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1. FC Union Berlin vs Holstein Kiel

Friendly, 4. Matchday

1. FC Union vs Kiel

Friendly, 4. Matchday

Sat., 22. July 2023, 15:00 Uhr
An der Alten Försterei
1 : 2

Union lose to Kiel

Match report

1. FC Union Berlin lost to Holstein Kiel 1-2 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in their final friendly before their training camp begins. In a match consisting of four 30-minute quarters, Kiel scored twice, once from a Juranovic own goal and again from a strike by Arp. Union's only goal came from a Sheraldo Becker penalty.

1. FC Union Berlin: Rönnow (61. Busk) – Juranovic (61. Trimmel), Jaeckel (91. Doekhi), Knoche (91. Kemlein), Leite (61. Heintz), Roussillon (61. Skarke) – Aaronson (61. Laïdouni), Khedira (61. Král, 91. Thorsby), Tousart (61. Haberer) – Behrens (61. Becker), Fofana (61. Siebatcheu)

Holstein Kiel: Dähne - Sterner (91. Niehoff), Johansson (91. Rosenboom), Erras (61. Schulz), Kleine-Bekel (91. Komenda), Rothe (91. Wagbe) – Ivezic (61. Holtby), Sander (91. Arp), Simakala (77. Remberg) – Machino (91. Mees), Pichler (77. Porath)

Attendance: 13.014

Goals: 0-1 Juranovic (own goal, 8.), 0-2 Arp (95.), 1-2 Becker (penalty, 111.)

Kiel with the early lead - Union with control

1. FC Union Berlin started in their usual 3-5-2 formation, with Holstein Kiel choosing the same route. The Union players also wore the new main sponsor for the first time, Paramount Plus, on the frontside of their jersey. The 2. Bundesliga begins next week, making this Kiel’s final friendly before they kick off their season against Eintracht Braunschweig.

Kiel was off to a fast start, and three minutes in posed their first danger on the Union goal. From a free kick delivered into the box, Pichler headed the cross narrowly over the left side of the woodwork. However, Kiel’s early lead came from a Union mistake, not their own aggression. Juranovic played a simple back pass to Rönnow, who was caught in the turf, leading to the ball rolling into the empty net (8). Following the early goal Union managed to take control of the match, though no cross or combination led to the needed finish.

The second quarter was slightly delayed due to an injured referee, who’s replacement was a fan in the crowd. After the break Union continued to control the flow, though were unable to find a breakthrough in the Kiel defense. The guests did not pose any threat on the attack, largely due to the strong defense of the Eisernen. The first excitement of the quarter came from a Union corner that Knoche was able to get on the end of. Knoche headered the ball to Behrens, who’s shot was blocked just before crossing the goal line. Union’s second opportunity came from a move down the left side initiated by Fofana, who managed to pass the ball through to Khedira. Khedira, who found himself near the center of the box, was unable to turn fully towards goal, and so his shot went wide. With no further drama, the first 60 minutes ended in a 0-1 lead for Kiel.

Union mount the pressure – Both sides get one

Apart from Jaeckel and Knoch, coach Urs Fischer made substitutions at every position. The newcomers added an immediate boost, Siebatcheu and Král firing long-range shots in the opening minutes. Next, Laïdouni put himself in a promising position with an individual dribble and finish, but his final strike went left of the post. The hosts pressed on, the following shot coming from Skarke, who’s finish went just wide of the opposite corner. In the 83rd minute, Skarke again found himself in the center of the action, running down a diagonal ball on the left side of the pitch and then crossing to Siebatcheu. Though he managed to get his head on it, the attempt went well over the bar.

Despite Union having been the attacking side all game, it’s Kiel who striked once again. Arp received a low cross from the right and directed it into the left side of the goal to increase the guest’s lead to 2-0. Union did not give in, continuing to try and find a way to get one back. A Heintz header from a Trimmel free kick was almost the answer. Instead, it was a foul on Haberer leading to a Becker penalty that gave Union their first goal of the match (111). The equalizer seemed around the corner, first a deflected strike from Skarke going of the crossbar and then a last-second header from Haberer hitting the post. The belief of the fans and the will of the Union players was not enough, and Kiel managed to take home a 2-1 victory over the home side.

Thoughts on the match

"You could see a few schemes today and we had a few chances in the second 60 minutes, so we have to build on that in training camp. You could see that Kiel is already a step further, for them it was the dress rehearsal today. They were just a bit more aggressive in the duels," explained Janik Haberer after the friendly.

"We had a few chances, but unfortunately hit the woodwork three times and ultimately lost. We just have to keep working now and look forwards," said sole Union goal scorer Sheraldo Becker, looking ahead to the next few weeks.

Outlook for the coming week

Monday, 24.07.2023, 1. FC Union Berlin travels to their annual ten-day training camp in Bramberg am Wildkogel. During their time at training camp Union will play to more friendlies in preparation for the season. More information on the opponents, venues, and tickets will be available in the coming days.

Union Host Holstein Kiel

Match preview

On Saturday, 22 July, 1. FC Union Berlin will host Holstein Kiel in their fourth pre-season friendly of the 2023-24 season. Kick off at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei is at 15:00. Instead of the usual 45-minute halves the match will consist of 30-minute quarters. 

The lie of the land 

The friendly will be Union’s fourth of a busy July, following victories over FSV Luckenwalde and SK Rapid in addition to the loss in Hungary against Zalaegerszegi TE FC. However, this will only signify the end of coach Urs Fischer and Union’s first wave of pre-season preparation. On Monday the team will travel to summer training camp in Bramber am Wildvogel, Austria. The training camp is sponsored by, and the team will be playing two more friendlies during their time there.

The opponents 

Following the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963 Kiel has bounced between the second, third, and fourth divison, and in 2017 regained a spot in the 2. Bundesliga after placing second in the Fußball-Liga. Kiel is not an unknown opponent for Union, as they used to play together in the second and third division. Since 2004 they have faced off eight times in league play, with the result being four wins for Union, two wins for Kiel, and two draws.  

During their time in the third and fourth division Kiel won the Landespokal Schleswig-Holstein 13 times, which granted them automatic entry into the DFB-Pokal. One of their most recent iconic performances came against FC Bayern München in the second round of the 2020-2021 DFB Pokal, when the second division side shocked the German giants in a riveting match ending with a penalty shootout. Kiel then managed to reach the semi-finals of the tournament before being knocked out by eventual champions Borussia Dortmund. 

Since 2017/18 they have been a constant presence in the 2. Liga, rising as high as 3rd in 2020/21 under Ole Werner where they lost to 1. FC Köln in the play-off that would have granted them entry to the Bundesliga. Current coach Marcel Rapp took over from Werner in October 2021, leading the side to consecutive top half finishes. 

A familiar face

Saturday also marks the return of forward Steven Skrzybski, a player many fans will remember with fondness due to his long stretch at Union between 2001 and 2018. He began with Union as a youngster, working his way up through the youth academy before eventually starting on the first team. In Steven’s 143 official games for Union, he scored 30 goals and assisted 18 times. His final two seasons for the Eisernen are his best, netting nine in the 2016-17 season and 14 the following year. After leaving Union Steven spent three years with FC Shalke 04, was loaned to Fortuna Düsseldorf, and then joined Kiel in 2021 where he remains today. This will be Steven’s second return to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, his first coming with Fortuna during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Service information 

The gates will open at 13:30, and tickets will be available at the stadium. Seating is already sold out, and standing tickets are available in advance at a price of 8 euros. Children up to the age of 12 can enter for free, but they require a ticket.** The game will be streamed live on AFTV as well as on their Youtube channel. As usual Union will post updates on their Liveticker, as well as in Spanish on Twitter.  

*There is an advance booking fee of 3 euros.

** Max. 2 free tickets can be booked per full-payer.


1. FC Union Berlin vs Holstein Kiel

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