Union Berlin extended their unbeaten run to five league games after a 1-1 draw against Duisburg.
Toni Leistner’s goal in the second half put Jens Keller’s men in pole position to secure all three points, but Iljutcenko struck from close range three minutes from the end to share the spoils.
After nine players dropped out of the team in Leverkusen this week, Keller restored nine back to the starting line-up. The same form and confidence returned to the side, with Union dominating the early moments. In the fifth minute, Trimmel’s free kick was caught among a bunch of Duisburg defenders, but Sebastian Polter managed to stick a leg out and force a brilliant save from Dutchman Mark Flekken.
Aside from a few half-chances for both teams, the only other main chance came from Trimmel’s set-piece strengths. Duisburg struggled to clear the free kick and Marcel Hartel’s clever lob was a few metres too high on the stroke of half time.
To the credit of Keller’s players, they turned the screw after the restart and played with more courage and intensity. Four minutes in to the half, Trimmel’s cross was nodded into the net by Leistner, who counted just his fourth goal in 97 2.Bundesliga games for the Köpenick club. Failure to kill off games has been a problem in the past, and Union had difficulties in putting the match to bed.
Duisburg took full advantage in the final 10 minutes, putting the Union backline into defensive mode. Wolze was a threat from set pieces in the second half and his cross was turned in by Iljutcenko who found himself unmarked in the centre of the box. Suddenly, the hosts looked for the winner, but Union held out to take a point home.
“We were not satisfied with our game in general today. From the very beginning, we did not bring into play the intensity that we are used to. And when you then go 1-0 in the lead, you have to play a little more calmly. We were hectic and did not remain in possession of the ball and in the end it was the earned reward for Duisburg,” said Keller in the media conference.
It’s back to home action next weekend in the league with St Pauli making the trip from Hamburg. Kick-off at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei is at 13:00 on Saturday.