There are some exciting goalless games which you easily manage to script a match report with thrills, entertainment and chances at both ends. Sadly, this stalemate between four-time German champions FC Kaiserslautern and TSV 1860 Munich, was not of that ilk.
Walking around town on match day, you could sense how much a part of the community the football team is. Masses of supporters, young and old, male and female, were decked out in the replica kit of the Red Devils. Apparently 50,000 NATO military personnel inhabit Kaiserslautern and surrounding areas, and contribute annually around $1 billion to the local economy. These are mostly Americans, who quaintly call the city K-Town.
According to FC Kaiserslautern press officer Christian Gruber, the military community based in the area has an important role to play. ''We can get anything up to 4,000 English speaking supporters at each home game. We organise kids camps for US Military Personnel and their families. We also provide a regular English language newsletter to cater for these passionate fans, '' said Gruber.
What will also stay with me from my trip to 'K-Town' is the tremendous atmosphere created by a huge crowd of 37,751 inside the legendary Fritz Walter Stadium, including a heart-warming pre-match rendition of 'You'll never walk alone.' Those paying customers deserved better fare. Both teams huffed and puffed, but created very little. On this nervy display, it was not hard to see why the Red Devils haven't managed a win on their own patch since October 22nd 2011.
1860 marginally had the advantage in a scrappy opening period. Perhaps with a little more ambition the Lions could have looked more for a goal and secured a valuable away win. The two Daniels Halfar (13) and Bierofka (21) both wasted decent first half opportunities, whilst new signing Moritz Stoppelkamp (24) might also have done better. Former Fulham full back Moritz Volz had to clear 1860 lines (41) when FCK's new capture Alexander Baumjohann burst through on the left with a debut goal seemingly at his mercy. The ex-Bayern midfielder unselfishly chose to square instead of bursting the net.
The Red Devils emerged after the break with more purpose and dominated the second half. The Lions were seemingly happy to sit back and soak up any pressure. Ultimately, the visitors were once again reliant on an inspired goalkeeping display by Gabor Kiraly for their hard-fought point.
The Hungarian international pulled off some superb reflex saves to maintain the Lions' unbeaten record. Mohamadou Idrissou (57) und Florian Dick (58) could not find a way past the ex-Crystal Palace and Burnley goalkeeper. FCK captain Albert was also foiled by Kiraly from close range (67) Kiraly's best save of the lot came with nine minutes remaining to deny substitute Hendrick Zuck with a tremendous reflex save to push the ball over the bar.
1860 Munich are quickly back into Bundesliga 2nd division action with a Friday evening clash against struggling MSV Duisburg at the Allianz Arena. (1800 kick off)