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1. FC Union Berlin vs FC Ingolstadt 04

German 2. Bundesliga, 18. Matchday

1. FC Union vs Ingolstadt

German 2. Bundesliga, 18. Matchday

Fri., 15. December 2017, 18:30 Uhr
An der Alten Försterei
1 : 2
20.170

Skrzybski scores, but Ingolstadt fight back to 2-1 win

Match report

Steven Skrzybski’s sixth goal of the campaign wasn’t enough to secure three points in the final league match of 2017 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Despite leading with around 30 minutes left, Andre Hofschneider’s side fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Ingolstadt, who struck decisively twice in the space of five minutes to grab the points.

With just the traditional Weihnachtssingen to come, the Union faithful gathered hoping to end a disappointing run of results in the 2.Bundesliga. The tempo of Union’s start mirrored the support from the terraces, which was vociferous despite the cold conditions in Köpenick.

In the fifth minute, a clever free kick from Stephan Fürstner and Simon Hedlund set up Sebastian Polter in behind, but Orjan Nyland held on to the striker’s shot. The good pressing and quick transitions shown in the first half hour highlighted why Union’s best performances have come at home this season.

There was a lapse in the final five minutes, but goalie Jakob Busk was alert and reactive to block from Stefan Lex as the scores remained level.

Just like the start, Union returned from the dressing room with an extra edge. Ingolstadt’s Alfredo Morales bundled over Marcel Hartel in the box and there was no hesitation from Stuttgart-based referee Martin Petersen, who pointed to the spot. Skrzybski showed great composure to step up and knock the ball into the corner.

Despite the lead, Ingolstadt had another plan up their sleeves and forced the home side on to the back foot. Thomas Pledl manoeuvred out of a tight area and assisted Robert Leipertz for the equaliser in the 73rd minute. Before there was much time to gather a breath, Almog Cohen was fouled in the box and Dario Lezcano converted the resulting penalty kick.

Union battled hard, but faced an uphill battle after losing the lead. “We saw a very intense game today with two teams who played aggressively for the win,” said Hofschneider at the post-match press conference. “We had one or two good chances which we could have taken. Ingolstadt kept calm under pressure, which is what we missed after the equaliser. In the end, football is a results sport: we had one goal, Ingolstadt had two. They deserved to win.”

The lights go out at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei after the Weihnachtssingen next weekend and the players will have a break in Spain with matches against Gent and Wehen Wiesbaden to come.

Re-match: Ingolstadt head to Berlin to kick off Rückrunde

Match preview

Union Berlin will close the curtain on 2017 this Friday (18:30) when Ingolstadt arrive at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Andre Hofschneider will be out for a repeat of the previous meeting this season, which went in favour of the Köpenick club with Christopher Trimmel scoring the winner.

Much has changed at the Alte Försterei since then, with a new coach in place and new impetus around the squad. However, results have been hard to come by, with Union last winning on November 4 against St Pauli. Last week’s defeat to Dynamo Dresden, and former coach Uwe Neuhaus, was a particularly sore one. “No-one likes to lose an east derby. We can’t be satisfied with the last few games,” stressed Hofschneider at the pre-match press conference.

When asked about the state of mind of his players, Hofschneider explained how confidence comes from the small experiences. “Self-confidence is also something for bad phases. If I have won five times in a row, then talking about self-confidence is pointless. I’ve got a run, so I don't need to think about it. You gain self-confidence for a period like this, which we are now in. We have to show them now: Okay, what's it worth? Which fundamentals can I rely on now?”

Nothing has changed on the injury front for Hofschneider since last weekend. Michael Parensen, Kenny Redondo and Fabian Schönheim remain long-term absentees from the squad. The upcoming winter break will be a welcomed opportunity for the aforementioned three to prepare a return to training.

Aside from a loss to Eintracht Braunschweig, Ingolstadt have developed into the league’s form team since the beginning of the season. Stefan Leitl’s side have gone down to defeat just twice in 12 matches and have creeped up the table to become genuine promotion contenders.

There are still tickets remaining in the standing sections for Union supporters. The box offices will be open at the home and away sides on matchday for those looking to purchase tickets.

AFTV Videos

Steven Skrzybski

Steven Skrzybski

was Player of the Day for the last time against Ingolstadt

Steven Skrzybski

was Player of the Day against Ingolstadt

MatchStatistics

1. FC Union Berlin vs FC Ingolstadt 04

2 Yellow Cards 2
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

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