Union defeat Bohemians 2-1
Successful season opener:
1. FC Union Berlin ran out 2-1 winners against Bohemians in the first pre-season friendly at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Danilho Doekhi and Andreas Voglsammer hit the back of the net either side of the break. Bohemians scored late in the second half through substitute Ali Coote. A crowd of 15,932 packed into the Alte Försterei after a long summer break to welcome the team back, with a new shirt and a number of new faces.
Union: Rönnow, Van Drongelen (Heintz 60), Doekhi (Jaeckel 45), Ryerson (Trimmel 60), Michel (Khedira 45), Schäfer (Voglsammer 45), Endo (Haraguchi 45), Puchacz (Gießelmann 60), Becker (Skarke 45), Knoche (Kemlein 77), Leweling (Siebatcheu 45)
Bohemians: Jinadu; Feely, Kelly, McDaid (Levingston 56), Murphy (Doherty 69), O’Sullivan (Doran 84), Varian (Omochere 69), Burke, Mullins (Burt 69), Twardek (Coote 69), McManus (Byrne 84)
Urs Fischer’s side for the visit of Bohemians contained both Danilo Doekhi and Jamie Leweling, summer signings from Vitesse and Greuther Fürth respectively. The three matches on the road so far were followed up with the season-opening match against the Irish side, an opportunity for the fans to get to know the squad and staff before the competitive action begins on August 1. Union welcomed Dublin’s Bohemian Football Club who are midway through their League of Ireland campaign. Wearing a special Bob Marley-inspired shirt, the Bohs arrived with around 1,000 fans and contributed to a fantastic atmosphere at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. The conditions were ideal for an intense exercise and Union got exactly that in the opening stages. After Tymoteusz Puchacz shot over from range, Keith Long’s team made a chance of their own. Kris Twardek combined with Ryan Burke and the winger’s shot hit Frederik Rönnow’s side-netting. Union found a rhythm in the next 10-to-15 minutes and thoroughly dominated, whilst creating a number of good chances. On 12 minutes, Puchacz hit the byline, found Leweling, but the ball scrambled away from Union’s number 40. It landed as far as Doekhi at the edge of the box and the Dutch centre back smashed the ball high into the net for the opening goal. Rönnow was busy again two minutes later with a save from Rory Feely. Sheraldo Becker was given one of the loudest welcomes pre-match as he prepares for another season in Berlin. The Dutch winger connected brilliantly on to a cross after 19 minutes, striking the foot of the post. It could have been two or three for the Bundesliga side before the first-half came to a close. Hungarian midfielder Andras Schäfer showed skill and composure to weave away from his marker, setting up Michel for a shot that was spilled into the net by goalkeeper Jinadu. Keita Endo’s robustness, however, was not favoured by the match referee who adjudged there to have been foul play. Schäfer’s long diagonal picked out Michel a minute later and despite an outstanding finish, the Union front man was flagged offside.
Jordan Siebatcheu, Genki Haraguchi, Paul Jaeckel, Rani Khedira, Andreas Voglsammer and Tim Skarke were introduced at the interval. The American-born striker, who made his first appearance for the club midweek in Braunschweig, was involved from the start of the half. Tim Skarke’s cross was fumbled by the goalkeeper but Siebatcheu could only shoot wide. Union introduced Niko Gießelmann, Christopher Trimmel and Dominique Heintz around the hour mark, while Aljosha Kemlein followed around 10 minutes later. Genki Haraguchi fired over from range as Union looked for a second before Siebatcheu headed wide after a great piece of wing play from Gießelmann. The second goal came on 68 minutes when Skarke picked out Andreas Voglsammer and finished off in front of the Waldseite. There was an opportunity for the away supporters to celebrate with a consolation goal in the 75th minute. Substitute Prince Omochere ran clear and combined with John O'Sullivan before Ali Coote tapped into the empty net, sparking huge celebrations in the away end. Despite some opportunities to equalise, Union held on to the advantage and celebrated the first game of 2022/23 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei with a win.