1. FC Union Berlin were held to a 1-1 draw against 1. FC Magdeburg on Sunday.
Christian Beck put the hosts — third-from-bottom in the 2.Bundesliga — ahead six minutes before half-time at the MDCC-Arena. However, Union dug deep to get their share of the spoils with a goal from substitute Akaki Gogia around 25 minutes from time. The fourth consecutive draw away from Berlin maintains the unbeaten start to league season and extends the overall record to 18 without defeat.
1. FC Magdeburg: Brunst; Müller, Erdmann, Schäfer; Bülter, Laprevotte, Preißinger (Weil 71), Niemeyer (Costly 58); Türpitz (Butzen 85); Beck, Lohkemper
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Hübner, Friedrich, Lenz; Schmiedebach, Kroos (Polter 59), Zulj; Abdullahi (Gogia 46), Polter, Mees (Hartel 80)
Urs Fischer made two changes to the side, which beat Darmstadt 3-1 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei last Sunday. Ken Reichel (injured) was replaced at left-back by Christopher Lenz, while Grischa Prömel (injured) sat out with Robert Zulj in his place. The Union head coach warned that his men would need to show the “necessary respect” to their opponents despite their third-from-bottom spot in the table — and his comments were justified in the opening stages. Magdeburg, spurred on by an intense home crowd, put Union into difficult situations in the opening five minutes. Florian Hübner and Marvin Friedrich intervened on several occasions to keep the scoreline blank. On 23 minutes, Suleiman Abdullahi latched on to a flick on from Sebastian Andersson, but the hero from Hamburg was blocked in his path by Alexander Brunst, the Magdeburg goalkeeper. Rafal Gikiewicz had to look lively on two instances after the hour mark to prevent the home side from scoring. However, it would prove to be in vain towards the end of the half when Christian Beck raced clear on 39 minutes and finished confidently over the Union keeper. Zulj’s cross-shot hit the crossbar as Union Berlin threatened before Dr. Felix Brych blew the half-time whistle.
Abdullahi, who was booked in the first half, was withdrawn at the break with Gogia taking his place on the right-hand side of the attack. Sebastian Polter soon followed to make it a two-man strike force as Fischer’s side started to chase the game. One of his substitutes, Gogia, made the all-important equaliser on his own, taking a neat touch in the box and firing the ball across Brunst and into the corner of the net. On 76 minutes, Michael Oenning’s team could have perhaps taken the points themselves when Beck glanced his header narrowly wide of the target. Marcel Hartel was given the nod with 10 minutes left on the clock and was involved in some of the Köpenick club's late attacks on the FCM box. Union huffed and puffed on a challenging surface, but held their nerve to come away with a well-earned point.
Urs Fischer said in the post-match press conference: "It was a fair draw in the end. Two teams, who created some chances but on a difficult surface. Lots of fight in the game. Magdeburg put us under pressure early on, but the match levelled out later. It was a deserved first goal for Magdeburg, but second half Union were better."