1. FC Union Berlin vs SC Freiburg
Bundesliga, 16. Matchday
1. FC Union vs Freiburg
Bundesliga, 16. Matchday
Union and Freiburg play out 0-0 draw
The final league match at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei for 2021 ended 0-0.
1. FC Union Berlin and SC Freiburg finished the penultimate Bundesliga clash of the year in stalemate despite both teams creating a host of second half opportunities to take all three points.
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Trimmel, Gießelmann, Jaeckel, Baumgartl, Knoche; Prömel, Haraguchi (Möhwald 70), Khedira; Becker (Voglsammer 84), Awoniyi (Behrens 70)
SC Freiburg: Flekken; K. Schlotterbeck, N. Schlotterbeck, Lienhart; Günter, Höfler, Eggestein (Haberer 84), Kübler; Grifo (Sallai 76), Jeong (Schade 76), Höler (Petersen 90)
Christian Streich's Freiburg arrived in Berlin with some familiar faces in their ranks – the visitors started both Keven and Nico Schlotterbeck who enjoyed successful loan spells at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Urs Fischer named three changes to his team from the defeat at Greuther Fürth with Christopher Trimmel, Rani Khedira and Taiwo Awoniyi restored to the starting line up. Despite the 5,000 crowd restrictions in place, Union pushed from the start. It was like there was a full stadium in Köpenick as the home side set the tempo. Sheraldo Becker went down the outside of the Freiburg defence and forced a save from Mark Flekken after 60 seconds. After three minutes, Freiburg's Dutch goalkeeper made an important intervention to keep out a close-range strike from Genki Haraguchi. The opening goal could have been put away in the first few minutes with Freiburg creating an early opportunity of their own. In the fifth minute, Maxi Eggestein dribbled in from wide and took shot, the deflection looped off Robin Knoche and off the Union crossbar. While Freiburg were in possession for longer periods of the half, Union had more cutting edge. Streich's side are coming off some defeats in the Bundesliga following an impressive start, but made sure Union knew they were in a game. Nico Schlotterbeck stepped out of his defensive role and fired on target from around 35 yards out. Aside from Haraguchi's effort on three minutes, Union's key chance of the first half fell to the top scorer Awoniyi. The Nigerian and Becker combined on 23 minutes but the finish was over the crossbar after the ball bobbled at the crucial moment. On 32 minutes, Lucas Höler and Jeong combined to create room for the Korean attacker but Andreas Luthe was out to sweep up the danger. Freiburg, fourth in the table before kick off, were looking for their first win in Köpenick under coach Christian Streich but a strong, disciplined defensive showing from Union kept the scores blank at the interval.
Freiburg came out of the traps after the restart and were the team on top. Vincenzo Grifo curled wide on 46 minutes before he passed up another chance four minutes later. Union goalkeeper Luthe has contributed to some vital moments in his time at the club, but few will have been as important as his one-v-one save against Lukas Kübler on 58 minutes. With Freiburg's chances going to waste, Union took the opportunity to claw their way back into the match. Urs Fischer's team were on the ascendency for the next 20 minutes and will be cursing their luck at not taking the points. Awoniyi saw a shot blocked from Philipp Lienhart on 65 minutes before the most dramatic moment of the 90. A corner kick caused mayhem inside the Freiburg penalty box but Union could not convert three different times. Timo Baumgartl did brilliantly to control the loose ball but saw his efforts bombard back in his direction. Rani Khedira then fired in the follow-up but Kübler somehow managed to keep the ball out on the goal line. A few seconds later, Grischa Prömel turned with his back to goal but fired over the target. The coaching staff introduced Kevin Behrens and Kevin Möhwald for an injection of freshness in the last 20 minutes. Prömel was milimetres away from scoring as he attacked the far post after good wing play on the right. Union couldn't have done much more to break the deadlock – just the last touch was missing. Freiburg had a couple of final throws at the dice following Union's strongest phase of the game. Maxi Eggestein's cross almost looped over Luthe on 83 minutes before Lienhart headed straight at the Union number one with the whole goal to aim at. Referee Deniz Aytekin brought an end to a dramatic second 45 minutes after the three minutes of additional time and both sides will be satisfied with one extra point to their respective tallies this season.