Paul Seguin’s long-range striker gave 1. FC Union Berlin a friendly match over SK Dynamo Ceske Budejovice.
The midfielder fired from distance on 37 minutes to separate the teams as Urs Fischer’s side prepare for two matches in two days at the Austrian pre-season training camp. Tomorrow, the Köpenick club will go up against Serie A side Udinese at 15:15 local time.
Union: Grill; Puchacz, Trimmel (Dehl 80), Doekhi, Van Drongelen; Seguin, Haraguchi (Öztunali 67), Pantovic (Kemlein 75); Leweling (Skarke 67), Voglsammer, Behrens (Endo 67)
Ceske Budejovice: Sivos; Havel, Kralik, Gric (Sladky 45), Skoda (Zajic 45), Cavos (Hais 71), Colic, Potocny (Vais 63), Penner (Svec 63), Hora, Skovajsa (Hellebrand 45)
Urs Fischer’s squad have trained under the backdrop of some spectacular scenery in Austria for the last four days. The first of two friendly matches, the Bundesliga side were able to test themselves against SK Dynamo Ceske Budejovice from the top division of the Czech Republic. Around 500 fans were in attendance, including many in Union colours. But those in the stands weren’t treated to a ton of scoring chances before the 23rd-minute water break due to the temperatures in Neukirchen am Großvenediger. A first effort from Haraguchi on six minutes was a sign of things to come, while Jakub Gric shot over with a decent chance for the side. Union carried more of a threat after the restart with Kevin Behrens in a good position to score on 27 minutes. Haraguchi drove into the box from deep and was denied by an excellent save from David Sipos. The Czech goalkeeper was beaten five minutes later thanks to a terrific long-range strike from central midfielder Paul Seguin. A summer signing from Greuther Fürth, Seguin fired the ball home from 25 yards out. Sipos was in the right position to deny Andreas Voglsammer from distance before the half was out.
While the Czech side made three half-time substitutions, Union kept the same team on the field. Budejovice looked to take control and play around Union’s high pressing. On 55 minutes, Union nipped in to take advantage of a slack pass, Haraguchi ran forward towards goal but watched as his shot came back off the post. The Japan international had a sight at goal 10 minutes later but unfortunately wasn’t able to connect properly and test the goalkeeper. That was Haraguchi’s last key action of the game as he was replaced as part of a triple substitution on 67 minutes – Genki, Kevin Behrens and Jamie Leweling were replaced by Keita Endo, Levin Öztunali and Tim Skarke. The latter was involved straight away, putting in a fine cross for Voglsammer who headed wide. On the same side, Öztunali made in roads, crossing for Endo at full speed but the header was also off target. Union’s fourth switch saw 17-year-old Aljoscha Kemlein get the nod in place of Milos Pantovic. Budejovice could have equalised with 11 minutes to play: Tomas Zajic heading a cross from wide straight at Lennart Grill. After Voglsammer headed wide, Laurenz Dehl was the next Union homegrown talent to be introduced, coming on for captain Christopher Trimmel. It was a worthwhile test for Union and an opportunity for some youngsters to get more acquainted with life around the first-team setup. The remainder of the squad will get a chance to get minutes in the legs tomorrow against Udinese – the match will also be on AFTV.
Union’s matches in Austria during pre-season are presented by Sonnenschutz.de.