1. FC Union Berlin played out a 1-1 draw at the home of second division side FC Ezrgebirge Aue in the fifth pre-season test ahead of the Bundesliga season in August.
Anthony Ujah scored for the second straight game to give the Köpenick club a deserved first-half lead at the Erzgebirgsstadion.
Union could have made the win safe but failed to take advantage of their first-half dominance. Daniel Meyer's team found an extra gear in the final chunk of the game and equalised through Christoph Daferner's header with five minutes left to play.
Erzgebirge Aue: Männel; Rizzuto, Wydra (Mihojevic 36), Kusic, Gonther (Sessa 77); Fandrich (Herrmann 77), Riese, Baumgart; Hochscheidt, Testroet, Zulechner
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel (Dietz 73), Friedrich, Schlotterbeck, Lenz (Reichel 61); Gentner (Andrich 46), Prömel (Schmiedebach 61); Becker (Flecker 46), Ingvartsen (Mees 61), Bülter (Gogia 61); Ujah (Polter 61)
The team returned to Köpenick on Thursday and came through a successful training session yesterday at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Saturday gave Urs Fischer's team a first intensive test at Aue who will begin their league campaign next weekend away to Greuther Fürth. The home side notched up a resounding 4-1 win over Hertha Berlin in midweek, so this was a worthwhile physical test for Union.
A dominant start from Union Berlin was almost rewarded in the opening goal for Sheraldo Becker, the flying Dutch winger who went in behind the Aue defence but couldn't control a pass from Keven Schlotterbeck. Becker did everything right in his next opportunity to create, delivering for Ujah who slid in but was narrowly behind the flow of play. After scoring against First Vienna on Wednesday, the summer signing from Mainz positioned himself in the right place to bundle home a shot from Marcus Ingvartsen in the 17th minute. Union moved the ball around with zip and countered with impressive force, but were unable to deliver the killer second goal that the coach will have wanted. Becker fired past Martin Männel's post on 41 minutes, while Marvin Friedrich's header was cleared off the line as the half came to a close.
Florian Flecker and Robert Andrich received the nod at half-time in Aue to prove they are worth a place in the starting eleven for the competitive matches coming up. Flecker set up Ujah early on but a 50/50 challenge with the keeper went the way of the home side. Before Fischer freshened up his squad, Fabian Kalig should have made more of a header in the six-yard-box, which was over the crossbar. Substitute Sebastian Polter almost made his mark on 68 minutes, attacking a cross from Ken Reichel but he was denied by Männel. The Bundesliga club will be a little frustrated at the end of the afternoon as the final stages spiralled out of control. Aue looked sharper and created the best chances in the final 10 minutes. Eventually, Rafal Gikiewicz picked the ball out of the net after Christoph Daferner's header found its way past the Union keeper with five minutes of the match left to play.
As the league and cup matches approach quickly, 1. FC Union Berlin will up the levels again next weekend with a friendly match against VfL Wolfsburg. The Wolves are training in Austria and Fischer's players will head to Anif, near Salzburg for a 15:00 on Saturday July 27.