Union lose St. Gallen friendly 1-2

Minutes under the belt:

Sun, 19. January 2020
Union lose St. Gallen friendly 1-2

Urs Fischer's squad collected all-important game time despite losing 2-1 at home to Swiss Super League side FC St. Gallen.

Anthony Ujah found the net after 30 minutes to cancel out the opening goal from St. Gallen's Ermedin Demirovic who put the away side ahead in the 12th minute. Cedric Itten scored the second goal for Peter Ziedler's team who will return to competitive league action next week against Lugano.

1. FC Union Berlin: Busk; Reichel, Hübner (Rankic 71), Maloney (Schlotterbeck 45); Flecker, Becker, Malli (Opfermann Arcones 63), Kroos (Schneider 87), Kade (Maciejewski 77); Polter, Ujah

FC St. Gallen: Zigi; Stergiou (Ajeti 64), Hefti (Staubli 64), Letard (Fazliji 45); Muheim (Campos 78), Görtler (Kräuchi 64), Ruiz (Donato Alves 78), Quintilla (Solimando 78); Demirovic (Bakayoko 64), Babic (Itten 45), Guillemendt (Ribeiro 64)

Taking into consideration the fitness concerns ahead of yesterday’s defeat in Leipzig, Urs Fischer was able to offer game time to a number of players in the squad. Yunus Malli, who featured for 19 minutes in Leipzig, pulled on the Union shirt for the first time at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei since joining on loan from VfL Wolfsburg. Sebastian Polter and Ujah were the only other two players to feature on Saturday in the Bundesliga, while Felix Kroos was handed the captain’s armband for the match. Peter Zielder’s team finished the Hinrunde in third and were the highest scorers in the Swiss Super League ahead of Basel and Young Boys. Ermedin Demirovic finished off a slick attacking move in the 12th minute to put the visitors in front — to the delight of a few hundred travelling supporters. From there, Fischer’s team settled into the game and began to create the lion’s share of the chances. On 16 minutes, Becker picked out Ujah with a chipped ball but the striker headed wide. Becker was involved in a bunch of good attacking moves, including on his own as he struck the crossbar from distance after 23 minutes. Three minutes later, debutant Malli dribbled through on Zigi’s goal but landed a weak shot straight at the St. Gallen goalkeeper. Julius Kade was booked for simulation as Union’s domination strengthened. Right on the half hour mark, Union deservedly levelled the scores with Becker picking out Ujah in the centre of the box and our number 11 made no mistake. The Nigerian was close to grabbing his second after a cute through ball from Malli but a late flag from the assistant referee chopped off Ujah’s confident finish.

Keven Schlotterbeck came on for Lennard Maloney at the break as Union retained the same shape from the first 45 minutes. But the Swiss side performed better in the second half with Jakob Busk making a string of excellent saves to keep the scoreline down. Jeremy Guillemenot hit the post before Florian Hübner’s clearance prevented a near easy finish for substitute Cedric Itten. Union keeper Busk denied Itten shortly after but a mistake from Schlotterbeck allowed Itten to slot in the second goal on 58 minutes. Maurice Opfermann Arcones replaced Malli after the hour mark with the new addition running out of gas midway through the half. Stefan Rankic took Florian Hübner’s spot in central defence with 19 minutes to go and six minutes later, Tim Maciejewski replaced Julius Kade. Fabio Schneider was given the final few minutes but the Bundesliga side couldn't dig out the equaliser on home soil.

1. FC Union Berlin's second half of the league campaign continues next Saturday with the first home Bundesliga encounter of 2020 against FC Augsburg.