Less than 24 hours after a win over SV Ried, 1. FC Union Berlin continued preparations in Austria with a 3-0 win over Blau-Weiss Linz.
Julius Kade fired in the opener in the second half following a competitive first 45 minutes against the second division club. Michael Parensen's scrappy finish put the game beyond doubt before Marcel Hartel finished off from close range with a clever knock over the goalkeeper.
Blau-Weiss Linz Starting XI: Helac; Grasegger, Kreuzriegler, Nosa, Michael, Gemicibasi, Pomer, Tursch, Fröschl, Surdanovic, Filip – Subs Used: Schmid, Dombaxi, Mitrovic, Kostic, Ablinger, Dzinic, Mehmeti
1. FC Union Berlin: Nicolas; Trimmel, Rapp, Parensen, Lenz (Arcones 78); Schmiedebach, Gentner (Andrich 45), Kade (Dehl 60); Bülter (Flecker 45), Hartel, Polter
Those who were not included in action against Ried yesterday featured from the start in Linz. Christian Gentner started in the middle of the park for the first time following his summer arrival. After a slow start to the match, the Austrians found an extra gear and made the first-half a worthwhile test for Urs Fischer's team. Goran Djuricin's side pressed the game with intensity and created some nervy moments for the Berliners. But the cutting edge lied at the other end of the pitch with Union bringing out a fine performance from Ammar Helac, the goalkeeper of Blau-Weiss Linz. He stopped Sebastian Polter on 20 minutes with good reflex save, but did rely on Thomas Fröschl to keep out an effort from Union striker with his hand. Gentner's first-half showing ended in a decent chance for the experienced midfielder, his shot cleared off the line by Turgay Gemicibasi two minutes before the turnaround.
Union returned to the second half with two changes: Robert Andrich and Florian Flecker replacing Gentner and Marius Bülter respectively. It took Union nine minutes to open the scoring, with Kade remaining composed on the edge of the box to curl home a neat finish after a great transition led by Christopher Lenz on the left-hand side. Two minutes later, another impressive block from Helac denied Polter from doubling the lead. That resilience was intact only until the 64th minute when chaos ensued in the Linz box, the ball dropping to Parensen whose audacious backheel ricocheted underneath the keeper. Laurenz Dehl set up Hartel for the third, the attacking-midfielder confidently chipping the substitute keeper Nicolas Schmid and maintaining a solid pre-season record for the promoted club from Köpenick.
Union Berlin's final warm-up game takes place on July 17 at 19:00 against First Vienna, Austria's oldest football club, who are celebrating their 125th anniversary.