1. FC Union Berlin vs 1. FC Magdeburg
German 2. Bundesliga, 33. Matchday
1. FC Union vs Magdeburg
German 2. Bundesliga, 33. Matchday
Union beat Magdeburg to set up last day showdown
1. FC Union Berlin marked the last home league game of the season with a comfortable 3-0 win over relegated 1. FC Magdeburg.
Grischa Prömel opened the scoring after eight minutes before Sebastian Polter struck just after the half hour mark at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Trouble in the away section forced the game to be halted for around 10 minutes. After the restart, Polter grabbed his second with the clock well over the 90th minute mark.
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Friedrich, Hübner, Reichel (Lenz 79); Schmiedebach, Prömel, Mees (Kroos 68), Zulj (Hartel 90); Andersson, Polter
1. FC Magdeburg: Loria; Müller, Erdmann, Perthel; Hammann, Ignjovski (Rother 68), Preißinger, Chahed (Lewerenz 58); Beck, Lohkemper (Costly 58), Bülter
Polter returned to the team as one of three changes from last Sunday’s defeat in Darmstadt. The striker joined Sebastian Andersson up top, with Suleiman Abdullahi dropping to the bench. Michael Parensen and Julian Ryerson were respectively replaced by Florian Hübner and Joshua Mees. With the stakes high in Köpenick, the home supporters roared the team on from two hours before the kick-off. They were quickly rewarded after just eight minutes — Trimmel sent a dangerous cross towards Andersson in the box, the Swede heading on target. But Giorgi Loria’s save rebounded straight to Prömel who bundled home from less than a metre from goal. Magdeburg’s attacking threat was tame and the home side managed to keep Michael Oenning’s side under control for the most part. Marius Bütler headed past the post from a corner kick midway through the half. At the other end, Union made their chances count with Andersson punishing a mistake in central defence, picking out Polter who finished past Loria.
Throughout the league campaign, Fischer’s team have shown outstanding defensive structure behind the ball. Today was no different as the league’s strongest defence held out the visitors who gave it their all to avoid the drop. With 10 minutes to go, disturbances in the away section led to the game being postponed until beyond the 90th minute. Referee Robert Schröder kept a lead on the situation and restarted play. Union managed to carve out one final attack in additional time, taking advantage of a defensive mix-up and giving Polter his second of the afternoon.
Today's three points mean that Union Berlin — at minimum — has secured a spot in the relegation playoff for the Bundesliga. Matters will be settled next Sunday, with Union away to VfL Bochum and second-place Paderborn heading to Dynamo Dresden on the final matchday of the campaign.
Union Berlin & Magdeburg clash as season hots up
1. FC Union Berlin will take to the field at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei for the final league match of the campaign on Sunday at 15:30 against 1. FC Magdeburg.
The permutations are starting to become clearer for both teams: Union are focused on strengthening their case for promotion with two matches left, while Michael Oenning's team will only be able to rescue their 2.Bundesliga status — at best — with a play-off.
Review: Darmstadt defeat, Magdeburg down at Bochum
Despite results of Paderborn and Hamburg going in their favour, 1. FC Union Berlin slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Darmstadt last Sunday. Sebastian Andersson’s 12th goal of the season prompted a late Union fight back, but Darmstadt already had a two-goal lead to defend through strikes from Yannick Stark and Mathias Wittek.
Meanwhile, Magdeburg fought hard against Bochum, but went down 2-4. Oenning's players showed spirit a fortnight ago to beat Greuther Fürth despite missing the services of attacking-midfielder Philipp Türpitz. It's a precarious situation for the eastern German club, who must win and hope Ingolstadt, two points above, failed to take maximum points. Magdeburg can no longer catch Sandhausen, who occupy the place above the play-off position.
Record: FCM dominant so far
Magdeburg hold the upper-hand across all 41 matches in various competitions. The reverse fixture in December ended 1-1 with both teams missing opportunities to claim the full three points. That draw was the first meeting in the 2.Bundesliga between the rivals, while in the league, Union last won against FCM in May 2000.
Personnel: Long-term abentees
Fischer confirmed at the pre-match press conference that Fabian Schönheim and Eroll Zejnullahu are the two players definitely ruled out. The rest of the squad has successfully come through the week of training and will be available for selection in the 18-man squad. When asked if Carlos Mane had done enough to return, Fischer said: “The training week was good for Mane. But it’s also been very big for other players. We’ll make a decision over the 18 places in the side.”
Service: Train Info
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On Sunday, stadium gates will open earlier at 13:30 so the fans can enjoy a pleasant experience at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.