1. FC Union Berlin’s women’s team resoundingly won their first home match of the new Regionalliga Nordost season, 6-0 against 1. FFC Fortuna Dresden. Sarah Abu Sabbah scored twice while Athanasia Moriatou, Nour Youssef, Celine Frank and Zita Rurack bagged one each
1. FC Union Berlin: Wagner - Weiß, K. Orschmann (23. Becker), Niesler, Metzker (46. Bach) - Frank, Görsdorf, Moraitou (65. Blaschka) - Youssef, Abu Sabbah (65. Rurack), D. Orschmann (46. Trojahn)
1. FFC Fortuna Dresden: Ewert - Freude, Klanthe (73. Winkler), Wagner, Uhlmann - Schleif (84. Menberg), Zeidler - Hänichen (65. Heyder), Zenker, Cordon - Keller
Goals: 1:0 Abu Sabbah (17.), 2:0 Moraitou (22.), 3:0 Abu Sabbah (40.), 4:0 Youssef (46.), 5:0 Frank (61.), 6:0 Rurack (82.)
Abu Sabbah’s brace. Moraitou’s free kick
There were almost 500 fans filling the long bank up the touchline in Dörpfeldstraße, they lolled in the grey warmth, and were able to revel in an Union side who were clearly seeking out to get an early advantage against determined opponents in Fortuna Dresden, determined to give nothing away. Union passed the ball at pace, they flooded the Dresden half, and within five minutes had their first chance when Celine Frank, a bustling presence in midfield, saw a 25-yard shot fly just wide of the Dresden keeper, Nele Ewert’s, left hand post. She’d been assisted by Dina Orschmann, who was a constant threat up front alongside Sarah Abu Sabbah.
But Dresden were resolute, grimly determined and they higher Union pushed, the deeper they retreated into their box.
There were shots raining down – Anna Weiss, the right wing back, saw two driven into the crowd of gangling limbs - and a parade of corners, Abu Sabbah saw a vicious drive palmed just wide.
And sure enough it didn’t take long for the floodgates to open when the superb Abu Sabbah beat two defenders, and finished inside the far post.
Then Union were sure they had a penalty – and a red card for the opposition to boot – after 21 minutes when Abu Sabbah went on another tormenting run and was poleaxed on the edge of the box. The referee initially pointed to the spot, but was overruled by her assistant. Her cards remained safely in her pocket.
But it mattered little. Athanasia Moraitou – a gem of a midfielder with a long stride, sure technique and an eye for the most acute of passes – stepped up and hit the ball up and over the wall, nestling it neatly underneath the post to make it 2-0.
Dina Orschmann looked stunned as she saw a header clawed away, Weiss had one cleared impossibly over the bar when it was certain to go in. Moraitou drove, Frank should have had two, Union were rampant, but still Dresden clung on.
It couldn’t last. Abu Sabbah fiound herself alone in front of the goal with the ball at her toe, she rounded the keeper and score Union’s third a few minutes before half time.
Youssef scores straight away - Frank and Rurack complete the half dozen
Union simply carried on from where they had started off after the break, and scored almost immediately. This time it was the diminutive Nour Youssef who leapt to loop a header in following Moraitou’s deep ball from the left hand side. Moraitou was close to umplayable at times, Sophie Zenker’s frustrated pull back on her as she was left for dead summing up the dominance of the Union player wherever she glided.
Celine Frank finally got the goal she deserved following another bustling Abu Sabbah run down the right, finishing from close range, while the finishing touch was supplied by the substitute strike, Zurack. She shot first time, only to see Ewert – who made a handful of superb saves and really deserved better than to come out with a six goal deficit – save reflexively. But she could only palm it back out, leaving the tall Union striker able to slot the rebound into a now empty net.
It had been a very convincing win, and there is a sense of spirit within this side that seems to genuinely inspire each other on to ever greater performances. The players from the previous seasons such as Frank and the tireless Lisa Görsdorf are far from overawed by their new teammates, stars shining like Abu Sabbah and Moriatou have done since arriving.
But the task remains the same. Across town Viktoria beat Türkiyemspor 5-0 in what had been seen beforehand as a decisive clash, if an early one, meaning that there is no space for Union to slip up. Before the game Union's director of women's and girls' football, Jennifer Zietz, said the goal was simple, and said out loud it does sound so (even if she knows as well as anyone that it’s not). They just have to win every game.
Well with two from two, they’ve got off to a good start.