Union Put Ten Past Stern

Women Reach Polytan Cup Final in Style

Thu, 18. April 2024
Union Put Ten Past Stern

Union's womens team beat Stern 1900 10-0 on Thursday evening, securing entry to a final against Viktoria Berlin. Sarah Abu Sabbah lead the line with six goals, joined by Lisa Heiseler, Dina Orschmann, Athanasia Moraitou and Celine Frank. 

1. FC Union Berlin: Wagner – K. Orschmann (79. Schindler), Becker, Niesler – Sakar, Blaschka, Moraitou, Heiseler (79. Scheel), Reissner (66. Rurack) – Abu Sabbah, D. Orschmann (66. Görsdorf)

SFC Stern 1900: Härtel – Ibrisevic (83. Schneider), Steinmeyer, Cibusch, Fröhlich (80. Boldt), Schmitz – Brünner (70. Schreyer), Roll (70. Krüger, Gabler, Herber – Zeinert (80. Pricelius) 

Goals: 1-0 Heiseler (10.), 2-0 Abu Sabbah (22.), 3-0 Abu Sabbah (23.), 4-0 Abu Sabbah (29.), 5-0 Abu Sabbah (38.), 6-0 Moraitou (42.), 7-0 Frank (50.), 8-0 D. Orschmann (63.), 9-0 Abu Sabbah (86.), 10-0 Abu Sabbah (90.) 

With about ten minutes to play, and the sun having long since set, not just on Union’s brand new Oberspree training centre, but on any hopes of Stern 1900 coming back into this Polytan Cup semi-final, the guest’s keeper, Antonia Haertel, rushed out towards Sarah Abu Sabbah as she strolled regally towards goal. Though rounded confidently – Abu Sabbah had already scored four goals – Haertel clattered her; a challenge later than the hour, and that was pushing on.

It was at best reckless, and the scream from Union’s striker betrayed the pain she was in. But the referee waved play on as if nothing had happened. Abu Sabbah was stung. Union were 8-0 to the good with under ten minutes to play, but she would exact her revenge in the only way she knows.

For she’s not the top scorer in all the German Regionalligas for nothing.

It was a glorious evening on the edge of the Spree, the sun setting over the factories of Oberschöneweide where Union were founded all those years ago. But this couldn’t be further removed from those humble beginnings. There is a fine, professional set up for all Union’s academies, there are pitches upon pitches, and the sand sprung up off the newest of them all as Athanasia Moraitou challenged Stern 1900’s centre forward, Sofie Roll, with typical, neat efficiency immediately.

She sprung the ball forwards, straight to a Lisa Heiseler already looking to find some space in the middle.

But the first shot of the day came not from her, or from the strikers, Dina Orschmann, Anouk Blaschka or Abu Sabbah, but from the makeshift centre-half - in for Charleen Niesler, and  playing as part of a back three for the first time - Celine Frank. She drove the ball viciously towards Haertel’s goal, but her shot flew just wide of the right hand upright.

The first goal came soon enough, though. A delicious ball from Naika Reissner, having drifted inside from her position on the left, hit diagonally for Blaschka who took a touch, and moved the ball inside for Heiseler who turned, rolling the ball around herself as she went, finishing with glacial ease. Only ten minutes had been played. Things wouldn’t improve for the guests.

Reissner was a blur on that wing, constantly looking to move the ball forwards, one cross just after the goal just evading Dina Orschmann, another just past the grasping lunge of Blaschka coming in at the back post.

Abu Sabbah, meanwhile, tried a gorgeous chip from outside the box that dropped just past the left-hand post. She cursed, having looked up and seen the spot opening up before her. She was drifting in between the lines, playing on the defender’s shoulders, straying half an inch offside when right wing-back Fatma Sakar found her with a through ball after almost 20 minutes.

She wasn’t to be stilled. She scored Union’s second on 21 minutes, rising strongly and confidently at the back post to head home Heiseler’s free kick, before stabbing home a minute later to make it 3-0, before Stern had even the chance to take breath. Hell, the sun hadn’t even had a chance to slip any further down.

Her movement is otherworldly at times, and she has an instinctive knowledge of where to find the slightest of gaps in which to move. Her finishing is as good as her determination is strong. Her pirouette to round Elena Gabler after half an hour was pristine, and her strike to make it 4-0 was brilliant, rounding a defender on the right-hand side of the box, and bending an unstoppable shot into the top corner, across the keeper, and inside the back post.

As the half wore on, Union were irrepressible. At the heart of defence, Marie Becker sprayed a 40-yard ball to Reissner that was as if laser guided. Katja Orschmann then drove just wide from outside the box.  The pressure was too much for a Stern side from a league below, and whose resources are far outstripped by the hosts – there was no humiliation here, despite the score.

Abu Sabbah made it five with only five minutes of the half to play when she sniffed out a shot that had been spilled by the keeper, rolling the ball over the line.

Moraitou made it six just before half time, heading Heiseler’s corner in, flicking it backwards from the near post, but when it came the Union players marched off with the stinging of Ailien Poese’s comments following their win at the weekend still ringing in their ears. They had, she said, allowed themselves to switch off against Berolina Mitte in the second half. They wouldn’t this time.

As darkness enveloped the artificial green of the artificial pitch, and the floodlights lit up the new concrete stand running alongside the touchline opposite the dugouts, six pristine steps high, the Union fans roared out a call and response, known all too well by anyone who follows this club, “Eisern,” they started, “union” came the reply.

They were repaid early on as Frank headed the seventh ahead of the striving punch of Haertel. Haertel wasn’t having a bad game, just a bad day. She was out a moment later to stop Blaschka in her tracks when she looked certain to score, as she’d made a superb stop from Katja Orschmann earlier in the evening.

But there was little Stern could do. When Gabler got the ball halfway inside her own half it was all she could do to belt it as far as she could away; a clearance out of hopelessness. Just as when Aldijana Ibrisevic spun past Blaschka, but looked up only to see Katja Orschmann bearing down on her. Within minutes it was back, the ball pinballing around until Abu Sabbah’s shot bounced off Haertel, but only as far as Dina Orschmann who made it eight.

It was Orschmann’s last touch of the game, substituted alongside Reissner for Lisa Görsdorf and Zita Rurack. Rurack came on at the weekend at centre-back, now here she was as the left wing-back.

But when Haertel clattered Abu Sabbah that it wasn’t a red card was baffling, that it wasn’t a penalty doubly so. If the decision seemed inevitable, but wasn’t, the striker’s reaction was.

So when she bagged her fifth of the evening, Union’s ninth, she did so not with a smile this time, but a snarl, one reflecting a finish that gave Haertel no chance, having cut inside. She scooped her next over the prone keeper with brilliant cheek only two minutes later.

This time, as her team-mates surrounded her, however she smiled. She had lead Union to a resounding win, and a final against their old foes, Viktoria. And few would bet on her not bagging a couple in that one as well.