Arminia Bielefeld picked up a valuable point in their 0-0 draw away to HSV on Sunday afternoon, extending their lead over VfB Stuttgart in third place to eight points with seven games to go.
The Blues were on the back foot for much of the game, but a mixture of wasted opportunities from the hosts and some stern defending saw Uwe Neuhaus’ side keep another clean sheet in their bid for promotion.
It could have been so much better for the Old Dinosaur as early as the fifth minute when Stefan Ortega was called into action early to deny Joel Pohjanpalo one-on-one after a defensive calamity played the Hamburg striker in. The Arminia Bielefeld goalkeeper was called into action less than three minutes later to deny Martin Harnik from out wide.
Ortega’s early man of the match credentials were on show again in the 11th minute when a long ball dropped kindly for Harnik six yards out only for the shot stoppage to close the experienced midfielder down and deny his effort from crossing the line.
HSV dominated possession for the opening five minutes before the visitors saw any meaningful possession in the opposition half. Fabian Klos missed their first opportunity, coming in the 27th minute, firing straight at Daniel Fernandes after good work from Cebio Soukou to create the chance.
Straight after the restart Pohjanpalo headed his second excellent chance wide, this time from a couple of yards when unmarked at the back post. The Finnish striker really should have been able to find the net. He was replaced by Lukas Hinterseer just after the hour.
After a pair of substitutions from both sides it was the hosts who created the next change. Martin Harnik’s inswinging cross from the right picked out an unmarked Tim Leibold, who could only head against the base on the post from four yards out.
The chances were few and far between thereafter with the visitors’ Fabian Klos producing a stinging shot on the turn that was comfortably palmed away by Fernandes with 13 minutes left to play being the only notable highlight.
VfB Stuttgart’s 3-2 loss away to Holstein Kiel this afternoon extends Arminia Bielefeld’s automatic promotion hopes, whilst HSV move one point ahead of their promotion rivals whom they visit on Thursday.