Artur Sobiech equalised minutes after Nikola Dovedan gave Heidenheim the lead. That was restored in the second half by substitute Ben Halloran, but just when it seemed they had the three points in the bag, Aytac Sulu popped up with a header to make sure of a draw.
Sobiech quickly cancels out Dovedan opener
Despite a much needed return to winning ways against VfL Bochum at the weekend, Heidenheim made three changes, with Vitus Eicher, Norman Theuerkauf and Kolja Pusch replacing Kevin Müller, Kevin Kraus and Ben Halloran. There were two changes for Darmstadt after their 4-3 thriller against Arminia Bielefeld, with Wilson Kamauvaka and Felix Platte replacing Romuald Lacazette and Marvin Mehlem.
Heidenheim fans celebrated Frank Schmidt’s ten years in charge of the club before kick-off, and their side started on the front foot. Dovedan set up Robert Glatzel for an early shot wide across the goal of Daniel Heuer Fernandes, before a Marc Schnatterer shot went over.
Darmstadt responded with a couple of good chances. After a corner was played back in by Tobias Kempe, Immanuel Höhn rose a defender to head just wide. Kempe himself then volleyed over, but neither side was going to break the deadlock in these early stages.
Half-an-hour in, and Sobiech missed a great opportunity when he shot over, albeit from a tight angle. He was regretting it soon after though, as Heidenheim attacked themselves, Schnatterer placed a perfect cross into the box, which was met by Dovedan to put the hosts in front.
Darmstadt, looking to return to the top of the 2. Bundesliga table, didn’t wait long before restoring parity. Following a clearance from Heidenheim, Sandro Sirigu played it back into wards Felix Platte, who almost seemed to karate kick the ball into the path of Sobiech. It was an easy chance for the Polish striker and he swallowed it up with ease.
Sulu heads in unlikely equaliser
Heidenheim had the better of a quiet start to the second half and they would regain the lead on the hour mark. After winning the ball they quickly broke, with Schnatterer again providing the cross for Halloran, who had only come from the bench a couple of minutes earlier, poking home in the middle of the box.
They followed that up with a ton of chances to extend their advantage. Moments after the goal, Dovedan hit the post, before putting a long ball into the path of Heuer Fernandes. The Darmstadt goalkeeper then cleared the ball straight to Dovedan, but he recovered to smother the following effort on goal from Glatzel.
Darmstadt were having little luck going forward themselves, whilst Schnatterer almost created another goal from out wide. This time though Dovedan went wide, and although he went down as he came together with Heuer Ferandes, there was nothing doing in regards to a possible penalty.
Darmstadt were showing few signs of forcing another comeback, and thinking the game was safe, Schmidt had taken off Schnatterer. From a corner though, the Lilies did pull level. Taken by Kempe, it was captain Sulu who jumped highest to meet it, with a typically precise header to score his third goal of the season.
In the final minute of normal time, they then had not one but two chances to win it. Yannick Stark’s fierce shot from outside the box was parried by Eicher, before it was put back into the middle by Markus Steinhöfer, only for Platte to put it over. At the other end Maximilian Thiel had a shot blocked in stoppage time, as both sides had to settle for a point.