1. FC Union Berlin vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Bundesliga, 9. Matchday
1. FC Union vs Frankfurt
Bundesliga, 9. Matchday
Kruse scores late as Union fight back to draw
Max Kruse scored a late screamer to earn 1. FC Union Berlin a point from an electric 3-3 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Köpenick club took a two-goal lead after five minutes with goals from Robert Andrich and Kruse, who converted from the penalty spot. However, Frankfurt found a way back into the game and levelled with a double from Andre Silva. Bas Dost turned home to put the Eagles ahead for the first time in the match, but Kruse smashed home from 25 yards to seal a point.
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Trimmel, Knoche, Friedrich, Lenz; Prömel (Griesbeck 84), Andrich; Kruse, Becker (Gogia 73), Ingvartsen (Bülter 84); Awoniyi
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp; Durm (Da Costa 78), Hinteregger, Abraham, Ndicka; Ilsanker, Sow (Rode 87), Kamada; Kostic, Silva, Dost
Urs Fischer stuck to the same starting XI that beat 1. FC Köln last week — the only exception was Grischa Prömel for Sebastian Griesbeck, an early change that took place in the 2-1 triumph. Prömel’s midfield partner, Robert Andrich, fired Union into the lead after two minutes. The midfielder was pro-active and alert to punish Kevin Trapp for a blunder after Marcus Ingvartsen struck on goal. Union piled forward in the next phase of play, Awoniyi bundled over by Eintracht Frankfurt central defender Martin Hinteregger. Referee Tobias Reichel consulted the video official Bibiana Steinhaus, but the all-clear was given. Max Kruse slotted into the net to score the second and make amends for missing his last penalty kick in Cologne. Trapp recovered from the early setback to make a massive block on Awoniyi, who threatened to fire in a third goal in the 11th minute. The pressure continued as Frankfurt pushed higher up the park, leaving acres of space against both full-backs and in behind David Abraham and Hinteregger. On 15 minutes, an Union corner kick caused havoc in the penalty box and Trapp superbly kept out from Awoniyi from just a few yards out. It would prove to be a decisive first-half period thereafter as Frankfurt regained control of the game. Bas Dost was highly-involved in the team work of Adi Hütter’s side, but it was his strike partner who stole the glory for the Eagles. On 26 minutes, Daichi Kamada picked up on the loose ball, swept a lovely cross into the path of Silva and the Portuguese striker beat Andreas Luthe to the ball to score. Silva headed in from Filip Kostic’s set-piece to equalise with about nine minutes of the first 45 still to play. The game threatened to run away from the Köpenick club as Eintracht stayed on top, but there was a brief moment of respite before Reichel blew for half-time. Christopher Lenz clipped the ball into Awoniyi, the striker holding off the pressure from Hinteregger before laying off to Andrich who fired over the bar.
After the restart, Union gained a grip of the game in the same manner that they had started. Sheraldo Becker was caught offside as the Dutch winger moved into a dangerous position in behind. Trimmel came close after 50 minutes, stepping into an advanced position and striking off a white jersey and almost beating Trapp. Challenges was hotly-contested on both sides and there was a sharp attacking threat in-and-around the penalty boxes. Luthe made an important save after the hour mark as the away side turned up the pressure. Eintracht Frankfurt completed their comeback after 79 minutes when Kamada ran into space and crossed for Dost to finish from close range. But there was another spanner in the works and Union Berlin pulled themselves back on level terms. On 82 minutes, Trimmel switched the ball inside into the path of Kruse who scored with a sensational strike into the top corner. Griesbeck and Marius Bülter were introduced with the last five minutes to go. Bülter, who returned to training this week after 14 days in quarantine, almost grabbed the winner, heading Trimmel's cross narrowly past Trapp's left-hand post.
After holding on to the point against Frankfurt at the Alte Försterei, Fischer's side will look towards next Friday's derby clash away to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, the 10th match of the league campaign.
Union welcome Eintracht Frankfurt to Köpenick
1. FC Union Berlin will take on Eintracht Frankfurt at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Saturday as Urs Fischer's team look to continue their outstanding unbeaten run in the Bundesliga.
1. FC Union Berlin returned from the international break to collect three points at 1. FC Köln on Sunday evening. Taiwo Awoniyi scored his first goal for the club in the first half, but the Billy Goats equalised towards half-time through a scrappy goal for Ellyes Skhiri. Max Kruse passed up on the chance to beat the all-time record for scoring consecutive penalty kicks, but the Union number 10 thrashed in the rebound to net a valuable away win for the Köpenick club.
Meanwhile, Aymen Barkok's goal after 43 minutes was not enough to give the Eagles a home win against RB Leipzig. On 57 minutes, Yussuf Poulsen hit back to equalise for Julian Nagelsmann's side, a well-taken goal after the cross from Angelino. Barkok was recently tested positive for COVID-19 and will be unavailable for Frankfurt's trip to the capital.
Adi Hütter will bring his side to the Alte Försterei, looking to climb into the top half of the Bundesliga. Frankfurt's form in the league has taken a nosedive after a promising start with no wins in their last five games. The Eagles picked up a credible point at Leipzig, but have failed to win against Stuttgart, Werder Bremen, Bayern and 1. FC Köln. However, the league table remains tight and Frankfurt are five points behind Union, although can move closer to European positions with three points on Saturday.
Fischer confirmed during the pre-match press conference on Thursday that Joel Pohjanpalo, Christian Gentner, Anthony Ujah and Nico Schlotterbeck are still absent. Keita Endo has taken part in training this week, but the Union coach feels this weekend's game arrives too soon for the Japanese winger. After 14 days in quarantine, Marius Bülter is back and "feels good" according to Fischer. Meanwhile, Sebastian Griesbeck has trained again and Florian Hübner is taking steps closer to contention.
Saturday's 15:30 Bundesliga match will be played behind closed doors in accordance with the current regulations in place in Berlin.