1. FC Union Berlin ran out 2-0 winners against FC Ingolstadt who were reduced to nine men in a scrappy second half at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Sebastian Andersson converted from a penalty kick on the stroke of half time, despite the Bavarians giving a strong account of themselves until then.
Referee Robert Kampka earned his crust in Köpenick during a competitive second half between the teams. Almog Cohen was shown a straight red card, while Robin Krauße picked up a second yellow card with 15 minutes left.
Union wrapped up the points through Gogia's finish after Suleiman Abdullahi hit the woodwork.
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Hübner, Friedrich, Lenz; Schmiedebach (Rapp 66), Prömel, Kroos (Zulj 76); Gogia, Mane (Abdullahi 45), Andersson
FC Ingolstadt: Tschauner; Otavio, Mavraj, Kotzke, Paulsen; Krauße, Träsch, Cohen; Kittel (Gimber 82), Lezcano (Kutschke 68), Pledl (Sahin 61)
The 11 players who started last week’s 2-0 win at Holstein Kiel were rewarded with a continued position in the team for the visit of Ingolstadt. Under the guidance of former Union coach Jens Keller, Ingolstadt have improved with a clutch of strong performances in recent games, including last week against 1. FC Köln. The Bavarians saw practically all of the best attacking opportunities in the first 45 minutes. Björn Paulsen blasted a shot over after five minutes, while Rafal Gikiewicz thwarted Thomas Pledl two minutes later and Christopher Lenz cleared a dangerous cross from Paulo Otavio. Andersson will have been frustrated not to net on 34 minutes after heading Felix Kroos’ chip into the ground rather than into the back of the net. Ingolstadt appeared to regain the upper-hand with a chance for Dario Lezcano, who skied an excellent opportunity from inside the area. But Union would end the half on a high after Otavio collided with Felix Kroos inside the box. Andersson stepped up confidently to convert the penalty from 12 yards out.
Carlos Mane was withdrawn at the interval and replaced by Abdullahi, with the Nigerian forward making an immediate impact from the left-hand side. Philipp Tschauner parried an effort from Grischa Prömel wide before the match turned on its head for the Bavarians. Cohen reacted to a collision in the box and received his marching orders, while Gogia was booked in the resulting melee. As the game entered the final quarter of an hour, Kroos was bundled over by Krauße who was sent off for a second bookable offence. Union took full advantage of the numerical superiority and doubled their lead on 79 minutes. Lenz set up Abdullahi with a clever, inside pass and the striker’s shot cannoned against the woodwork. Luckily, Gogia timed his run to perfection and finished off the rebound from a tight angle. Abdullahi raced clear of Paulsen to create a good chance with three minutes to go, but Andersson was narrowly close to finishing off his second of the night.
Fischer said: "I think we can be satisfied with the result. When it comes to the game, Ingolstadt was clearly superior to us in the first half. We didn't get into the game at all, it seemed to me as if my team was anxious, as if the pressure was too great. Then a lucky lead gave us confidence and the second half was more balanced. You have to accept luck, that's also part of football. If you're at the top, you're more likely to be lucky than if you're not at the top. Therefore we can say it's a lucky victory for us."
1. FC Union Berlin's recent round of Friday matches continues away to 1. FC Heidenheim on Friday March 15 at 18:30.