The final friendly fixture of SV Wehen Wiesbaden's winter training camp in the Spanish resort of Oliva Nova – against CFR Cluj – ended in a 1-1 (1-0) draw. The only goal for SVWW, who will get their 2020 properly underway in a week's time when they host Erzgebirge Aue, was scored by Manuel Schäffler.
As luck would have it, the Spanish weather gods handed the two teams a reprieve. While the roads leading to the SVWW training ground – which also served as the venue for the friendly fixture – had been filled with water by a storm over the previous 36 hours, the pitch remained in an optimal condition.
SVWW only had to wait five minutes for their first chance of the match against their Romanian opponents, who have been staying at the same hotel. Stefan Aigner fed Max Dittgen on the left flank but his shot from the edge of the box was comfortably dealt with by opposing shot-stopper Arlauskis, who made another stop to deny Titsch Rivero four minutes later.
SVWW survived a scare at the other end in the 14th minute when an unmarked Ciprian Deac met a cross from the left flank with a volleyed effort inside the box. But fortunately, his shot struck the woodwork and the score remained 0-0.
In the end, it was the Bundesliga 2 outfit that broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute through Manuel Schäffler, who surfaced unmarked in front of the Cluj goal and steered a Max Dittgen cross past the powerless Arlauskis to make it 1-0.
SVWW kept things tight at the back in the ensuing minutes and, despite their best efforts, the Romanians created few clear opportunities. At the other end, Aigner got into a promising position but was deemed to have been offside. And a short while later the Romanians managed to clear a cross from the midfielder to keep the deficit to one goal at the interval.
The second period commenced with a setback for SVWW. Mario Camora was played through down the left flank two minutes after the restart and he beat Lindner from a promising position 15 metres out. The Romanians subsequently exploited one or two further defensive lapses from SVWW to get shots on goal – but they could not make them count.
On the hour-mark, head coach Rüdiger Rehm brought on three pairs of fresh legs in Gökhan Gül, Sidney Friede and Phillip Tietz. But CFR Cluj continued to have the better of the chances, despite SVWW working their way back into the game during that period.
Some more new faces – Shipnoski, Lorch and Knöll – entered the fray with a quarter of an hour remaining. Shipnoski soon had an excellent opportunity to put his side back in front but, having been played through by Tietz, he was denied from close range by Arlauskis charging off his line. Rehm made further changes in the final minutes but the score remained 1-1.
SVWW: Lindner – Mrowca (Ajani, 80), Mockenhaupt (Medic, 80), Dams (Lorch, 75), Röcker (Gül, 58), Schwede – Aigner (Friede, 58), Chato, Titsch Rivero (Shipnoski, 75), Dittgen (Tietz, 58) - Schäffler (Knöll, 75)