Sebastian Andersson scored as 1. FC Union Berlin held French side Girondins de Bordeaux to a 1-1 draw at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Urs Fischer's welcomed the sixth-best team in France last season to Köpenick as preparations intensified ahead of the 2.Bundesliga kick off on August 5. Swedish striker Andersson scored for the first time at his new home after just three minutes, but Gus Poyet's men would draw level through centre-back Jules Kounde.
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel (Kurzweg 72), Dietz (Schößwendter 72), Friedrich, Reichel (Lenz 46); Schmiedebach (Parensen 72), Prömel (Kahraman 86), Hartel (Zejnuhallu 72); Redondo (Gogia 72), Hedlund, Andersson (Taz 76)
Bordeaux: Costil; Gajic, Poundje, Lewczuk (Baysse 82), Kounde (Jovanovic 82); Plasil (Otavio 82), Lerager (De Preville 58, Benrahou 82), Tchoaumeni; Kamano (Vada 69), Sankhare, Youssouf (Laborde 69)
The annual pre-season friendly, presented by IFA, is one of the calendar highlights for the Köpenick club. Bordeaux, who will compete in the UEFA Europa League this season, join an illustrious list of opponents, which includes Sevilla, Utrecht, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers and Celtic.
Union have ran out victorious in all previous IFA-match encounters and hoping to preserve the tradition, the home side started impressively and netted the opener inside three minutes. Christopher Trimmel’s free kick from the right was pinpoint into the path of Andersson who finished off first time with great conviction.
Saturday’s match is Union’s last home game before the league commences on August 5 against Erzgebirge Aue. Similarly for Gus Poyet’s side, who meet Latvian side Ventspils in the second qualifying round, this outing was essentially the final chance to get his players in shape for competitive action. As such, both teams appeared to treat it as close to a competitive test as possible.
Union threatened in the 13th minute with Bordeaux captain and goalie Benoit Costil caught out of his goal after failing to clear his lines, but Marcel Hartel’s delicate chip landed just a few inches to the wrong side of the post. Kenny Prince Redondo’s quick interception inside the opposition half created the next chance on 28 minutes, but the winger’s shot was blocked by Kounde.
Fischer made one change at the turnaround with Christopher Lenz replacing Ken Reichel at left back. Bordeaux struggled to deal with another aggressive Union set play, but neither Dietz nor Andersson could convert from just a few yards out. Instead of a second for the Berlin club, the French Ligue 1 outfit levelled the scores on 56 minutes when Konde stuck out a leg and got the final touch inside the six-yard box.
Both coaches handed out game time in the final 20 minutes, which naturally had an impact on the flow of the match. However, Union stood up to the challenges from Bordeaux and with a bit more composure in the final third, could have scored a second. Lenz and Berkan Taz kept Costil busy in the final minutes but the Bordeaux skipper stood firm.
Union’s preparation for the new league season takes them across the English Channel next week, where Championship side Queens Park Rangers will provide a stern test on Saturday July 28 at Loftus Road.