Sebastian Polter's last-minute penalty kick clinched the derby spoils for 1. FC Union Berlin against Hertha at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
The 28-year-old stepped up as a substitute in the second half to convert the decisive kick following Dedryck Boyata's challenge on Christian Gentner.
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Subotic, Schlotterbeck, Friedrich; Trimmel, Lenz, Andrich, Gentner; Andersson (Polter 79), Ingvartsen (Ryerson 90), Bülter (Mees 45)
Hertha Berlin: Jarstein; Mittelstädt (Selke 90), Stark, Boyata, Klünter; Skjelbred (Löwen 45), Grujic; Lukebakio, Wolf, Dilrosun; Ibisevic (Kalou 82)
Three days after Union secured a place in the Last 16 of the DFB Pokal for the first time in six years, Urs Fischer named the same starting XI as the 2-0 win over Freiburg — with the exception of Neven Subotic who replaced the injured Michael Parensen. Amidst the chaos of the opening few minutes, the intense tempo and the choreographies, Union Berlin came within inches of scoring the opener. Sebastian Andersson moved into the penalty box, delivering a chipped ball to the far-post where Christopher Lenz made his presence felt. However, the attacking full-back was denied by the woodwork from a few yards out. The dangerous Domi Lukebakio headed straight at Rafal Gikiewicz after he found space in the box in the 14th minute. Union controlled long periods of possession, but largely in the defensive third of the pitch. Rune Jarstein was competent enough to keep out some long-distance strikes from Robert Andrich and Christian Gentner. Hertha midfielder Marko Grujic headed off target on 37 minutes with the first 45 minutes coming to a rather relaxed colcusion under the whistle of the experienced Deniz Aytekin.
Both teams made substitutions at the break with Joshua Mees replacing Marius Bülter and Edward Löwen taking the spot of Per Skjelbred in midfield. The match referee was forced to halt the match and take the players off the pitch temporarily due to pyrotechnics, which were fired on several occasions from the away section. In a scrappy second period, the Köpenick club took their efforts mostly from distance through Robert Andrich and Mees. Polter was introduced with around 12 minutes left plus additional time and the striker led with distinction. He threatened with a header on 85 minutes, although the offside flag was raised. As Union pushed for the winning goal, Gentner found a great position on the left and was taken down by Boyata. Referee Aytekin immediately pointed to the spot and after consultation with the video referee, he confirmed his decision with the screen at the touchline. Under enormous pressure as the clock struck 90 minutes, Polter held his nerve and buried past Jarstein from 12 yards. Fischer's team battled for the 10 minutes of additional time and stayed cool to clinch a memorable derby victory in the Bundesliga.
Next Sunday, 1. FC Union Berlin will travel to FSV Mainz 05 for the next Bundesliga game as the Köpenick club look to build upon the derby success.