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1. FC Union Berlin vs SV Sandhausen

German 2. Bundesliga, 24. Matchday

1. FC Union vs Sandhausen

German 2. Bundesliga, 24. Matchday

Sat., 24. February 2018, 13:00 Uhr
An der Alten Försterei
2 : 1
18.974

Union Berlin battle to three points against Sandhausen

Match report

Two first-half goals fired Union Berlin to three valuable points at home to Sandhausen at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Steven Skrzybski and Simon Hedlund combined brilliantly as early as the fourth minute before the Union frontman fired across the keeper and into the net. Union’s short, sharp pressing actions were in stark contrast to the defeat last week in Eintracht Braunschweig, where the Köpenick side were largely second best.

The lead was doubled after a quarter of an hour when Kristian Pedersen turned home a loose ball from a corner kick. The Danish left back held his position at the far post to convert after Marc Torrejon’s header was denied by the woodwork. At the other end, Daniel Mesenhöler had little to contend with as Kenan Kocak’s side struggled to turn defence into attack as they have done so efficiently this season.

However, the second half felt like a different match as Sandhausen took control. Korbinian Vollmann rampaged down the left flank, spun the ball across goal and into the path of Philipp Förster who finished into an empty net. Inspired by the equaliser, Sandhausen took more risks and asked more questions of the Union defence. Denis Linsmayer missed a double chance on the hour mark, while Sukuta-Pasu should have made more of a clear one-vs-one situation a few minutes later.

In the end, Andre Hofschneider’s team held firm under pressure and gathered a vital three points to ease the pressure in the middle of the table.

“What SV Sandhausen produces every year is strong. With all due respect, today we came up against the kind of ‘nasty’ opposition we had expected. We had 90 difficult minutes in which we had to hold our ground in challenges at either end. In the first half, we managed avoid this and created some great chances. After the break, we wanted to get the third, but lost one at our end,” said Hofschneider after the match.

After a solid home win, Union are back on the road and this time, head to the Fritz Walter Stadion to face struggling 1.FC Kaiserslautern on Friday March 2 (18:30).

Union Berlin expect response for Sandhausen clash

Match preview

Union Berlin’s campaign continues on Saturday February 24 (13:00) against SV Sandhausen at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Following Union’s defeat last week at Eintracht Braunschweig, there’s little to separate the two teams in the league table. Sandhausen’s 1-0 over Kaiserslautern moved Kenan Kocak’s side up to fourth place, the southwestern club collecting 14 points from their last seven league outings – four wins, two draws and one loss.

The same period has conjured up slightly different results for 1.FC Union, with Andre Hofschneider’s team managing just the solitary victory and draw among a run of defeats. With four points fewer than Sandhausen, Union sits down in 10th. The previous meeting between the teams saw Kocak’s men come out with a 1-0 win during the first ‘Englische Woche’ of the season.

However, Union’s record looks bright against the side from the Stadion am Hardtwald. The Köpenick club has won six of 11 meetings in the 2.Bundesliga, drawing one, and conceding four defeats. “Sandhausen has scored two goals in the last five games, yet has still won eight points. That says everything. They’re very disciplined and ready to run through a brick wall for each other,” said coach Hofschneider at the pre-match press conference.

He continued: “As a team, they’re of extremely high quality. That’s why they are rightly above us in the table.”

Hofschneider’s team has taken a long look at themselves following the defeat in Braunschweig, and the Union coach wants his players to give something back for the great support of the fans. "We have a duty towards the fans. We just have to make up for something."

Union’s options for Saturday’s match are still not clear due to a string of injuries and illnesses. There are question marks over Marvin Friedrich, Lennart Maloney and Berkan Taz, while Dennis Daube is doubtful having just returned to full training. Hofschneider will certainly be without Felix Kroos who is suspended after reaching the yellow card threshold.

Tickets for the game will still be available for home and away fans at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Saturday. For those attending at the last minute, there will be tickets made available for the normal away section, as well as, some seated areas in the main stand.

AFTV Videos

Steven Skrzybski

Steven Skrzybski

was Player of the Day for the last time against Sandhausen

Steven Skrzybski

was Player of the Day against Sandhausen

MatchStatistics

1. FC Union Berlin vs SV Sandhausen

1 Yellow Cards 2
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

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