1. FC Union Berlin and Widzew Lodz played out a competitive 0-0 draw at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Wednesday.
Urs Fischer's team created a host of chances, particularly in the second half but were unable to hit the back of the net in 90 minutes.
1. FC Union Berlin: Rönnow (Busk 45), Van Drongelen (Voglsammer 45), Ryerson, Öztunali (Somnitz 45), Ujah, Behrens (Becker 45), Endo (Abdullahi 62), Oczipka (Trimmel 62), Prömel (Dehl 67), Baumgartl (Jaeckel 45), Knoche
Widzew Lodz: Wrabel (Reszka 66), Nowak, Danielek (Karasek 45 (Kreuzriegler 72)), Guzdek (Montini 45 (Machalak 86)), Kun (Chwalowski 86), Zielinski (Owczarek 86), Hanousek, Debinski (Golebiowski 45), Nunes (Kita 45), Stepinski, Villanueva (Hansen 45)
With the Bundesliga on ice for the weekend, 1. FC Union Berlin had the chance to prepare for February with a friendly match in Köpenick. Unfortunately, Erzgebirge Aue pulled out due to personnel issues, but 2nd-tier Polish side Widzew Lodz were able to participate in front of a few hundred supporters. Wrabel was brought into the game for the first time after 14 minutes when Levin Öztunali took a ball on to his left foot and shot wide. The visitors had their first chance on 23 minutes after a decent spell of play in Union's defensive third of the park. Hanousek collected the ball on the edge of the box but shot straight at Frederik Rönnow. A counter-attack from Keita Endo led to two good opportunities for Union in the middle of the half. Endo passed in to Kevin Behrens but the Widzew Lodz goalkeeper made himself big and blocked. Three minutes later, Endo headed over the crossbar from close range. A nice move from Union on 34 minutes saw Anthony Ujah get his first involvement in the penalty box. The Nigerian laid off to Grischa Prömel whose shot was deflected wide of Wrabel's goal. From the resulting corner, Knoche was in acres of space and headed over. Endo was next to test the goalkeeper, dribbling forward and striking with his left foot - wide of the target. The Japanese winger almost carved out the opener for Union on 42 minutes. Endo took the pass in from Öztunali, beat the goalkeeper with a left-foot shot but Guzdek cleared off the line.
Among the five half-time substitutions, Urs Fischer handed game time to Maximilian Somnitz from 1. FC Union Berlin's youth academy. Substitute Andreas Voglsammer started his appearance full of energy, striking at the goalkeeper after a good individual run. On 54 minutes, the Union number nine was brought after a tough challenge by Gudzek. The delivery from the free-kick was on point from Bastian Oczipka but Voglsammer shot over. Oczipka squeezed away his own attempt on goal from the left-hand side before he was replaced on 62 minutes - the left-back and Endo were replaced by Christopher Trimmel and Suleiman Abdullahi. Two minutes later, Becker's cross was inches away from connecting with Ujah who was up early inside the centre of the box. Laurenz Dehl marked an end to his time out of action on 67 minutes, taking the place of Prömel with the scores still at 0-0. An excellent interception from Robin Knoche in the Widzew Lodz third of the park created a great chance for Voglsammer whose finish went through the goalkeeper's legs but missed the inside of the post. He wasn't able to get close to Voglsammer's chance but on 80 minutes Konrad Reszka made his first serious save on the pitch. A three-v-three counter, led by Ujah, had Lodz on the back foot. Abdullahi took the ball in from the left and stung the palms of Reszka from distance. A minute later, the goalkeeper parried clear from Becker before Dehl blazed an effort wide from the 18-yard-box. Further opportunities fell the way of Ujah and Becker in the last 10 minutes but Reszka held out and referee Daniel Siebert ended the game on time for a 0-0 draw.
Union will get the chance to rest their legs for the weekend before returning to training on Monday. Urs Fischer's side will prepare for the next Bundesliga match on Saturday February 5 against FC Augsburg.