1. FC Union Berlin moved up to 10th in the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win over 1. FC Köln at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Sebastian Andersson poached his seventh and eighth goals of the league campaign, with a header after 33 minutes and the clincher on 50 minutes.
Urs Fischer's side have won four home games on the spin since the defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt at the end of September.
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Friedrich, Hübner, Parensen; Lenz, Trimmel, Gentner, Andrich; Ingvartsen (Ryerson 77), Polter (Bülter 62), Andersson
1. FC Köln: Horn; Schmitz, Bornauw, Sobiech, Katterbach; Höger (Kainz 68), Ehizibue (Schaub 45), Verstraete, Drexler; Cordoba, Terrode (Modeste 72)
From last week’s slender loss at Schalke, there were three changes in Urs Fischer’s starting side with Neven Subotic and Keven Schlotterbeck dropping out due to injury. The ever-dependable Michael Parensen and promotion hero Florian Hübner returned to the fold, while Sebastian Polter took Marius Bülter’s place in attack. Markus Gisdol made four changes to his team — out went Hector, Czichos, Jakobs and Modeste, while in came Sobiech, Katterbach, Ehizibue and Cordoba.
Last year’s encounter at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei saw a goal inside 40 seconds — Marcel Hartel’s memorable overhead kick firing Union into the lead. However, the same encounter in the Bundesliga started in a scrappy nature with neither team asserting control on the match. Rafal Gikiewicz’s first 20 minutes were on the quiet side, but the Polish goalkeeper reacted when required towards the half hour mark. Both of Birger Verstraete’s efforts from free-kicks threatened to break the deadlock but on both occasions, Gikiewicz was in outstanding form. Union’s goal on 33 minutes came from a mistake in the Cologne rearguard with the Köpenick club taking full advantage of Vertraete’s slip. Trimmel sent his corner with his usual danger into the box and Andersson headed in from around the middle of the six-yard-box.
The second half was just five minutes old when Christian Gentner led the breakaway, feeding the ball through to Andersson. The Swede took a neat touch around Timo Horn and squeezed the ball over the line despite the best efforts of Robin Bornauw. Andersson was inches away from setting up a huge chance for Christopher Trimmel who had added his attacking threat to another textbook Union counter-attack, six minutes later. Gisdol turned early to his bench and used Louis Schaub, Florian Kainz and Anthony Modeste before the 73rd minute. Marius Bülter and Julian Ryerson offered Urs Fischer defensive reinforcement in the final quarter of an hour, whilst Felix Kroos replaced Robert Andrich for the final minutes. In the end, Union managed the game with great maturity and held out for the three points.
Fischer's team are about to enter the final three fixtures of the calendar year with SC Paderborn (away) up next for 1. FC Union Berlin on Saturday December 14 at 15:30.