Super-sub Kenny Prince Redondo scored his first league goal in almost 12 months to earn 1. FC Union Berlin a point against 1. FC Heidenheim at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
The 23-year-old headed home Philipp Hosiner’s cross in the 74th minute to cancel out a shock opener from Heidenheim’s Nikola Dovedan on 58 minutes and extend Union's solid home run to six matches without defeat in the 2.Bundesliga.
1. FC Union Berlin: Mesenhöler; Trimmel, Torrejon, Leistner, Pedersen; Fürsnter (Hosiner 70), Kroos, Kurzweg (Redondo 70), Daube (Gogia 57); Hedlund, Skrzybski
1. FC Heidenheim: Müller; Strauß, Feick, Wittek, Kraus; Theuerkauf, Schnatterer (Thomalla 11), Titsch-Rivero, Lankford; Dovedan (Verhoek 89), Glatzel (Griesbeck 75‘)
Head coach Andre Hofschneider was forced into his only change from last week’s 1-0 win at FC St Pauli. Marvin Friedrich was shown a second yellow card and incurred an automatic suspension for Saturday’s game, with Peter Kurzweg standing in and the Köpenick club returning to a back four. Grischa Prömel’s injury meant he was ruled out, while Daniel Mesenhöler continued between the sticks ahead of the injured Jakob Busk. A note of good news for Hofschneider was the return of Michael Parensen who took his place on the bench.
After a brave start from Heidenheim, Marc Schnatterer’s injury in the seventh minute brought the match to a halt. Add that to further stoppages in the middle of the park, and a water break in the 30th minute, and neither side could piece together a threatening period of pressure. Union Berlin came to life on 24 minutes, when Simon Hedlund swivelled into the left-channel of the box and fired his effort wide of Kevin Müller’s post. The Heidenheim keeper was kept busy until the 30th minute when Kristian Pedersen’s tame header was easily gathered.
Unchanged at the half-time break, Union returned with energy and intent. Stephan Fürstner’s cross from the right was almost pinpoint for Kurzweg, a few yards from goal. Akaki Gogia replaced Dennis Daube in the 57th minute, but in the 60 seconds that followed, Heidenheim broke clear on the counter-attack and Austrian striker Dovedan finished his fifth goal of the season. As the match entered the final 20 minutes, Hofschneider mixed things up in the final third of the field with a double change - Hosiner and Redondo taking the place of Fürstner and Kurzweg.
The response was almost immediate: the Austrian striker landed an inch-perfect cross on to Redondo’s head and the attacking-midfielder made no mistake from a few yards out - his first league goal since the 2-1 win at Greuther Fürth on the final day of last season. Two minutes later, Hosiner wriggled clear in the box but shot inches over the crossbar as the home side risked the points in search of the winner in front of the Waldseite. However, the second goal wasn't forthcoming for the Köpenick club who make it three games unbeaten in the league and continue to edge clear of any problems at the bottom-end of the league.
"We’ve seen in the first half, what it looks like when both teams don't want to fall behind. We wanted to play more powerful offensively here at home, but failed to create really clear chances most of the time. Nonetheless, I have to compliment the team. Thinking they had nothing to lose, they showed a great response to the 0:1. The intensity and commitment was there, and how some of the players fight through little aches and pains week in and week out deserves lots of respect", head coach André Hofschneider said in the press conference after the game.