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DSC Arminia Bielefeld vs 1. FC Union Berlin

German 2. Bundesliga - 21. Matchday

Bielefeld vs 1. FC Union

German 2. Bundesliga - 21. Matchday

Mon., 05. February 2018, 20:30 Uhr
SchücoArena
1 : 1
13.542

Skrzybski helps Union earn solid away point

Match report

Union Berlin earned a draw on the road for the second successive away match in 2018, leaving the Bielefelder Alm with a point following a 1-1 draw against Arminia Bielefeld.

Steven Skrzybski’s eighth goal of the campaign was cancelled out in the second half by an impressive finish from Konstantin Kerschbaumer.

The third outing of 2018 in a challenging period, Union were out to end a disappointing run of results, which have seen the Köpenick club drop to 10th place. Head coach Andre Hofschneider juggled a bunch of personnel issues with Toni Leistner and Philipp Hosiner suspended following their red cards against 1.FC Nürnberg last Friday.

The boss turned to Michael Parensen and Marvin Friedrich, with the system shifting to a three-man defensive unit, tested in training, including the internal bounce game against the U19s last week. Friedrich, one of Union’s additions in January, warned about the physicality and robustness of Bielefeld, who defeated VfL Bochum in the previous matchday.

His caution was justified with Jeff Sabeine’s side coming out all guns blazing. Andreas Voglsammer was particularly dangerous in behind the Union backline, and was denied by a superb stop on 12 minutes from Daniel Mesenhöler, who continued between the sticks in place of Jakub Busk.

Four minutes later, Union took advantage of a huge slice of luck, a mishap in the Bielefeld backline allowing Skrzybski to run through. The 24-year-old held his nerve to impudently lob Stefan Ortega from distance in front of the home supporters. Bielefeld put together a strong end to the half and peppered the Union box, but the Berliners held firm to the lead at the interval.

However, the second half was more in the hands of Bielefeld. Union’s defence was tested to the maximum and deputy Parensen stepped up to the plate and delivered a controlled and classy performance. There was a strong penalty claim against him for handball, but referee Tobias Reichel waved away claims from the home side.

The strike from Kerschbaumer, on loan from Brentford, on 53 minutes was out of the ordinary. The Bielefeld forward grabbed the loose ball and then launched a dipping volley over the reach of Mesenhöler. Union had opportunities to respond, but passed up a key chance when Skrzybski’s run and finish was remarkably kept out by Ortega.

With the game going beyond three minutes of stoppage time, there would be drama at the Bielefelder Alm. Ortega cleared a set-piece out of the home side’s box, but Skrzybski returned the ball with a sensational strike to find the back of the net. The match official, Reichel, controversially blew his whistle as the Union forward was striking the ball towards the net.

"We saw a game today where both teams gave it their all. Bielefeld are known for being strong in duels and running lots, and they showed that today, too. We had good passages of play, but we had problems when we didn’t connect the passes well. We took the lead in the first half, but we were not consistent enough in the end,” Hofschneider said at the post-match press conference, which is available to watch on the club’s AFTV channel.

Union were left visibly frustrated by the decision to rule out Skrzybski’s late strike, but Hofschneider added, the debate is largely down to the referee’s own mistake. “In the final phase, the referee has created an unnecessary situation for himself. Either he has to whistle after three minutes of added time, or let the situation run to the end. This discussion is his own fault.”

The team returns to training on Tuesday, when the attention turns to Saturday’s crunch encounter with Fortuna Düsseldorf at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

To the Alm: Union head west to meet impressive Bielefeld

Match preview

Union Berlin will close the 21st matchday in the 2.Bundesliga with a visit to Arminia Bielefeld at the Bielefelder Alm.

Andre Hofschneider’s team are still on the hunt for their first win since November following a draw in Kiel and a defeat at home to Nürnberg in 2018. The coach, however, remains optimistic that results will turn if the current performances are maintained. “We simply have to take advantage of our opportunities, which are already there, and to take the lead once in a while,” he said at the pre-match press conference.

There are selection issues for Union with Toni Leistner and Philipp Hosiner suspended after both were dismissed in the defeat to Nürnberg. Kenny Prince Redondo and Fabian Schönheim continue their recovery from longer-term issues, while Stephan Fürstner has picked up a muscle strain. Hofschneider could use a back-three with Marvin Friedrich in line for a debut. "If he doesn't get injured while getting out of the bus, Marvin will play on Monday," joked the coach.

Hofschneider has a strong connection to Bielefeld, having made more than 80 appearances for the club between 1998 and 2002. “Bielefeld is a really euphoric city. The fans there – similar to here – do so much for the club. Now and then the atmosphere changes, but it’s actually a very nice stadium where it’s fun to play,” explained the 47-year-old.

Monday’s opposition are enjoying a positive season on the park and have proven difficult to beat for Union this season following the 1-1 draw in September. Bielefeld took their season tally to 29 points with a 1-0 win over Bochum last week and will be looking to open up a five-point gap over the Köpenick club.

“It has to be said that since Jeff Saibene has been at Bielefeld, a lot has changed. They are very stable, they run 120-130 kilometers in the match on a regular basis, and there is a clear sign of the coach’s work,” added Hofschneider.

More than 500 fans from Berlin will make the trip on Monday night, with tickets still available for both sets of supporters at the Schüco-Arena.

AFTV Videos

Michael Parensen

Michael Parensen

was Player of the Day for the last time against Bielefeld

Michael Parensen

was Player of the Day against Bielefeld

MatchStatistics

DSC Arminia Bielefeld vs 1. FC Union Berlin

1 Yellow Cards 0
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

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