1. FC Union Berlin ran out 2-0 winners in the Bundesliga against SC Freiburg with goals from Marius Bülter and Marcus Ingvartsen.
At a sold out Stadion An der Alten Försterei, Bülter fired home a spectacular opener in the first minute. Despite creating after chance, without the rewards, the home side battled on and clinched the three points with six minutes to play. Ingvartsen carried the ball into a good area and fired a terrific shot over the hands of Niclas Thiede.
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Parensen, Schlotterbeck, Friedrich; Trimmel, Lenz, Andrich, Gentner (Kroos 78); Ingvartsen, Andersson (Ujah 83), Bülter (Mees 88)
SC Freiburg: Schwolow (Thiede 22); Lienhart, Koch, Heintz; Günter, Höfler, Abrashi (Petersen 45), Schmid, Haberer; Waldschmidt, Höler (Grifo 58)
Neven Subotic (muscle tightness) and Sheraldo Becker (injured in training) dropped out of the starting XI from the loss in Wolfsburg. Urs Fischer called upon the experienced Michael Parensen and Marcus Ingvartsen to play from the start as the coach continued with his three-man defensive shape. The game was less than 60 seconds old when Bülter clipped the ball into space and smashed a stunning right-foot drive past Alexander Schwolow from about 30 yards. The Freiburg goalkeeper was beaten again — this time from Marcus Ingvartsen, who shifted the ball on to his left foot, right corner of the box, but was denied by the woodwork. At the other end, Rafal Gikiewicz reacted quickly to a potentially dangerous deflection and parried clear a shot from Philipp Lienhart. Christian Streich was forced to substitute in Niclas Thiede for Schwolow after 22 minutes with the Freiburg goalie suffering some discomfort. The replacement keeper was edged out of an aerial duel with Sebastian Andersson as the Swedish striker headed into the net, but referee Benjamin Cortus whistled for a foul. Bülter continued to be a menace throughout the half, changing sides with Ingvartsen and creating disorganisation in the Freiburg ranks. On 29 minutes, he drove down the wing, sent in a tantalising cross but there were no takers from the players in red. The left-wing opened up the Freiburg backline towards the end of the half, Christian Gentner chipping a pass into Christopher Lenz’s path but the Union full-back blazed over. Thiede’s biggest intervention came in additional time, pulling off an impressive save from Ingvartsen’s close-range header.
Freiburg's coach Christian Streich was clearly looking for more after the break and he introduced Nils Petersen for the second half. Union handled the extra physical presence from the visitors and missed a handful of opportunities through Parensen, Bülter and Ingvartsen. Felix Kroos took Gentner's place after 77 minutes as Fischer pushed for fresh legs in the middle of the park. Anthony Ujah soon followed, the Nigerian striker replacing Sebastian Andersson. The Swede was denied by Thiede shortly before his substitution, the chance created by an excellent overlap from Lenz. In the 84th minute, Union patiently moved the ball upfield in the direction of Ingvartsen on the right-side. The Dane dribbled infield and fired a wonderful, dipping strike over the substiute goalkeeper and into the net — his first goal for 1. FC Union Berlin since joining in the summer. Goalscorer Bülter was taken off to a rapturous applause in the final minutes, with Joshua Mees handed the task to see out the remaining phase. Mees broke clear in a few positive moments as Union looked more likely to grab a third than concede at the other end.
After ending the run of four straight defeats in the Bundesliga, Urs Fischer's team will make the trip south to the German champions Bayern Munich. The match at the Allianz Arena is next Saturday at 15:30.
Full match report to follow.