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1. FC Union Berlin vs VfB Stuttgart

German Bundesliga Playoff, 2. Matchday

1. FC Union vs Stuttgart

German Bundesliga Playoff, 2. Matchday

Mon., 27. May 2019, 20:30 Uhr
An der Alten Försterei
0 : 0

Draw against Stuttgart takes Union into Bundesliga

Match report

1. FC Union Berlin's 0-0 draw with VfB Stuttgart at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei is enough to secure the club's first-ever promotion to the Bundesliga.

After a 2-2 first leg draw at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, the Köpenick side held out for 90 minutes to secure a place in the top-flight on away goals.

The squad and fans will have the chance to celebrate together on Wednesday in Köpenick.

1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Ryerson, Friedrich, Hübner, Reichel; Schmiedebach, Prömel, Zulj; Abdullahi, Hartel, Andersson

VfB Stuttgart: Zieler; Pavard, Badstuber, Kabak, Aogo; Ascacibar, Zuber, Akolo, Gentner; Gonzalez, Donis

Christopher Trimmel and Felix Kroos picked up suspensions in the first leg draw in Stuttgart, whilst Florian Hübner returned from his one-game absence in place of Michael Parensen. Julian Ryerson deputised in place of Trimmel on the right side of defence. Urs Fischer’s team were dealt an early setback when Dennis Aogo fired home from 25 yards at a free-kick. However, Christian Dingert intervened quickly and removed the goal after consultation with the video assistant referee — the first time the new technology has been aired at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. On 20 minutes, Holger Badstuber and Ozan Kabak collided in an aerial tussle, leaving both players on the ground and requiring treatment. The Stuttgart medical team strapped both players up and they returned to the pitch after a few minutes break. In attack, Union couldn’t quite make anything stick despite a couple of promising counterattacks. The final pass was lacking, but the Swabians showed their experience with a strong defensive performance. A minute before the interval, Steven Zuber tested his luck from distance and forced Rafal Gikiewicz to move quickly across his line and parry round the post.

The Stuttgart coach brought Mario Gomez into the game during the break for the second game running. Although the half was by-and-large nervy for Fischer's side, Union grew with more confidence and courage. Grischa Prömel and Abdullahi combined around the edge of the box, but the Swabians defended at the death. The two were excellent again on the break and the Nigerian's shot cannoned wide off the post. Abdullahi continued to pose a threat in one-vs-one situations and while through on goal, he was brought down by Kabak, with the referee playing on. Gikiewicz's super save from Benjamin Pavard's shot kept the game all square, but the pressure was mounting on the Union goal. With Parensen introduced to shore up the defence, Union took full advantage and held on after five minutes of stoppage time.

The time has now come. 

Home second leg against VfB Stuttgart

Match preview

1. FC Union Berlin wlll host VfB Stuttgart on Monday at 20:30 for the second leg of the Bundesliga relegation play-off with a place in next season's top-flight on the line.

The gates at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei will be open from 18:30.

Review: Union fight back twice in Stuttgart

Thursday's first leg was a nervy affair with a lot at stake both sets of players. As expected, Stuttgart looked keen to assert themselves at the Mercedes-Benz Arena and tee up an important advantage for the trip to Berlin. Christian Gentner did that with 41 minutes gone, but Union's character shone through with Suleiman Abdullahi levelling the game three minutes later. 

Mario Gomez was introduced at the break as the home side flexed the muscles of their strong first-team squad. The German international scored on 50 minutes with the aid of a deflection to give the Swabians the lead. Nico Willig's side could have pushed through their advantage with another goal, but Union survived with good defending and organisation. A bit of inspiration was required, and it came through Marvin Friedrich. The central defender rose highest in the box to head home Christopher Trimmel's corner kick after 67 minutes. Urs Fischer's men could have even gone on to win the game with Ron-Robert Zieler in inspired form to deny Sebastian Andersson on several occasions. 

Record: Advantage to Union

1. FC Union Berlin are the first side in seven years to score two goals against the Bundesliga side in the first leg of a relegation play-off. Fischer's side bagged two away goals, which could come in handy if the game is tied after 90 minutes. Extra time and penalties are also a possibility. Union have lost just one of their last 24 home league games, while Stuttgart have won one of the last 18 away league matches.

Personnel: Suspensions will mean changes

Fischer will be without the club captain Trimmel and midfielder Felix Kroos, both players suspended after picking up yellow cards in the first leg. Florian Hübner returns from his absence and could be an option once more in central defence. Fabian Schönheim and Eroll Zejnullahu are still on the sidelines with their respective fitness issues.

"The task has not become easier," noted Fischer in the pre-match press conference. "It was even in the first leg, but now we need another great performance from our side to achieve a good result. That's the only way we'll be able to win."

Service: No tickets left

After a chaotic week of ticket sales, the second leg was quick to sell out. There are no more tickets available for the game at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

As mentioned, the gates open at 18:30 to make the arrival of supporters as comfortable as possible.

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1. FC Union Berlin vs VfB Stuttgart

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