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1. FC Union Berlin vs Fortuna Düsseldorf

German 2. Bundesliga - 22. Matchday

1. FC Union vs Düsseldorf

German 2. Bundesliga - 22. Matchday

Sat., 10. February 2018, 13:00 Uhr
An der Alten Försterei
3 : 1
22.012

3-1! Union blow away Düsseldorf at the Alte Försterei

Match report

The search for a win came to an end on Saturday as Union Berlin ran out deserved 3-1 winners over Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Despite trailing at the break, Andre Hofschneider’s battled through and scored three second half goals to claim their first three points since the beginning of November.

Preparations for Düsseldorf’s visit couldn’t have got much worse – Hofschneider was forced to leave out Marcel Hartel, Toni Leistner, Dennis Daube and Peter Kurzweg, who were all sick this week. Damir Kreilach’s confirmed departure to Major League Soccer meant there was a return for Akaki Gogia as the coach stuck with his three-man backline.

Draws against Holstein Kiel and Arminia Bielefeld have been a crumble of encouragement for Hofschneider and his players, and it was clear to see the commitment from the first whistle. Simon Hedlund fired the first warning shot, before Felix Kroos worked Raphael Wolf a few minutes later. The captain then had an opportunity to test the keeper from a free-kick on the edge of the box, but he curled it the wrong side of the post.

Such is the nature of football, territorial and possession dominance can often count for little. The visitors, top of the league before this matchday, broke away on the counterattack, the ball eventually coming across to midfielder Florian Neuhaus who finished in off the post from around 12 meters out.

A tactical change in the break saw Michael Parensen step into the heart of midfield and give Union extra stability against the ball. Straight away, the Köpenick club were on the front foot. Kristian Pedersen flooded the Düsseldorf box with a spurry of crosses from the left-hand side, but none were converted. Sebastian Polter ought to have scored on 48 minutes, while Parensen headed over inside the six-yard-box, just a few minutes later.

Adam Bodzek’s hand thwarted the progress of Christopher Trimmel down the right flank and referee Robert Hartmann didn’t hesitate to point to the spot in the 65th minute. Steven Skrzybski claimed the responsibility from the spot and sent the keeper the wrong way. The goal opened the floodgates as Union shot towards the Waldseite, with Polter turning home Gogia’s saved shot on 71 minutes.

As Düsseldorf pushed for an equaliser of their own, Union were presented with acres of space on the counterattack and could have sown up the three points long before stoppage time. The third arrived four minutes into added time when Skrzybski rounded the keeper and scored to the delight of the fans behind Wolf’s goal.

“Today I'm especially happy for the team,” said Hofschneider in the post-match media conference. “The last few weeks have not been easy for some players. Still though, we didn't do everything right today, and in the last few weeks we have not done everything wrong. Despite the run, the team did not let themselves be deterred and were rewarded. I am also very happy for the fans.”

With a win under their belt, Union will make the short trip to Eintracht Braunschweig next Sunday (13:30) on matchday 23.

Promotion hopefuls Düsseldorf head to the Alte Försterei

Match preview

Fortuna Düsseldorf, the 2.Bundesliga league leaders, will make the trip to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei to face Union Berlin this weekend.

Another home game means another important opportunity for the Köpenick club to end a winless run of league games, which extended to eight games in Bielefeld on Monday.

“It’s part of professional sport that there are phases where things don’t work,” started coach Andre Hofschneider. “It doesn’t help to complain. You have to earn happiness. We have to look at ourselves and keep working hard. In Bielefeld, we came so close to winning, but there is no compassion or giving up.”

A 94th-minute strike from Steven Skrzybski was whistled out by the match official, but Union have taken a lot more from the game than just a point. Hofschneider’s 3-5-2 shape impressed and for phases of the game, the Berliners had the upper hand against a strong Bielefeld side. “In the last 20 minutes, you’ve seen that we can dominate a team like Bielefeld.”

Toni Leistner is once again available for selection, but Hofschneider confirmed he would not automatically return to the fold given how well the back-three performed on Monday.

Hofschneider articulated a clear goal for Saturday’s match at the pre-match press conference: “We have to make sure that the spark from the pitch is even more visible to the spectators. We certainly have a debt to pay and we haven't shown enough emotions in the last few games. We want to win the game and must be even more consistent in the individual phases and even more brutal to ourselves. We must play our part in making the game a success at every stage of the match. That's our mission!"

With 43 points, Fortuna Düsseldorf have earned their place at the top of the 2.Bundesliga. The side from Nordrhein-Westfalen won 3-2 in the last meeting between the teams and have benefited from their extra power in attack, as well as, consistency at home or away. "We know what's to be expected at the Alte Försterei. It's always hard to play at. The fans always get behind their team. It's really magnificent," said Friedhelm Funkel, the head coach of Düsseldorf.

There will still be a handful of tickets available for either side of the stadium at the club’s box offices.

AFTV Videos

Steven Skrzybski

Steven Skrzybski

was Player of the Day for the last time against Düsseldorf

Steven Skrzybski

was Player of the Day against Düsseldorf

MatchStatistics

1. FC Union Berlin vs Fortuna Düsseldorf

3 Yellow Cards 3
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

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