1. FC Union Berlin picked up another Bundesliga point despite a 0-0 draw at home to Augsburg.
Union: Luthe; Friedrich, Knoche, Baumgartl; Gießelmann, Trimmel (Ryerson 86), Öztunali (Prömel 70), Khedira, Möhwald (Haraguchi 22); Kruse (Voglsammer 70), Awoniyi (Becker 86)
Augsburg: Gikiewicz; Iago, Gouweleeuw, Oxford, Gumny; Vargas (Cordova 62), Dorsch (Maier 90), Caligiuri (Jensen 78), Framberger; Niederlechner (Zeqiri 62), Hahn (Pedersen 78)
Urs Fischer handed an Union debut for deadline signing Kevin Möhwald who joined from Werder Bremen. The midfielder was given his first appearance in the week in a 2-0 friendly win over Lichtenberg 47, but Möhwald wouldn’t have to wait long for his first shot at the Bundesliga with Union. Meanwhile, after a long injury lay-off at the start of the new campaign, midfielder Grischa Prömel was included in the matchday squad for the first time in 2021/22. As Union have often managed successfully in Köpenick, the hosts were aggressive and direct in the opening spell of the game. Taiwo Awoniyi was a nuisance against his counterparts but he blazed over his first sight at goal from a rather tight angle. There was a familiar face in Augsburg’s goal: former Union keeper Rafal Gikiewicz, the Polish stopper who helped the Köpenick club earn promotion to the Bundesliga. Gikiewicz was at the heart of the action early on and he kept out fortuitously a header from Niko Gießelmann who broke into the penalty box. The left-back, who celebrated goals in Hoffenheim and at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach last week, drilled an excellent volley off the inside of the post in the 10th minute. Gießelmann headed over from close range on 19 minutes in an action-packed first 20 for the Union left back. Kevin Möhwald’s debut started well in red, commanding the midfield and always keen to get on the ball. However, the 28-year-old suffered an unfortunate knock and was taken off on 22 minutes for precaution – Genki Haraguchi took his place after he made his 63rd appearance for the Japan national team in the week. The stoppage in play maybe benefited Markus Weinzierl’s team as Augsburg looked more of a danger in attack following the switch. Goalkeeper Andreas Luthe was kept on his own up until that point but after 30 minutes, the Union number one stopped his former team from scoring. Iago’s curling shot looked set to find the top corner, if not for Luthe, while Reece Oxford headed on target. The English defender looked a threat from set-pieces in the Augsburg ranks but Luthe protected the Union box to keep the scores level at the break.
Augsburg striker Florian Niederlechner headed wide of the Union goal within the first minute of the restart at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. A shock from the visitors forced Union to work harder, press more and look to take control of the game. Standing in the way of Fischer’s side time and time again was the former Union number one Gikiewicz. On 55 minutes, Niko Gießelmann was in the right position to take advantage of a loose clearance but his shot was palmed away by Gikiewicz. Both goalkeepers weren’t just busy, but crucial in the game remaining without a goal. An Augsburg corner kick landed perfectly at the feet of substitute Sergio Cordova but somehow Andreas Luthe swatted away the effort. Back to Union, the home side will have felt they should have taken the lead but Gikiewicz was to the rescue for Weinzierl's men. Awoniyi found a yard to get a shot away and then Voglsammer followed up but the Polish stopper reacted well. Then, a minute later, Marvin Friedrich headed agonisingly off the crossbar from about eight yards out. The woodwork came to Augsburg's safety on the 79th minute as Voglsammer drifted inside from the right on to his left foot, but his curling shot was a milimetre or two away from finding the back of the net. With just over 10,000 fans in attendance at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, both teams will go away with a point each after this afternoon's 90 minutes.
Union will return to European action on Thursday evening, the first group phase encounter of the UEFA Europa Conference League. The Union away section is sold out for the trip to Slavia Prague this week.