1. FC Union Berlin used the international break to build on a positive start to the season, with a 4-1 victory over second-tier Hannover 96 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Three goals in six minutes in the second half — a brace from Cedric Teuchert and one from Marius Bülter — rounded off an excellent Thursday night's work in front of 1,759 supporters.
Akaki Gogia found the net after 27 minutes from the penalty spot, but it was cancelled out by Valmir Sulejmani's equaliser four minutes after the restart.
1. FC Union Berlin: Karius; Ryerson, Hübner, Friedrich (Knoche 45), Gießelmann; Griesbeck (Schneider 79), Prömel (Maciejewski 69); Kruse (Teuchert 45), Endo (Bülter 61), Gogia (Becker 45); Awoniyi
Hannover: Esser (Ratajczak 45); Elez, Twumasi (Enalli 88), Frantz (Bokake 70), Weydant (De Waal 70), Sulejmani (Tresoldi 88), Ochs (Eichhorn 80), Basdas, Schindler (Becker 70), Stehle, Tarnat
Urs Fischer’s squad during the international break picked itself with Christopher Trimmel and Joel Pohjanpalo away representing their countries, while Nico Schlotterbeck, Anthony Ujah and Christian Gentner were out through injury. Loris Karius made his debut in Union colours following his loan switch from Liverpool towards the end of the transfer window. Akaki Gogia made his first start since his recovery from long-term injury during the summer. The winger was in excellent form, weaving in-and-out of tight spaces to create openings in attack for Union. After just five minutes, he stepped away from Patrick Twumasi, slid the ball through to Taiwo Awoniyi but the on-loan Liverpool attacker pulled his finish wide of the post. Awoniyi created for Keita Endo but Michael Esser made a smart save to turn the ball behind for a corner. The resulting delivery found Marvin Friedrich who would have scored from close range, if referee Alexander Sather hadn’t blown for a foul. Union’s strength in the wide areas would lead to the opener after 27 minutes. Endo played a cute give-and-go with Gogia before Josip Elez bundled over the former Yokohama winger in the box. From the penalty kick, Gogia stepped up with confidence and chipped the ball straight down the middle.
Fischer rotated his team at the interval with three substitutions — Marvin Friedrich, Max Kruse and Gogia off; Sheraldo Becker, Robin Knoche and Cedric Teuchert on. However, Kenan Kocak’s side, who celebrated a derby win over Braunschweig in their last league match, drew level after 49 minutes. Patrick Twumasi struck from about 10 yards out against the post, but former Union player Sulejmani poked in the rebound. Hannover’s substitute goalkeeper Michael Ratajczak was brought into the game soon after as Robin Knoche stung his palms with a volley from inside the area. After Endo’s match was ended after an hour — replaced by Marius Bülter — Teuchert and Becker both combined to draw a double-save from the Hannover goalie. Bülter was on hand to put Union back into the lead after 69 minutes, heading in a terrific cross from Becker. Two minutes later, Florian Hübner connected with a corner kick from Niko Gießelman, but Teuchert nipped in at the back-post to make the goal count as his. The summer signing bagged his second against his former employers, tucking home from a tight angle following a tidy through ball from Julian Ryerson. Substitute Tim Maciejewski struck the crossbar with a fantastic curling effort after 85 minutes as the youngster came close to his first since stepping up from the academy. Fabio Schneider, another academy graduate, made his second appearance at the Alte Försterei for the first-team, replacing Sebastian Griesbeck with about 11 minutes to go.
Four goals to the good and plenty of minutes in the bag across the squad, 1. FC Union Berlin will have an extended week to prepare for next Sunday's return of the Bundesliga. Fischer's side head to Gelsenkirchen to take on Schalke at 18:00.