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1. FC Union Berlin vs Maccabi Haifa

UEFA Conference League, 2. Group match

1. FC Union vs Haifa

UEFA Conference League, 2. Group match

Thu., 30. September 2021, 21:00 Uhr
Olympiastadion
3 : 0
23.342
SR: Nick Walsh

Union bag first win at home to Maccabi Haifa

Match report

1. FC Union Berlin beat Maccabi Haifa 3-0 to pick up their first win in Group E of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Kevin Behrens scored his second in two Group E matches following Andreas Voglsammer's first-half opener at the Olympic Stadium. Behrens headed in the second after 48 minutes and Taiwo Awoniyi racked up the third for Urs Fischer's side with a fine finish.

1. FC Union Berlin: Rönnow; Trimmel, Knoche, Friedrich, Gießelmann; Möhwald (Prömel 70), Khedira, Haraguchi; Becker (Öztunali 77), Behrens (Awoniyi 70), Voglsammer (Puchacz 77)

Maccabi Haifa: Cohen, Mohamed (Jaber 71), Planic (Arad 79), Atzill (Haziza 60), Chery, Donyoh (Sahar 60), Menachem, Rodriguez, Dahan (David 45), Meir, Gershon

Urs Fischer made five changes to his starting XI from the 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga. Kevin Behrens, who scored the winner at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Saturday, was handed a starting berth ahead of Taiwo Awoniyi. Max Kruse was replaced alongside him by Sheraldo Becker, while Genki Haraguchi came in for Grischa Prömel. With Paul Jaeckel suspended and Timo Baumgartl out with concussion, Kevin Möhwald returned from injury after going off on his debut against Augsburg. Goalkeeper Andreas Luthe was given the night off with Frederik Rönnow making his competitive debut following his arrival from Eintracht Frankfurt. The Israeli champions have played their fair share of European matches this season, starting in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round before dropping directly into the UEFA Europa Conference League via the champions pathway. In ties against Torshavn, Dinamo Tbilisi and Neftchi, Haifa scored seven goals across each respective tie. But despite the odd flash of interest from Tjaronn Chery, Union held firm. The first action in the Haifa penalty box was enforced error on the part of Ori Dahan who passed the ball straight to Voglsammer. The striker took a touch but Dahan recovered in time to put him under enough pressure to strike over the bar. Union looked to gradually find spaces and opportunities without testing Joshua Cohen until about half an hour into the game. Kevin Möhwald’s looping volley threatened on 28 minutes but the Maccabi Haifa goalkeeper pushed the ball comfortably clear. Two minutes later, Niko Gießelmann fired over the target from around 25 yards following a clearance from Sheraldo Becker’s cross. Eventually the door was unlocked as Behrens powered into the penalty box from the right-hand side, drawing the ball across for Voglsammer to bundle home. It wasn’t pretty but the Union number one notched up the Köpenick club’s first home goal in Group E of this season’s UEFA Europa Conference League.

Three minutes after referee Nick Walsh kicked off the second 45 minutes, Union had their second goal of the night. Trimmel stood over a free-kick near the corner flag, putting the ball into a dangerous area where Behrens rose highest among a ruck of green and white shirts to head into the corner. The 30-year-old popped up again for the Köpenick club – his second goal in the UEFA Europa Conference League. Becker was keen to get in on the act but his shot went wide on 56 minutes. Two minutes later, Becker fired a good strike on the target but the ball clipped the post and went away from danger. In the pre-match press conference, Fischer identified Chery as a potential danger to Union from midfield and despite getting into a good position, the number 10 shot right at Rönnow. Union rotated with 20 minutes left with Grischa Prömel and Awoniyi taking the places of Behrens and Möhwald respectively. Substitute Awoniyi didn’t have to wait long before his impact counted. Trimmel and Genki Haraguchi combined neatly in the build-up before Becker picked the ball up on the right. The Dutch winger picked out a brilliant cross and the Nigerian smashed into the roof of Cohen’s net. Levin Öztunali and Tymoteusz Puchacz were given the nod with 13 minutes to go. Rani Khedira made way after a fine midfield display, replaced by Julian Ryerson with eight minutes to go. A fourth could have come for Union when Puchacz ran through on goal but Cohen delivered another strong stop. 

The win takes Union off the mark in Group E after the MD1 defeat at Slavia Prague. Union will go head-to-head against Feyenoord over the next matchdays in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

First home group clash with Maccabi Haifa

Match preview

1. FC Union Berlin will play their first UEFA Europa Conference League group match in the capital on Thursday at 21:00 against the reigning champions of Israel, Maccabi Haifa.

Review: The last match

Kevin Behrens came off the bench to score his first Bundesliga goal and secure 1. FC Union Berlin a 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Urs Fischer's side pushed and pushed for the winning goal, creating the bulk of the opportunities in both halves of the 90. But the 11,000-strong crowd in Köpenick needed to wait until two minutes from the final whistle to celebrate the goal when he hooked home a stunning finish. There was a first-half stoppage due to a nasty collision between Timo Baumgartl and Fabian Klos. The Union central defender was stretchered off but Urs Fischer confirmed after the game he is doing well following a concussion. Bielefeld grew more into the game after the interval and were denied on three occasions by the outstanding Andreas Luthe. Some switches and tweaks and Union returned to the driving seat with the momentum behind them. Christopher Trimmel got into the box and couldn't convert, while Julian Ryerson saw a shot deflected. Substitute Behrens didn't miss his chance though, scoring at the death — the 30-year-old nearly grabbed a second as his volley smashed against Stefan Ortega's crossbar.

Maccabi Haifa: Opposition Report

Maccabi Haifa celebrated their first league championship in 10 years last season — their 13th league win in their history. After the split, Maccabi Haifa won the title with a four-point cushion over Maccabi Tel-Aviv and securing a spot in the UEFA Champions League qualification round. But the Israelis were unable to progress towards the lucrative group stages after going down 1-3 on aggregate to Kairat Almaty. Barak Bakhar's team dropped into the UEFA Europa Conference League Champions Path and made light work of Dinamo Tbilsi, winning 7-2 on aggregate. A 7-3 win was racked up over HB Torshavn from the Faroe Islands before the same two-legged result sent Haifa into the group stages ahead of Neftchi Baku. In their opening group match, Maccabi Haifa hosted Dutch side Feyenoord and secured their first point of the group stage. The current Israeli top division is in its infancy with Haifa in fourth after picking up seven points from four matches. 

Maccabi Haifa: The coach's view

Urs Fischer: "I expect a team who wants to play football. They will look to find combinations. It's a team that has quality in transition, very quick players wide. Number 10 Chery has quality to decide games, left foot, creativity, does unexpected things."

Personnel

After suffering concussion on Saturday at home to Arminia Bielefeld, Timo Baumgartl will sit on the sidelines for Thursday's game as he recovers. Defender Paul Jaeckel was sent off in the first match of Group E at Slavia Prague and is unavailable through suspension.

Service

Information for fans attending the game can be found here.

Tickets are on sale here up until kick-off – please be aware of the 3G protocols.

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MatchStatistics

1. FC Union Berlin vs Maccabi Haifa

49 % Possession 51 %
80 % Pass Completion Rate 82 %
56 % Successful Tackle Rate 44 %
12 Shots on Goal 6
17 Crosses 3
2 Caught Offside 1
3 Yellow Cards 2
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0