1. FC Union Berlin’s struggles on the road continued following a 2-1 defeat to Greuther Fürth at the Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer.
1. FC Union XI: Busk; Maloney (Hartel 77'), Leistner, Friedrich; Trimmel, Pedersen, Kroos, Daube, Prömel; Hosiner, Hedlund (Redondo 71')
Andre Hofschneider’s men were dealt a number of blows in the lead up to the fixture on Easter Sunday. Joining Sebastian Polter, Michael Parensen and Fabian Schönheim on the injury list were Marc Torrejon and Steven Skrzybski who both suffered muscle strains towards the end of the week. Hofschneider handed a first-team debut to U19 captain Lennard Maloney, who featured in the defeat to Wolfsburg during the international break.
Neither team assumed control of the early proceedings, although the hosts were wiling to take more risks from midfield-to-front against Union's 3-5-2 shape. Greuther Fürth broke the deadlock on 21 minutes when Roberto Hillbert beat Kristian Pedersen to a cross and angled his header into the bottom corner. The loss, for example, of Skrzybski was hard felt with Union quickly running out of ideas in the last-third against a robust Fürth backline. Busk was strong enough to punch away a wicked free kick from Maximilian Wittek towards the end of the first period.
Unchanged for the second half, Union came out with a new-found edge and began asking questions of the Fürth defence. Four minutes after the restart and Christopher Trimmel’s corner kick was headed in by Marvin Friedrich. Union made a number of encouraging moves in the last-third, particularly through Simon Hedlund, but there were no rewards. With 15 minutes left, substitute Fabian Resse’s shot from inside the box took a wild deflection off Grischa Prömel before hitting the net to separate the teams.
"In the first half, both teams neutralised each other in the centre of the pitch. Neither Fürth nor we had any clear chances. A set piece led to the Fürth-lead because we made a mistake in marking the players defensively. In the second half, we upped our game and had many good opportunities to score. It seemed like it was only a matter of time until we’d get the go-ahead goal. Instead, we conceded a goal on a counter attack. It’s always the same in football: If you don’t convert your chances up front, you get scored in the back," summarised Hofschneider at full-time.
Next home match: Duisburg
Games at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei have been much kinder to Union Berlin this season and on Saturday April 7 (13:00), Hofschneider’s men will host MSV Duisburg. Tickets are still available for the home and away sections at the Union-Zeughaus and online.