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Union Celebrate Historic Promotion

Five Years Ago Today

Mon, 27. May 2024
Union Celebrate Historic Promotion

Five years ago today, 1. FC Union Berlin drew 0-0 against VfB Stuttgart in the second of two relegation play-off matches and were promoted to the Bundesliga under the away goals rule.

Union's 3-0 win at home against 1. FC Magdeburg on the 33rd of 34 2. Bundesliga matchdays meant they could no longer be displaced from third place in the table, qualifying them for the play-offs. The following weekend, however, they had the opportunity to move up to second, and with it secure automatic promotion, with a win at VfL Bochum. After trailing 2-0, Grischa Prömel scored in the 83rd minute before Joshua Mees equalised in the 86th minute.

Meanwhile, VfB Stuttgart had finished 16th in the first division, giving them the final opportunity to stay in the league via the relegation play-off.

On 23.05.2019, Union travelled to Stuttgart where 60,000 spectators saw the hosts take the lead twice. 1-0 in the 42nd minute through Christian Gentner and 2-1 through Mario Gomez in the 51st minute. But Union equalised both times, Suleiman Abdullahi making it 1-1 in the 43rd minute and Marvin Friedrich for 2-2 in the 68th minute.

The second leg four days later attracted 22,012 paying spectators to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei who saw an energetic VfB side in the opening stages and a 9th minute goal from a free-kick by Stuttgart's Dennis Aogo, disallowed on review because Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz's view was impeded by the offside Nicolas Gonzalez.

The Union goalkeeper was at his best, frequently denying the Swabians.

After the break, Union coach Urs Fischer's team were finding their feet, and creating more as the game went on. Grischa Prömel had a great chance, as did Suleiman Abdullahi who saw two of his shots hit the post within three minutes of each other. In the final minutes, both teams had their goalkeepers to thank for the goalless draw.

Union head coach Urs Fischer started Rafal Gikiewicz in goal behind a back four of Julian Ryerson, Marvin Friedrich, Florian Hübner and Ken Reichel. Grischa Prömel, Manuel Schmiedebach and Robert Zulj played in midfield, with an attacking trident of Suleiman Abdullahi, Sebastian Andersson and Marcel Hartel. Joshua Mees replaced Marcel Hartel from the 65th minute and Akaki Gogia replaced Suleiman Abdullahi from the 85th; Michael Parensen came on for Robert Zulj in the third minute of stoppage time.