before the German league was suspended in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic but a point on their return to action will boost their hopes of survival.
They moved onto 17 points, one behind Werder Bremen, while Fortuna stay third from bottom with 23 as they were left to rue some poor fortune on a sunny afternoon at the Dusseldorf Arena.
Fortuna’s Valon Berisha twice struck the woodwork as he continued his search for a first goal for his new club since moving on loan from Lazio in January.
Team mate Steven Skrzybski was also unfortunate to see his strike cannon back off the post in the last 10 minutes.
Paderborn might well have snatched an unlikely win three minutes from time but Nigerian international Jamilu Collins squandered a good chance from close range.
Fortuna had the first real opportunity of the game in the 14th minute when the ball was passed across the forward line before Matthias Zimmermann’s subsequent shot was blocked.
Three minutes later Berisha came within inches of his first goal as his volleyed effort took a deflection off defender Sebastian Schonlau and struck the upright, only to bounce back into play.
A defensive error presented Paderborn’s Mohamed Drager with a half chance on the half hour but he was quickly closed down, only for Fortuna to then threaten at the other end as centre back Kaan Ayhan’s header from a freekick went narrowly wide.
The second half took a while to produce any flow before Fortuna winger Erik Thommy began to take a grip on the game, setting up several opportunities.
He was involved in the build-up before Berisha powered a header from close range against the crossbar in the 66th minute.
Substitute Skrzybski then thundered his shot against the left post to add to the home side’s frustration.
But Collins will be have some explaining to do to his Paderborn team mates after missing a chance against the run of play as fulltime approached. Had he scored, it could have given Paderborn only their fifth win of the league campaign.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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