On the opening night of the AOK Traditionsmasters 2020 at the Max-Schmelling-Halle in Berlin, 1. FC Union Berlin kept themselves in the mix for a place in the semi-final.
The Köpenick legends produced an outstanding comeback to defeat Werder Bremen in Game 1 on Saturday in front of around 8,000 spectators. The squad, which featured the likes of Ronny Nikol, Torsten Mattuschka, Karim Benyamina and Sven Kaiser, competed well with Bremen despite going behind to Marco Reich's opener. Sören Seidel scored an own goal after 11 minutes, but he recovered to put Werder 2-1 ahead. Björn Brunemann's own goal after 15 minutes gave Union a mountain to climb in the final stages. However, three goals in four minutes turned the scores to start the competition on a high. Mattuschka struck and it was shortly followed by Kevin Göhlert's equaliser. The pressure was ramped up a notch and Brunemann's long-range strike was headed into the net by Karim Benyamina.
The main course of the night was the legends derby against Hertha. After Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen, Dinamo Tbilisi and Tennis Borussia had completed their matches, the atmosphere turned electric. But it wasn't to be for Union, who battled admirably against the team from Charlottenberg. Malik Fathi and Sejad Salihovic handed Hertha an early two-goal lead, but Benyamina's double erased Union's arrears. Fathi and Thomas Boden were given two-minute time outs as the match turned scrappy around the break. In the end, Hertha scored another three times to take the three points and top the group after the opening night.
Tomorrow, Union will finish their group against Tennis Borussia Berlin and will hope to be in the final four which takes place later in the afternoon. Tickets are still available for Sunday's action.