Union Berlin rescued a point at the death following a 3-3 draw at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei against Darmstadt. Goalie Jakob Busk joined the attack in the 94th minute, and a collective effort forced Jan Rosenthal to turn the ball into his own net on the line and earn a point.
After eight matches without a win, Darmstadt started well and were difficult to penetrate with some good pressure on to Union’s key players. However, Union broke the deadlock on 38 minutes when a superb solo run from Kristian Pedersen tore a hole in the Darmstadt defence, and Prömel held his position before slotting past the debutant Florian Stritzel.
Busk had a quiet first period by his standards, but pulled out a top-drawer save to keep Union ahead. Aytac Sulu strolled out of the backline, crossed deep for Terrence Boyd, whose header was goal bound if not for the long limbs of the Dane.
Referee Timo Gerach distributed out five yellow cards in the opening 45 minutes, a figure which says more for the style of game on show than anything else. But Union’s control was soon diminished when Boyd finished off from close range after the home side failed to clear their lines.
Gerach was the centre of proceedings again on 58 minutes when he handed Union a spot kick after Sulu handled inside the box. Sebastian Polter stepped up to convert, but the lead was short lived. Tobias Kempe’s cross from the flank was impressively headed past Busk from the American striker Boyd.
Five minutes later, Torsten Frings’ side turned the game around when Kempe slotted home from the penalty spot. Union huffed-and-puffed to find a breakthrough against a stubborn Lillies defence, and it came in dramatic fashion. In the 94th minute, the kitchen sink was thrown towards the Waldseite and eventually Rosenthal couldn’t stop the ball from crossing the line.
“We had a hard time getting into the game today, but then we dominated the first half of the match, had an enormous amount of ball possession and Darmstadt could hardly get out at the back,” said Keller in the post-game press conference. “Unfortunately, we didn't manage to defend the flanks in the second half, and we didn't have much organisation in the middle. That's how we get three in 15 minutes.”
Another week on the training pitches looms before the next league game on Sunday December 12 at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion against VfL Bochum.