Ruben Travassos scored the only goal of the match as 1. FC Union Berlin won 1-0 at Holstein Kiel.
The attacker scored after 26 minutes to give Andre Vilk's club the advantage in their first league game of the new year. However, Union had to dig deep into their reserves to see out the three points. Lukas Veith was shown a second yellow card after the half hour mark, meaning Vilk's team had to play almost an hour with one player fewer.
The setbacks didn't stop there as Leo Oppermann was replaced at the break. In the second half, Union showed strong defensive qualities to keep hold of the lead. Kiel didn't create enough chances but came close with a clearance off the line. "We were superior before the red card," explained Vilk. "Due to the red card, our main focus was of course defending. Towards the end, we were lucky in one or two situations. But we also played with determination and focus. Getting a win in the first game is very important. We can be happy with that," he added.
Union XI: Oppermann (46. Kemlein) - Labroussis, Rankic, Liebelt, Riecke - Somnitz (75. Cvjetinovic), Schneider, Veith, Maciejewski, Aksakal (84. Krüger) - Travassos (90. Kaus).
Sunday Feb 23: The first home league game of 2020 for 1. FC Union Berlin's under-19s with HSV the visitors to the FEZ-Berlin complex. Admission is free.