1. FC Union Berlin suffered a minor setback in the Bundesliga after losing 1-3 at the Schwarzwald-Stadion against Freiburg.
Roland Sallai headed Freiburg into a first-half lead from a corner kick before Christian Günter's rocket from 18 yards hit the top corner. Sebastian Andersson's 11th goal of the Bundesliga campaign – his sixth headed goal this season – cut the deficit in half with about 30 minutes to play.
However, Robin Koch restored the two-goal cushion for Christian Streich's team with a header in the 83rd minute. Urs Fischer's side were dealt a final blow in stoppage time when Marvin Friedrich was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
SC Freiburg: Schwolow; Lienhart, Guide (Itter 86), Heintz; Schmid, Höfler, Koch, Günter (Schlotterbeck 77); Sallai (Höler 65), Petersen, Grifo
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Friedrich, Schlotterbeck, Subotic (Becker 83); Trimmel, Lenz, Andrich, Gentner; Bülter (Polter 59), Andersson, Malli (Ingvartsen 72)
Urs Fischer urged his side pre-match to take the positives away from a disappointing DFB Pokal defeat to Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday. The clutch of players, who helped the club earn a point at home to Wolfsburg, returned to action – Neven Subotic, Christian Gentner, Yunus Malli and Sebastian Andersson were all restored to the starting XI. Union were backed in numbers and noise in Freiburg, with more than 2,000 supporters making the near 850km trip to the south of Germany. On 22 minutes, Freiburg keeper Alexander Schwolow made an important block to keep out a shot from Christian Gentner, the experienced midfielder rifling the effort on target on his 401st Bundesliga appearance. But the solitary first-half goal arrived in the 33rd minute when Union poorly defended a corner kick and Hungarian forward Sallai headed past Rafal Gikiewicz from close range.
The hosts remained on top after the restart as Union struggled to get a foothold in the match. A loose ball landed sweetly to Günter after 55 minutes and the one-time German international thundered an unstoppable shot into the top corner. In the seconds before the second Freiburg goal, a home supporter started to receive medical treatment, that led to a similar hush around the stadium as on Wednesday night in Leverkusen. Union Berlin threw Sebastian Polter into the mix and changed to a two-pronged striking partnership and inside 90 seconds, the Köpenick club had scored. Christopher Trimmel's outswinging corner was turned emphatically past Alexander Schwolow by Sebastian Andersson. For all of the Swede's efforts to pull one back, Sallai's goal two minutes later was ruled offside by the assistant referee. Marcus Ingvartsen's arrival on 72 minutes gave Yunus Malli the opportunity to rest up, but the changes were unable to inspire Union further. A third set-piece goal of the afternoon, Robin Koch headed in from Vincenzo Grifo to secure the points for the home side. Before the whistle was blown, Friedrich was shown a second yellow card, which means the central defender will sit out an automatic one-game suspension.
1. FC Union Berlin's first-team squad will return to the capital on Saturday night ahead of this week's preparation for the visit of the league leaders and reigning German champions Bayern Munich, who visit the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Saturday at 18:30.