Oh, what a night! :-)

Ingvartsen levels but Union suffer 1-2 defeat

Defeat in Augsburg:

Sat, 23. January 2021
Ingvartsen levels but Union suffer 1-2 defeat

Florian Niederlechner scored both goals as 1. FC Union Berlin went down 1-2 at Augsburg.

The Augsburg striker netted in both halves to hand the home side all three points as the Bundesliga campaign enters the second round of fixtures. Marcus Ingvartsen equalised for the Köpenick club after 26 minutes, but the Dane was unable to take advantage of an opportunity from the penalty spot in the second half. 

FC Augsburg: Gikiewicz; Oxford, Gouweleeaw, Uduoukhai; Caligiuri, Strobl, Gruezo (Khedira 88), Iago; Richter (Jensen 72), Hahn (Finnbogason 82), Niederlechner (Gumny 82)

1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Trimmel, Lenz (Teuchert 79), Schlotterbeck (Gießelmann 79), Friedrich, Knoche; Andrich, Prömel (Gentner 71); Becker (Bülter 62), Ingvartsen (Gogia 71), Awoniyi

1. FC Union Berlin returned to the location of their first Bundesliga goal and point last season with Sebastian Polter getting Urs Fischer's side off the mark in Germany's top flight. After training in the city yesterday, Fischer's side arrived at the WWK-Arena with four changes from the defeat to RB Leipzig on Wednesday. Nico Schlotterbeck returned to the defence with Florian Hübner suspended for the next two matches. After taking a rest in midweek, Christopher Trimmel came in at full-back, Grischa Prömel into midfield and Sheraldo Becker in the attack. The captain Trimmel's return brought Union's set-piece quality back into focus and after four minutes, a delivery almost found the first goal. Marvin Friedrich won the header and Taiwo Awoniyi turned the ball over Rafal Gikiewicz's crossbar. While the former Union, promotion-winning goalkeeper would be back in action later, it was Heiko Herrlich's side who drew first blood. In the 17th minute, Gikiewicz's long ball up the pitch was flicked into space by Andre Hahn, the ball taken forward by Florian Niederlechner and the striker rifled past Andreas Luthe. The Augsburg lead lasted less than 10 minutes as the Köpenick club emphatically replied. On 26 minutes, Awoniyi's strength and presence held the ball in the penalty box, the Nigerian setting up Marcus Ingvartsen at the edge of the box. The Dane shuffled clear of referee Felix Brych and found the bottom corner with a sensational strike. To Augsburg's credit, they were happy to play the ball around and look for a mistake in Union's defensive ranks, which never came. At the other end, Brych waved away claims for a penalty kick following a barge from behind on Robert Andrich as the midfielder looked to shoot on goal. After 45 minutes, the players went into the dressing room with very little to separate the teams at the break.

Union Berlin returned for the second 45 minutes at the WWK-Arena, but Fischer's men couldn't have asked for a poorer start. Two minutes into action, Andreas Luthe kept out a header from Andre Hahn at the back-post, but Florian Niederlechner was there to follow up with the rebound and score his second of the game. On 54 minutes, Union were handed an opportunity to get back into the game when Felix Brych awarded the spot-kick. The experienced referee looked at the video monitor to rule a foul against Niederlechner inside the penalty box. But former Union 'keeper Gikiewicz was up to the job and parried clear the penalty from Ingvartsen. Four minutes later, the Polish goalkeeper denied Awoniyi who swivelled in the box and was close to finding the back of the net from close range. A fifth yellow card for the captain Trimmel means he will miss next week's game at the Alte Försterei. Marius Bülter, Andi Gogia and Christian Gentner was tasked with adding a spark against a well-organised Augsburg defence, but the penalty miss appeared to knock the stuffing out of the visitors. In the final minute of the match, substitute Niko Gießelmann entered a dangerous position but the left-back's final pass was an inch ahead of the red shirts who waited to put the ball into the net. 

After a disappointing defeat on the road, 1. FC Union Berlin will get the full week to prepare for next Saturday's big challenge – a home match at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei against the impressive Borussia Mönchengladbach.