Sebastian Andersson scored twice as 1. FC Union Berlin ran out 3-1 winners against Darmstadt at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
The Swedish striker came in for Sebastian Polter and bagged his fifth and sixth league goals for the season in the first half. Aytac Sulu's own goal gave Union a three-goal lead just after the interval.
Darmstadt's Serdar Dursun scored a consolation in the second half.
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Hübner, Friedrich, Reichel; Prömel, Schmiedebach, Kroos (Zulj 75); Abdullahi (Hartel 57), Andersson, Mees (Parensen 89)
Darmstadt: Fernandes; Rieder, Franke (Höhn 66), Sulu, Holland; Medojevic, Jones; Heller, Kempe (Boyd 80), Wurtz (Mehlem 55); Dursun
After the exertions of Hamburg on Monday, Sebastian Polter and Marcel Hartel dropped to the bench. Fischer restored Andersson to the number 9 position and brought Felix Kroos back into the side to shore up the middle of the pitch. A boycott of organised support from the stands in protest against Monday night matches made it quite a bizarre atmosphere at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Without the backing off the park, the tempo and purpose from both sides seemed to suffer a little bit. Nevertheless, after 20 minutes, the home side began knocking on the door and particularly from a flurry of corner kicks. On 28 minutes, Trimmel’s cross was almost converted by Marvin Friedrich before Andersson bundled home the second ball from Ken Reichel. Before the half drew to a close, Andersson fired in his second of the day with a thunderous volley from inside the box.
The 27-year-old carried his search for the hat-trick into the second half where looked to be Union’s most likely weapon in the box. Two minutes after the restart, Andersson roamed into the right-channel of the penalty box but dragged his shot wide of the target. He then headed over from Florian Hübner’s cross before the Köpenick club eventually managed to score a third. Andersson was just about to tap home Friedrich’s header at the back post but the final touch on 64 minutes came from Darmstadt captain Aytac Sulu. Dirk Schuster’s side applied more pressure as they took some risks to get back into the game. Dursun held his nerve on 74 minutes to fire a shot past Rafal Gikiewicz and offer the visiting supporters a grain of hope going into the last quarter of an hour. However, the Union rearguard held firm to extend the club's unbeaten run this season and overall to 17 games.