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1. FC Union Berlin vs Slavia Prague

UEFA Conference League, 6. Group match

1. FC Union vs Slavia

UEFA Conference League, 6. Group match

Thu., 09. December 2021, 21:00 Uhr
Olympiastadion
1 : 1
4.380
SR: Mykola Balakin

Union draw with Slavia but exit Europe

Match report

A 1-1 draw at home to Slavia Prague was not enough for 1. FC Union Berlin to continue the European journey beyond Christmas.

Max Kruse's second-half equaliser set up a dramatic climax at the Olympic Stadium as the Köpenick club looked for the decisive winner to go through to the knockout play-off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

But Slavia Prague prevailed with the point having gone ahead through Ivan Schranz's opener in the 50th minute.

1. FC Union Berlin: Rönnow; Trimmel (Ryerson 70), Gießelmann, Baumgartl (Öztunali 83), Knoche, Friedrich; Prömel, Khedira (Haraguchi 70), Kruse; Becker (Voglsammer 74), Awoniyi (Behrens 70)

Slavia Prague: Mandous; Dorley, Kacharaba, Ousou, Holes, Bah (Ekpal 74); Samek (Traore 78), Masopust, Lingr (Stanciu 74); Schranz, Olayinka

Urs Fischer made two changes to the final Group E match with Christopher Trimmel replacing the Hero of Haifa Julian Ryerson, while Frederik Rönnow was handed the gloves in place of Andreas Luthe. The victory in Israel on Matchday 5 set up a winner-takes-it-all clash against the Czech champions for a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League knockout play-off round. As the coronavirus pandemic continues in Germany, a nationwide agreement on outdoor events saw the upper capacity limit reduced to just 5,000 in time for tonight’s clash. Referee Rade Obrenovic turned away an early penalty shout for the visitors despite 1. FC Union Berlin holding their own early on. Despite a general dominance, the final pass or decision wasn’t there. Becker burst clear on 11 minutes of the Slavia midfield but his pass was too heavy for Awoniyi who attempted to run in behind. Four minutes later, Awoniyi sprung the trap but delayed the pass to either Becker or Kruse either side and the attack was snuffed out. The best opportunity was in the away of a similar break with Kruse taking his time to get the shot on target. The wicked deflection from Slavia defender Alham Ousou wrong-footed the goalkeeper Ales Mandous and went over the top. As the first half wore on, the Czech champions grew into the contest. Ondrej Lingr shot wide from range as he found a pocket of space in midfield. On 33 minutes, Union failed to clear their lines as Oscar Dorley created from the left-hand side. The Liberian passed to Tomas Holes who watched as his 20-yard effort clipped the crossbar on its way past Frederik Rönnow. The last quarter of an hour in the half was a more equal contest but both sides failed to take control on the slippy surface at the Olympic Stadium.

The onus was on Urs Fischer’s side to push for the goal at the Olympic Stadium and they came close on 47 minutes when Baumgartl was denied by Mandous and Awoniyi’s follow up was blocked. Slavia Prague took advantage of the next attack on their side and broke the deadlock on 50 minutes. Ivan Schranz carried the ball into the final third and powered a shot past Rönnow. Peter Olayinka hit the post four minutes later with a chance that would have ended the contest. The Köpenick club fought back into the game, digging into the energy reserves despite a congested schedule. Marvin Friedrich saw a shot deflected wide on 62 minutes and two minutes later, the ball was in the net. A corner kick from the captain wasn’t cleared by the visitors and Kruse bundled in the rebound to level the match. With victory required, Fischer turned to his bench with three changes on 70 minutes. Genki Haraguchi, Kevin Behrens and Julian Ryerson were introduced for fresh legs while Andreas Voglsammer soon followed. The Czech side showed their European experience at times to keep Union at bay. With Schranz and Olayinka up front, Slavia were able to use the space Union left as the home side pushed for the win. Olayinka may have put the game to bed in the final minutes but Rönnow and Robin Knoche defended strongly. Urs Fischer’s team asked the questions in stoppage time but Slavia were determined and kept hold of the vital point until the final whistle of the referee.

Union and Slavia battle for play-off spot

Match preview

1. FC Union Berlin will head into the final Group E match at home to Slavia Prague on Thursday, knowing three points would send the Bundesliga club into the next stage.

Review – The last matches:

1. FC Union Berlin moved temporarily into the top four in the Bundesliga with a 2-1 win over RB Leipzig on Friday night. Taiwo Awoniyi bundled home a knockdown from Timo Baumgartl who would cap off a fine evening with the winning goal in the second half. Christopher Nkunku's long-range effort brought Leipzig level after 13 minutes. Meanwhile, in the UEFA Europa Conference League, Union travelled to Maccabi Haifa on matchday five knowing a win was required to keep the prospect of qualification alive. Julian Ryerson's header on 66 minutes secured the points, a first away win, to give the Köpenick club a fighting chance.

Slavia – Opposition Report:

Slavia Prague have established their position at the top of the Czech league with a three-point cushion over Viktoria Plzen. Slavia have been in excellent form with one defeat in 10 – a derby loss to Sparta Prague in October. Jindrich Trpisovsky's team have racked up the goals on top of victories in recent months. Slavia won 2-0 at home to Plzen at the start with goals from Ondrej Lingr and Michael Krmenik. Eight goals in three games followed with wins over Pardubice, Jablonec and Teplice. In their last game, Jan Kuchta scored to secure a 1-0 win over Sigma Oloumuc.

Slavia – The coach's view:

"We have worked to get to this game. I expect a really tough challenge. Slavia is doing well right now also in the league championship. They have scored 18 goals from their last 5 league games. They are defensively strong. They have quality and match winners in attack. But need to focus on us and bring our strengths in order to win the game," said Urs Fischer.

Personnel

Laurenz Dehl is the only Union player out with an injury at the moment. Urs Fischer has the rest of his squad to pick from, including Christopher Trimmel and Cedric Teuchert who were suspended for the trip to Israel.

Service

The full information for fans attending the match can be found here.

The game will take place under special 2G-Plus conditions at the Olympic Stadium which require a negative test alongside proof of full vaccination or recovery.

The draw for the next stage of the UEFA Europa Conference League takes place on Monday.

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MatchStatistics

1. FC Union Berlin vs Slavia Prague

51 % Possession 49 %
67 % Pass Completion Rate 71 %
59 % Successful Tackle Rate 41 %
13 Shots on Goal 11
16 Crosses 5
5 Caught Offside 1
2 Yellow Cards 3
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Last match

Date Home Result Away