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Karlsruher SC vs 1. FC Union Berlin

German DFB Pokal, 1. Matchday

KSC vs 1. FC Union

German DFB Pokal, 1. Matchday

Sat., 12. September 2020, 18:30 Uhr
Wildparkstadion
0 : 1
450
SR: Benjamin Cortus

Schlotterbeck scores in extra time to beat Karlsruhe

Match report

Nico Schlotterbeck announced himself as an Union player with a stunning late winner in extra time to send Urs Fischer's men into the second round of the German Cup.

With the Round 1 clash at the Wildparkstadion in Karlsruhe heading for penalties, the on-loan Freiburg defender hooked in a superb winner in the 117th minute from Niko Gießelmann's cross.

Karlsruher SC: Gersbeck; Heise, Kobald, Bormuth, Thiede; Wanitzek, Fröde (Groiß 112), Gondorf (Pisot 116); Goller (Lorenz 111), Hofmann, Djuricin (Kother 81)

1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Knoche, Friedrich, Schlotterbeck; Gentner (Mees 91), Prömel (Griesbeck 101), Gießelmann (Ryerson 120), Trimmel; Ingvartsen, Bülter (Andrich 91), Teuchert (Becker 61)

Andreas Luthe, Robin Knoche, Nico Schlotterbeck, Niko Gießelmann and Cedric Teuchert made their competitive debuts for 1. FC Union Berlin in the German Cup clash. Fischer's side went out at the quarter-final stage last season and they will be looking to go further in the 20th season since Union reached the final of the Cup for the first time. Union's squad issues were straightforward: Christopher Lenz was suspended for this round, while Max Kruse and Sebastian Andersson are working towards full fitness. After last week's successful run of supporters back at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, Karlsruhe invited 350 supporters – 500 overall maximum – to watch the game in accordance with the regulations in the region.

As early as the fourth minute, Marvin Friedrich was very close to breaking the deadlock, which would have been the perfect start for Union. Christopher Trimmel dropped a corner kick into the area, Friedrich dominated and his effort came back off the post. The rebound, which landed as far as Christian Gentner, was blazed over the crossbar from the edge of the box. A minute later, Trimmel advanced on the right, switched the play intelligently and Gießelmann's strike was a metre wide of the target. With four goals in the final two pre-season games against Ajax and Nürnberg, Union may have found life frustrating at the Wildparkstadion as Karlsruhe did a job on the Bundesliga club. If Christian Eichner's side kept the score blank, there was always a risk of something at the other end. On 24 minutes, Marvin Wanitzek threatened with a shot but Andreas Luthe gathered after the ball took a wild deflection. The former Stuttgart midfielder is the playmaker at KSC and he looked the most dangerous player in the blue of the home side. At the end of the half, Wanitzek's 35-yard strike from a set-play forced Luthe to scramble across the line to make sure the club from Baden-Württemberg stayed on level terms.

Christian Eichner's team have shown no shortage of character in recent months following their dramatic survival in the 2.Bundesliga. That commitment and desire was on display when the players returned for the second half. Aside from a long-range shot of Marius Bülter after 50 minutes and a final-minute shot from Gentner, KSC held their own. Robin Bormuth headed over after 58 minutes and the danger from set-plays was reinforced when Philipp Hofmann also nodded over. Urs Fischer turned to his bench after 61 minutes to bring on Sheraldo Becker for Cedric Teuchert, which meant Marcus Ingvartsen led the line for the final half hour. Referee Benjamin Cortus closed the 90 minutes on time to take this German Cup clash to an extra 30 minutes of action. Union freshened up with Joshua Mees and Robert Andrich and there was a notable change. Becker was regularly picked out in the wide areas by Schlotterbeck's excellent diagonal passing, the Dutchman supplying the Union attackers with great crosses. Bormuth got in ahead of Ingvartsen to stop the Dane from scoring after the restart, while Prömel saw his shot blocked in a congested area. Sebastian Griesbeck gave Union the final push from the substitute's bench – with penalty kicks looking somewhat inevitable at this point. However, Union bailed themselves out in the closing minutes, engineered from Gießelmann's lung-busting run to win a free-kick then deliver it himself. Schlotterbeck's acrobatic effort nestled into the corner of the net and books the Köpenick club a slot in the second round of Germany's national cup competition.

The first game in the domestic competitions will have taken its toll on the squad, but there's little time to rest given next weekend is the start of 2020/21 Bundesliga season. On Saturday at 15:30, another 5,000 supporters will be present at the Alte Försterei to see Union open their second-ever season in Germany's top division against FC Augsburg. 

Union go away to second-tier Karlsruhe

Match preview

1. FC Union Berlin's 2020/21 season kicks off formally this weekend with a first-round clash in the DFB Pokal against Karlsruher SC on Saturday at 18:30.

Urs Fischer's team will look to better their 2019/20 Cup run, which saw the Köpenick club reach the last eight of the competition for the first time in 19 years. 

"I hope we're well-prepared. I believe we've trained for that for seven weeks and certainly to be ready. It's a difficult challenge, you can say that, against a good, compact, well-organised team who are very committed," said head coach Fischer. "I don't speak to the players about who takes the role of favourites; only about how the challenge looks. It's the first competitive game and nobody knows where they stand yet. We need to show until the final whistle that we can overcome the challenge in front of us."

Review

1. FC Union Berlin's final pre-season game was held at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in front of 4,500 supporters — the first home match with a crowd in 189 days. It was also the traditional IFA-sponsored friendly, which normally attracts a host of famous international names. This year, however, was a special occasion as 1. FC Nürnberg travelled to Köpenick to mark a century of football at our home ground. Goals from Marcus Ingvartsen edged out the 2.Bundesliga side, who equalised through substitute Nikola Dovedan. 

Opposition

Christian Eichner has replaced Alois Schwartz in the technical area at Karlsruhe who finished last season in 15th. The 2.Bundesliga club managed to avoid the dreaded relegation play-off having a better goal difference than 1. FC Nürnberg by a margin of two. German Cup winners in 1955 and 1956, Karlsuhe got through to the last 16 of the competition in 2019/20 with victories over Hannover and Darmstadt. Schwartz's side, however, came up short thereafter and went out to fourth-tier 1. FC Saarbrücken on penalties. 

Ahead of their second season in a row in the 2.Bundesliga following promotion in 2018/19, Eichner has looked to add to his squad with Markus Kuster from Mattersburg, Robin Bormuth from Fortuna Düsseldorf and Benjamin Goller arriving from Werder Bremen. Replacing Damian Roßbach, who joined Hansa Rostock, is Philipp Heise who joins on loan from Norwich City. Midfielder Jerome Gondorf has turned a loan switch into a permanent transfer this summer.

Personnel

Urs Fischer gave an overview of the fitness of his players at the pre-match press conference on Thursday at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Max Kruse won't travel as he builds up towards fitness, while Lennart Moser has trained on his own this week. Keita Endo and Anthony Ujah are injured and Christopher Lenz is suspended after his red card in the quarter-final defeat to Bayer Leverkusen. Union's national team players have returned at different points in this week, but that group and Robert Andrich should be involved in the final team session before the journey.

Service

In accordance with the regulations in Baden-Wüttermberg, there is an upper-limit on major events for 500 attendees. There will be around 450 home supporters at the Wildparkstadion, including 150 for VIP. 

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Karlsruher SC vs 1. FC Union Berlin

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