1. FC Union Berlin head to the Westfalenstadion on Wednesday October 31 (18:30) to face Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund in the second round of the DFB Pokal, Germany’s national cup competition.
Review: Stalemate against Dynamo, Dortmund held
Urs Fischer’s team maintained their unbeaten record in all competitions this season after a 0-0 draw at home to Dynamo Dresden at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. The Köpenick club had a man advantage for more than an hour but couldn’t break through a resilient Dresden defence on Sunday. Though Union have drawn their last three matches, Fischer’s team are still in close contention at the top of the table, sitting third and two points off 1. FC Köln and Hamburg. The Berliners blazed past Carl-Zeiss Jena in the first round of the German Cup and reached the second round last term, losing to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen on the road.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund missed out on three points on Saturday, drawing 2-2 with Hertha Berlin. Lucien Favre’s team are one of the in-form sides in European football at the minute, smashing Atletico Madrid 4-0 and establishing themselves at the top of the Bundesliga after nine games. In the shape of 18-year-old English starlet Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus and American international Christian Pulisic, the four-time German Cup winners will be looking to improve on last year’s run to the Round of 16.
Record: 2001 final, classic Dortmund meeting
The 2000-01 season stands out for fans of 1. FC Union Berlin for the club’s incredible run in the German Cup. The Köpenick club went past Oberhausen, Greuther Fürth, Ulm, Bochum and Borussia Mönchengladbach before losing to Schalke in the final at the Olympic Stadium in the capital. Since then, from 14 attempts, the club have lost in the first round on seven occasions and five in the second round.
Borussia Dortmund and Union met in the second round in 2016/17 with the visitors putting in an admirable performance at the Westfalenstadion. Steven Skrzybski levelled after coming off the bench to take the game into extra time, but the Bundesliga side came out on top with a 3-0 win on penalties.
Personnel: Kroos injured, Torrejon on his way back
Fischer confirmed at the pre-match press conference in Berlin that Felix Kroos sustained an injury against Dynamo Dresden and will miss the second round clash. Marc Torrejon is making good strides on his way back from injury, but the game will come too quickly for the central defender. Fischer described Dortmund as “clear favourites” but believes there’s always a chance for the Berliners, if the Bundesliga side have a bad day and Union have a very good day.
Info: Tickets available on Wednesday
With around 7,500 Union supporters expected already at the Westfalenstadion, another 600 tickets will be available at the gates for those who turn up on the night. Fans will be shuttled to Dortmund from Berlin with two special fan trains organised by V.I.R.U.S — one of the club’s fan groups.
Local police have asked that Union fans arrive for the start of the game. The stadium is open about two-and-a-half hours before the 18:30 kick-off. Further information can be found in this letter, which is unfortunately only available in German.