A late goal from Hanno Behrens denied Union Berlin a fantastic three points at promotion-rivals 1.FC Nürnberg.
Close to 30,000 were in attendance at the Max-Morlock-Stadion and witnessed Union going ahead on two occasions through the in-form Simon Hedlund and Sebastian Polter.
It was a challenging start for the Berliners, who dropped off and allowed the home side to play their own game. With Sebastian Kerk and Cedric Teuchert in forward areas, Nürnberg were able to play in behind whenever it suited and force Union on the back-foot. Jens Keller’s team were much improved in the final quarter of the half, but were not able to find the breakthrough.
Hedlund needed just four minutes to break the ice with a well-earned opener. The Swede finished off a great counterattack with conviction after superb work from Steven Skrzybski to steal possession off the home team. That was only possible for so long, as Jakob Busk stepped up to show his qualities between the sticks. The great Dane was beaten after several attempts with German U21 international Teuchert getting on the scoresheet in the 55th minute.
Once again, Union responded to pressure admirably and turned defence into attack with riveting precision. Trimmel, assisting again from right-back, landed a pin-point cross into the path of Polter who scored from close distance – his first of the new season in the red-and-white colours of 1.FC Union Berlin.
Busk continued to answer what Nürnberg threw at him, but there was a sense of inevitability about the late pressure from the hosts. The Cameroonian Edgar Salli set up Hanno Behrens, the experienced timer showing composure to get the equaliser. A frustrated Union side left the field after 90 minutes, but perhaps satisfied with a point in hindsight.
“Firstly, I’d like to wish Nürnberg’s Kerk a very good recovery. I heard he was badly injured. In the first 20 minutes, we didn't really get into the game, the spaces were too big and we were miles off the pace. We could have taken the lead with two opportunities, though. After the quick goal in the second half, we sat back and expected the equaliser. If you then lead 2-1 just before the end, it is annoying if you still concede the equaliser. But all in all, it's a fair draw and was certainly an enjoyable one for the fans,” Keller summed up in the post-game press conference.
Next Sunday at 13:30, we are back at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei with Arminia Bielefeld the visitors to Köpenick.