Max Kruse's 23rd-minute goal has sent 1. FC Union Berlin into the second of the DFB Pokal. The Union number 10 scored in the first half to secure a 1-0 win over Türkgücü München.
The returning Olympian fired the all-important goal at the Grünwalder-Stadion to book Union's place in the next round as competitive action got underway.
Türkgücü München: Vollath; Kühn (Hottmann 83), Rieder, Mavraj, Hertner (Römling 45); Chato (Karweina 83), Kehl-Gomez (Kusic 31), Irving; Türpitz (Sliskovic 67), Vrenezi, Sararer
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Friedrich, Knoche, Baumgartl; Trimmel, Gießelmann (Haraguchi 84), Khedira, Andrich; Voglsammer (Ingvartsen 74), Kruse (Ryerson 84), Awoniyi (Behrens 65)
Urs Fischer's first line-up of the competitive season included three new faces – Timo Baumgartl, Rani Khedira and Andreas Volgsammer – while Max Kruse made his first appearance after returning from the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Taiwo Awoniyi started in attack for Union after turning his successful loan spell in Köpenick into a permanent one, completing a transfer from Liverpool. While other German Cup matches have lived up to the hype this weekend, this contest at the Grünwalder Stadion lacked an edge early on. Türkgücü were unable to knock on Andreas Luthe's goal other than a long-range strike from Sercan Sararer that went a few metres over the bar. It took the Bundesliga side 23 minutes to piece together the best bit of football of the day. It started from Awoniyi's relentless pressure on Chato who gave up possession. The Nigerian switched the ball into Kruse who fired home from close range. On 31 minutes, Türkgücü were forced into a change after Marco Kehl-Gomez limped on with a knee problem. The imposing defensive midfielder was replaced by Filip Kusic who moved into the back four of the home side. Four minutes after the restart, Union combined up the park excellently again with Niko Gießelmann cutting the ball back to Kruse whose rasping drive was an inch or two past the post.
All roads lead back to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. On Saturday August 14 (15:30), Urs Fischer's side will kick off the new Bundesliga season at home to Bayer Leverkusen.