Union fight from behind to beat Hoffenheim

Prömel strikes again:

Sat, 15. January 2022
Union fight from behind to beat Hoffenheim

Grischa Prömel hit the scoresheet for the second week running as 1. FC Union Berlin defeated Hoffenheim 2-1 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

The midfielder followed up from his strong showing in Leverkusen with the winning goal on 73 minutes to continue Union's push into European places in the Bundesliga.

Timo Baumgartl had unfortunately given Hoffenheim an advantage after 16 minutes but Urs Fischer's team battled back with an equaliser from Andreas Voglsammer.

1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Oczipka (Ryerson 89), Trimmel, Baumgartl, Knoche, Heintz (Jaeckel 79); Khedira, Prömel, Öztunali (Becker 65); Kruse (Behrens 89), Voglsammer (Haraguchi 79)

Hoffenheim: Baumann, Geiger (Rudy 89), Bebou, Dabbur (Larsen 72), Baumgartner (Stiller 87), Raum, Vogt, Akpoguma (Rutter 58), Kramaric, Richards, Posch

Half-time subs Andreas Voglsammer and Levin Öztunali held their place in the side following a strong second-half showing in Leverkusen. Bastian Oczipka stayed in at left-back in place with Niko Gießelmann while Dominique Heintz made his debut for Union Berlin after this week's departure of vice-captain Marvin Friedrich. Under Sebastian Hoeneß, Hoffenheim have put together the strongest run of form in the Bundesliga over the last seven games. The visitors started strongly and Andreas Luthe had to make a highlight-reel save to stop Posch from heading in after nine minutes. The Union goalkeeper was unable to stop Hoffenheim scoring in the 16th minute when Ilhas Bebou charged infield from the right, his crossing striking team-mate Timo Baumgartl in the box and finding the corner of the net. Union needed time to get going, but the goal nudged the Köpenick club into gear. Oliver Baumann saved from Grischa Prömel a minute after the opener but Union's period of pressure to follow would be rewarded. Bastian Oczipka sent in the cross after 22 minutes and Voglsammer's header hit the crossbar, but fortunately hit Baumann on the shoulder and went in. Union put in a good fight despite the best of the opportunities falling to Hoffenheim. Christopher Trimmel, who celebrated appearance 251 in Union colours this afternoon, had to make a last-ditch challenge on Kevin Akpoguma to prevent a second goal. Kevin Vogt broke the Union defensive lines with a key pass on 40 minutes, Andrej Kramaric broke clear before Heintz intervened with a block on Bebou. Christoph Baumgartner's shot was turned away from the rebound. Akpoguma had another bite at the cherry with three minutes of the half to go, but a dogged Union defence held their ground at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

The second half returned with Union in the rhythm but Hoffenheim's threat at the front didn't go unnoticed. Kramaric passed up a golden chance for a second away goal on 51 minutes but Baumgartl stepped in at the last second. Such was the work off the ball from the team in red that for the second week running, Union's bench would decide the game. Sheraldo Becker was introduced for Levin Öztunali and the Dutchman was the game-changing factor for Union. Becker terrorised the Hoffenheim defence who had sat high for the previous 70 minutes. A superb counter-attack saw Oczipka cross for Becker but the header narrowly went wide. Becker's impact pushed Union to the second less than two minutes later. Voglsammer flicked on the header to the ever-willing Prömel who charged in behind. The midfielder found Becker who picked his moment to cross to Kruse, his shot striking the crossbar. The rebound fell to Prömel in the right spot for his third goal in two matches. Fischer switched around 79 minutes with Genki Haraguchi and Paul Jaeckel shoring up a tired defensive unit. Haraguchi countered and was a touch away from giving Kruse an empty net to put Union three up. Kevin Behrens and Julian Ryerson played their part as Union had to dig deep in the closing minutes of the game. Eventually, after a taxing 94 minutes, referee Martin Petersen blew the final whistle to give the 3,000 supporters in attendance something more to cheer about this afternoon.