TSG Hoffenheim vs 1. FC Union Berlin
Bundesliga, 6. Matchday
Hoffenheim vs 1. FC Union
Bundesliga, 6. Matchday
Union strike late to beat Hoffenheim
1. FC Union Berlin fought to their first away win of the season with a 3-1 triumph over Hoffenheim.
Substitutes Joel Pohjanpalo and Cedric Teuchert scored the decisive late goals for Urs Fischer's team to bounce back from conceding to Israel international Munas Dabbur's equaliser with 10 minutes later.
The Köpenick club profited from a foul by Robert Skov on Sebastian Griesbeck, which saw the young Dane shown a straight red card by referee Robert Hartmann. Max Kruse scored for the second time from the spot this season to keep Union on track in the Bundesliga.
Hoffenheim: Baumann; Vogt, Posch (Skov 34(Sent Off 59)), Akpoguma; Geiger (Baumgartner 61), Sessegnon, Samassekou, Rudy, Grillitsch (Klauss 81); Dabbur (Gacinovic 81), Belfodil (Adamyan 61)
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Hübner, Friedrich, Knoche; Ryerson (Gießelmann 87), Lenz, Griesbeck (Bülter 87), Gentner (Teuchert 83), Andrich; Kruse, Awoniyi (Pohjanpalo 77)
Christopher Trimmel and Marcus Ingvartsen weren't able to find full fitness this week after picking up knocks in the draw at home to Freiburg. Urs Fischer's four changes included Julian Ryerson and Florian Hübner at the back, while Sebastian Griesbeck and Taiwo Awoniyi earned starting places. Meanwhile, Hoffenheim's preparation was disrupted by players returning from international break about a fortnight ago. Andrej Kramaric, Kasim Adams and Pavel Kaderabek have been in quarantine, whilst Sebastian Hoeneß's team picked up points in the Europa League with a 4-1 win over Gent. In the league, Hoffenheim have picked up a single point since becoming the first team to beat Hansi Flick's Bayern Munich in 2020. Nevertheless, the club from Sinsheim looked to dominate the ball and take control of where the action was happening. Union's well-oiled counter-attack threatened as early as the ninth minute when Christopher Lenz and Max Kruse combined before Awoniyi cut inside and fired wide of the target. The positive start aside, Hoffenheim will look back on two chances in the 15th minute for Munas Dabbur where Hoeneß's side should have opened the scoring. After 40 minutes, Kruse's delicately-chipped cross gave Griesbeck something to attack and the former Heidenheim midfielder was denied by Baumann. The German goalkeeper punched clear a shot from Lenz before his opposite number, Andreas Luthe, made a top-class save to keep out Dabbur's header.
The furious end to the first 45 minutes might have taken some of the energy levels as it looks the players about 10 minutes to get into the flow. Robert Skov was sent off in the 58th minute for pulling down Griesbeck as he was about to pull the trigger. Kruse stepped up and showed his class, giving Oliver Baumann no chance. Hoffenheim maintained the same philosophy and shape with a player less than normal, but Union's defensive organisation was fantastic throughout. With 10 minutes to go, Hoffenheim equalised the scores – Dabbur working himself some space on the edge of the box and powering into the top corner. Substitutes Pohjanpalo and Teuchert used the opportunity to impress coach Fischer with the two decisive actions of the 90. The Finland striker anticipated the loose ball from Baumann's save and got his rewards after 87 minutes. Pohjanpalo smashed the ball against the post after 88 minutes, but Kruse turned provider for Teuchert in stoppage time at the Pre Zero Arena.
Union return to league action on Saturday against Arminia Bielefeld at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. This Bundesliga match will be played behind closed doors.
Union take on Hoffenheim behind closed doors
1. FC Union Berlin will have to wait until Monday at 20:30 to face TSG Hoffenheim in the sixth game of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season.
Urs Fischer's team will be looking to win at the Rhein-Necker-Arena for the first time in the Bundesliga and secure those first three away points of the campaign.
Robert Andrich scored from distance to claim a point for 1. FC Union Berlin against Freiburg. The midfielder popped up with a drilled effort from 25 yards, just a few minutes after Vincenzo Grifo opened the scoring for Christian Streich's men in the 34th minute. Union dominated but were unable to find the way to beat Florian Müller in the Freiburg goal. The point, however, doesn't hold back Fischer's team who are in 12th position.
Meanwhile, Hoffenheim celebrated victory in the UEFA Europa League with a 4-1 win over Belgian club KAA Gent. Ishak Belfodil, Florian Grillitsch, Mijat Gacinovic and Munas Dabbur struck to give Sebastian Hoeneß's side their second win in the group phase after beating Crvena Zvezda in the first round of fixtures.
Hoffenheim made a change in the dugout this summer with Dutchman Alfred Schreuder being replaced by Hoeneß who was previously working with Bayern Munich's reserve team. While European competition has naturally taken up manpower, Hoffenheim's Bundesliga form is something of a mixed bag. The club from Baden-Württemberg took six points from their first two games – a 3-2 win at 1. FC Köln and a stunning 4-1 win over Bayern Munich. However, Hoffenheim have stumbled after that dominant performance against the German champions with two defeats, back-to-back, against Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund. The point against Werder Bremen last weekend has Hoffenheim back on track in the Bundesliga ahead of Union's visit on Monday.
Fischer and his staff have some fitness concerns to deal with ahead of the trip south. Christopher Trimmel and Marcus Ingvartsen aren't fully fit, but have taken part in some training sessions this week. Loris Karius trained 45 minutes with goalkeeping coach Michael Gspurning, but not yet the complete session. Central defender Nico Schlotterbeck is making good steps in his recovery from the injury, which he picked up against Mainz. The confirmed absentees are Anthony Ujah and Grischa Prömel. The latter could be an option for the next home match against Arminia Bielefeld.
The nationwide restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus have forced all Bundesliga clubs to play matches behind closed doors. This will extend until November 31.