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SpVgg Greuther Fürth vs 1. FC Union Berlin

German 2. Bundesliga, 30. Matchday

Fürth vs 1. FC Union

German 2. Bundesliga, 30. Matchday

Sat., 20. April 2019, 13:00 Uhr
Sportpark Ronhof | Thomas Sommer
1 : 1
SR: Dr. Martin Thomsen

Red cards as Union draw 1-1 at Greuther Fürth

Match report

There were red cards on both sides on Saturday afternoon as 1. FC Union Berlin and Greuther Fürth played out a 1-1 draw at the Sportpark Ronhof l Thomas Sommer.

Joshua Mees put the visitors ahead after 36 minutes, his fifth goal of the season. Union gained a numerical advantage two minutes later with Daniel Keita-Ruel shown a straight red card for violent conduct. 

But Greuther Fürth recovered after the interval and equalised through a corner kick, with Marco Caligiuri heading home on 67 minutes. Nicolai Rapp was shown a straight red card for a last-man tackle three minutes later and the Union defence had Rafal Gikiewicz to thank for a string of important saves towards the end. 

SpVgg Greuther Fürth: Burchert; Sauer, Jaeckel, Caligiuri, Wittek (Raum 69); Seguin, Ernst, Green; Atanga (Redondo 46), Keita-Ruel, Reese (Omladic 90)

1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Friedrich, Rapp, Reichel; Prömel, Kroos (Andersson 68), Zulj; Abdullahi (Mane 63), Polter (Gogia 77), Mees

Fischer restored Robert Zulj to the starting team against his former club, while Nicolai Rapp stepped in to replace Florian Hübner who was injured this week. In attack, Sebastian Polter was given the nod ahead of Sebastian Andersson. Much improved under coach Stefan Leitl, Fürth hoped to press ahead with their home advantage in the opening phase of the game. Rafal Gikiewicz took one in the face to keep out Julian Green’s shot from close range. The Polish goalkeeper tipped a shot from David Atanga around the post, while Peter Jaeckel headed over the crossbar from a corner kick. Although clear scoring opportunities were limited, Union asserted control of the game in midfield. The hosts recovered well in most situations when Union threatened on the counter-attack, but eventually the Köpenick club broke the resistance. Suleiman Abdullahi’s strong pressure off-the-ball forced Marco Caligiuri to clear as far as Zulj, who broke into the box before seeing his strike saved by Sascha Burchert. The rebound went high into the air, but Mees rose quickly and converted from a few yards out. A key moment in the game, referee Dr. Martin Thomsen showed a straight red card to Daniel Keita-Ruel after the striker pushed Felix Kroos aggressively in the face.

Union controlled the start of the second period with a couple of opportunities in front of Burchert's goal. Grischa Prömel and Abdullahi asked the question, before the Nigerian striker was withdrawn on 63 minutes for Carlos Mane. Resolute defending from Greuther Fürth prevented Union from scoring within a minute, as Mees was denied on two occasions from point-blank range, while Ken Reichel's follow-up strike was deflected clear. Not long afterwards, the home side levelled, taking advantage of a corner kick and Caligiuri heading past Gikiewicz. Sebastian Andersson was introduced and joined Polter in attack, but Fischer's plan went to the wall with 20 minutes to go as Rapp was shown a straight red card. Akaki Gogia took the place of Polter with a quarter of an hour left, but Union Berlin struggled to carve out a chance to find the winner. At the other end, some heroic goalkeeping from Gikiewicz kept the scores at 1-1. With a couple of minutes left, Fabian Reese shot straight at the keeper from a one-v-one situation as the hosts looked the more likely team to score.

1. FC Union Berlin welcome Hamburger SV next Sunday, April 28, at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. 

Union Berlin on the road against Greuther Fürth

Match preview

1. FC Union Berlin make the trip south to SpVgg Greuther Fürth on Saturday April 20, with Urs Fischer’s side looking to continue the momentum from the second-half comeback against Jahn Regensburg last Friday.

Review: Union fight back, Fürth in good spirits

1. FC Union Berlin were held at home on matchday 29 against Regensburg, drawing 2-2. Sebastian Andersson opened the scoring after 12 minutes, but Achim Beierlorzer’s team equalised four minutes later from Sargis Adamyan’s penalty kick. Hamadi Al Ghaddioui put the visitors in front before the hour mark, but a gallant final 30 minutes saw the Köpenick club throw the kitchen sink at Regensburg. Seven minutes from time, Sebastian Polter powered home a header from a corner kick. Joshua Mees almost won the game at the death, but he was denied by an inspired Andre Weis. Although Union failed to win for the fourth game running, Union’s Swiss coach was encouraged by the manner in which the home side battled back.

“What gives me courage was the last 30 minutes against Regensburg. That is concrete,” said the Union coach at the pre-game press conference. “Anyone saw in the game that Regensburg are a good team. If you don’t have a good game or a bad day, then it can be difficult.”

Under coach Stefan Leitl, Fürth have improved and they continued that streak into the away match at VfL Bochum. The three-time German champions, from Bavaria, led the game 2-1 at the interval with goals from Sebastian Ernst and Paul Seguin. However, Leitl’s team lost ground after the restart, with Lukas Hinterseer winning the match at the end for Bochum. In recent weeks, Fürth have gone four games without a loss, beating Darmstadt and Regensburg, whilst drawing against Dynamo Dresden and Arminia Bielefeld.

Record: A hard place to go

Union Berlin have experienced victory in Fürth just once. In May 2017, Kenny Prince Redondo and Polter scored to secure a first-ever win away from home against the Bavarian side. Overall, there have been six draws at the Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer with Fürth winning on four occasions. At home, Fürth have a strong record, losing just three times in the 2.Bundesliga since September 2017. The reverse fixture in November in Berlin ended 4-0 to Union with a double each for Mees and Polter.

Personnel: Zejnullahu, Schönheim out

This week in training, Eroll Zejnullahu was forced out of action. Fabian Schönheim remains doubtful for the game on Saturday. Central defender Florian Hübner picked up a knock on his leg, so is also questionable ahead of the weekend.

Service: Tickets at the ground

More than 1,000 fans have secured tickets for the game at the 18,000-capacity Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer. There will be tickets available at the ground on matchday for Union fans who decide to make the trip at the last minute.

AFTV Videos

Rafal Gikiewicz

Rafal Gikiewicz

was Player of the Day for the last time against Fürth

Rafal Gikiewicz

was Player of the Day against Fürth


SpVgg Greuther Fürth vs 1. FC Union Berlin

56 % Possession 44 %
78 % Pass Completion Rate 63 %
49 % Successful Tackle Rate 51 %
21 Shots on Goal 14
12 Crosses 14
2 Caught Offside 1
1 Yellow Cards 3
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
1 Red Cards 1

Last match

Date Home Result Away