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1. FC Union Berlin vs SV Darmstadt 98

German 2. Bundesliga - 15. Matchday

1. FC Union vs Darmstadt

German 2. Bundesliga - 15. Matchday

Fri., 24. November 2017, 18:30 Uhr
An der Alten Försterei
3 : 3
21.108

Late Drama! Union snatch point from Darmstadt's grasp

Match report

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.

Union tackle relegated Darmstadt at the Alte Försterei

Match preview

Darmstadt, freshly relegated from the Bundesliga, are the visitors to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Friday evening, hoping to win for the first time since September 17. Union Berlin are coming off the back of a defeat in Heidenheim, which ended a five-game winning run for Jens Keller’s men.

Little has changed, however: Union are still at the top-end of the league table, third, and just a few points off Fortuna Düsseldorf and Holstein Kiel. There is competition from 1.FC Nürnberg, Ingolstadt and Arminia Bielefeld, so every point counts for the Köpenick club.

“It’s crucial that we perform to our best,” said Keller pre-match. “We are very strong at home and want to continue to improve our record. We don’t look at what our opposition is doing. We look at our qualities, concentrate on preparing ourselves and then make sure we decide the game for ourselves.”

It’s not quite a clean bill of health for Keller’s squad, but the concerns are beginning to ease. Christopher Trimmel is back after suspension, while Simon Hedlund has shaken off the flu and Atusto Uchida has recovered from long-term issues. However, Kenny Prince Redondo, Michael Parensen and Fabian Schönheim are still out. It’s a similar situation for Darmstadt, who won’t need to make any wholesale changes as a result to injures. Only Felix Platte, Peter Niemeyer and goalkeeper Daniel Heuer Fernandez are unavailable for Frings.

With Hedlund back, Keller does have a headache in forward positions. Steven Skrzybski’s two goals in Heidenheim will likely put him at the top of the list, but there is stiff competition from Marcel Hartel, Akaki Gogia and Hedlund. That said, Keller sees himself in an encouraging position with so many options: "I am glad that we have to make the decision between the three players. Maybe we'll get all three of them, no one knows for sure. It's always a nice option," he said.

Tickets are still available via the club’s Secondary Ticket Market, but won’t be for sale at the stadium box offices on matchday. The gates open at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei around 90 minutes before kick-off on Friday.

AFTV Videos

Marcel Hartel

Marcel Hartel

was Player of the Day for the last time against Darmstadt

Marcel Hartel

was Player of the Day against Darmstadt

MatchStatistics

1. FC Union Berlin vs SV Darmstadt 98

2 Yellow Cards 4
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

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