MSV Duisburg vs 1. FC Union Berlin
German 2. Bundesliga, 22. Matchday
Duisburg vs 1. FC Union
German 2. Bundesliga, 22. Matchday
Late winner gives Union Berlin win at MSV Duisburg
Sebastian Andersson's 89th-minute header powered 1. FC Union Berlin to a dramatic 3-2 win over MSV Duisburg at the MSV-Arena.
The Swede's goal decided the outcome of an even contest after Urs Fischer's side went 2-1 behind to goals from Havard Nielsen and Lukas Frode.
Robert Zulj scored the early opener and turned creator for Marcel Hartel to equalise in the second half. With a minute left, Andersson rose highest in the box to head home the cross from Zulj and put the Berliners into second place.
MSV Duisburg: Wiedwald; Wiegel, Nauber, Bomheuer, Seo; Fröde; Gyau (Engin 83), Oliveira Souza (Schnellhardt 63), Nielsen; Iljutchenko (Stoppelkamp 73), Verhoek
Union Berlin: Gikieiwicz; Trimmel, Hübner, Friedrich, Reichel; Schmiedebach, Prömel, Zulj (Parensen 90); Hartel (Hartel 76), Andersson, Mane (Gogia 45)
The team from the capital made a few changes to the team, which beat SV Sandhausen 2-0 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei last week. Suleiman Abdullahi picked up a late knock this week and missed out, whilst Robert Zulj and Manuel Schmiedebach stepped in for Felix Kroos and Nicolai Rapp respectively. The 28-year-old Zulj made an immediate impact in the game following a strong opening 10 minutes from the bottom-placed Duisburg. Carlos Mane’s speed and skill was too hot for the home side to handle and he set up Zulj, who tapped home his second goal of the season.
Torsten Lieberknecht’s team have the poorest attack in the league this season, scoring just 20 times in 21 matches. Though Duisburg looked dangerous one-against-one, Union did enough to prevent any clear opportunities inside the 18-yard-box. However, the Zebras were presented with several set-piece situations within shooting distance. Rafal Gikiewicz made a solid save from Oliveira Souza after 18 minutes. Sebastian Andersson passed up on a second goal by inches as he slid in at the far post, while Zulj came close to scoring on the 40th minute mark. But Union paid the price for giving away too many fouls just before the whistle with Nielsen scoring from a 25-yard free-kick.
Fischer swapped Mane for Akaki Gogia at the interval as Union looked to go back into the ascendancy and secure the points. Duisburg had other ideas, and the bottom-placed side scored a second time from a set-piece to take the lead after 56 minutes. Lukas Fröde was left unmarked in the penalty box to head his first goal of the season past Gikiewicz. As we’ve seen several times this season, Union’s never-say-die attitude came to the fore again as Zulj set up Hartel to score the equaliser with less than half an hour to play.
Joshua Mees’ goal threat was important in last week’s home win and Fischer counted the Union No.8 to deliver again in the closing stages. Duisburg were on a par with the Köpenick club and made life difficult for Union against the ball. With the match heading for a stalemate, Zulj’s cross into the box was perfectly dispatched by Andersson who showed great strength and power to head in the winning goal — his eighth league goal of the campaign.
1. FC Union Berlin continue their 2.Bundesliga season next Friday evening, February 22, against Arminia Bielefeld at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Tickets are available here for the 18:30 kick off.
Union Berlin clash with last-placed MSV Duisburg
After last week's win over Sandhausen in Köpenick, 1. FC Union Berlin are back on the road in the search for points. On Saturday February 16, with a 13:00 kick off, Urs Fischer's side meet MSV Duisburg at the Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena.
Review: Gogia seals three points, Duisburg lose in Fürth
The victory over a stuffy SV Sandhausen was the confidence-booster needed following the dramatic 3-2 loss at FC St. Pauli last Monday night. Union restored themselves to the top three in the 2.Bundesliga with strikes from Sebastian Andersson and substitute Akaki Gogia.
Duisburg, however, are facing a battle of their own to avoid relegation. The Zebras swapped coaches at the start of October with Torsten Lieberknecht succeeding Ilia Gruev, but there has been little change in league form. Last week, MSV Duisburg lost to Greuther Fürth in frustrating circumstances — Daniel Keita-Rüel scored in the 86th minute from the penalty spot after a handball in the penalty area. In the middle of the week previous, Lieberknecht's side were knocked out of the German Cup at home to fellow 2.Bundesliga side, SC Paderborn.
Record: League's best defence meets the league's weakest attack
Fischer's Union are at the top of the defensive charts in the 2.Bundesliga this season, conceding just 18 goals in 21 games. Meanwhile, Lieberknecht's Duisburg have scored on average less than one goal per game this term — 20 in total from 21 games. The statistics are similarly not encouraging for the Zebras who have won one of their previous 11 league meetings with Union Berlin. Nevertheless, Gruev's side were minutes away from holding out for three points in the Hinrunde, taking a surprise 2-1 lead at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Florian Hübner's goal in the second minute of additional time rescued the Berliners and maintained the early unbeaten start.
"We haven't underestimated any opponent yet," said coach Fischer in the pre-match media conference. "But it's also important, as in the away game against Aue or at home against Sandhausen, to be ready from the first second onwards, to get into to the game as quickly as possible, to be in the battles, but also to find solutions. You need a good mix. It will be an interesting task."
Personnel: Schmiedebach available again
Union Berlin will be boosted by the return of Manuel Schmiedebach who sat out Saturday's win over Sandhausen due to a yellow card suspension. Nicolai Rapp made his debut in his place and Fischer admitted that no player was guaranteed a spot in his starting line-up. Sebastian Polter remains the only absentee.
Service: Tickets available in Duisburg
More than 1,000 Union supporters have already purchased tickets for the match. Fans can still buy tickets for the away section at the stadium on matchday.