Arminia Bielefeld vs 1. FC Union Berlin
Bundesliga, 23. Matchday
Bielefeld vs 1. FC Union
Bundesliga, 23. Matchday
Okugawa second-half goal sinks Union
Masaya Okugawa scored the only goal of the game as 1. FC Union Berlin were defeated by Arminia Bielefeld at the Schüco Arena.
The Japanese winger scored in the 53rd minute to give the home side all three points despite Urs Fischer's team missing chances to level in the second half.
Arminia Bielefeld: Ortega; Brunner, Ramos, Nilsson, Laursen; Kunze, Schöpf, Vasiliadis; Okugawa, Wimmer (Krüger 78), Serra (Klos 62)
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Ryerson, Oczipka (Gießelmann 83), Baumgartl, Heintz (Voglsammer 57), Jaeckel; Prömel, Khedira (Möhwald 74), Michel (Behrens 83); Becker, Awoniyi (Endo 74)
Julian Ryerson, Dominique Heintz and Rani Khedira returned to the side following their absence from the defeat to Borussia Dortmund. With two defeats in a row, Union needed no motivation to give everything for three points in Bielefeld. Frank Kramer's men hadn't lost in six league games before going down to Hoffenheim last weekend. With three goals and six assists, Bielefeld's improvement has been inspired by Patrick Wimmer, who won the DFL's Rookie of the Month. On 11 minutes, the Austrian cut inside on to his left foot, and despite the innocuous nature of the strike, the ball came back off the post. Four minutes later, Union should have found the breakthrough with Urs Fischer asking for more efficiency in the boxes before the game. A fast counter saw Sheraldo Becker link with Taiwo Awoniyi but Stefan Ortega came out quickly to block the Surinamese international from scoring. Becker's willingness to go at players was Union's most dangerous weapon going forward but the away side were guilty of some stale play in the final third. On 36 minutes, Becker did well to cross from the right but Khedira smashed over from a good position. His deliveries were putting opportunities on to plates and on 42 minutes, another was narrowly headed wide by Sven Michel at the front-post.
Into the second half, Becker delivered for Awoniyi at the front-post but the Nigerian blazed over. A minute later, Michel smashed his effort high and wide after a weak clearance from Sebastian Vasiliadis. Bielefeld punished Union for the lack of clinical edge when Wimmer set up Okugawa who finished low and hard from the right corner of the box. Wimmer challenged Dominique Heintz on 56 minutes, leaving the left-sided defender injured and needing replaced – Andreas Voglsammer would come on against his former club. A second goal would prove decisive in the destination of three points - and both teams passed up opportunities to get that goal on the hour mark. A neat move from Bielefeld saw Cedric Brunner take the ball into space and his dangerous drive was clipped a centimetre or two over the crossbar from Janni Serra. Three minutes later, Michel carved open the home defence with his creativity but Stefan Ortega made himself imposing to keep out a shot from Awoniyi. Keita Endo and Kevin Möhwald were given the nod with a quarter of an hour to go to pull Union back into the match. But instead it was Andreas Luthe who kept Union in the game after 80 minutes, making a brilliant save from Okugawa. The last two subs saw Kevin Behrens and Niko Gießelmann come in for Bastian Oczipka and Michel. As the clock went beyond the 90, Behrens threatened a late equaliser from the Köpenick club but his goal-bound header was saved by the in-form Ortega. Möhwald tried his luck, while Florian Krüger could have scored at the other end as Union suffer league defeat for the third game in a row.