1. FC Union Berlin battled hard to secure a well-deserved point in Wednesday's derby against Hertha Berlin.
At the Amateurpark, adjacent to the Olympic Stadium, Union got the better of their rivals in the opening phases of the game without creating any clear chances. Hertha composed themselves to come back into the game but tested Leo Oppermann only from long-range efforts.
The match was even into the second period but the home side edged ahead from a corner kick. Christalino Atemona headed in from close range, 10 minutes after the restart. However, Andre Vilk's team showed character and confidence to take control of the game — despite the scoreline. Union pushed and lacked the final pass to threaten the Hertha goalkeeper. But with 20 minutes to play, Tim Maciejewski took advantage of poor defending, taking the ball round the goalkeeper and scoring.
Although the winner evaded Union, coach Vilk was delighted with his team's response after going a goal behind. "I really liked the fact that we had a great reaction after the goal and then had our best phase in the game," said the U19 boss. "Given the flow of the game, and the task of coming from behind, we are happy to take a point. The guys once again showed their attitude and that's what makes them stand out at the moment."
Union XI: Oppermann - Rankic (77. Ihbe), Liebelt (73. Koch), Riecke - Somnitz (56. Gencel), Veith, Dehl, Maciejewski, Aksakal - Nikol (56. Labroussis), Asllani.
Union's next league task is on the road in Hamburg. Andre Vilk's team face FC St. Pauli on Saturday October 26 at 14:00.