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.