In the Regionalliga Nordost top-of-the-table clash between league leaders 1. FC Union Berlin and Türkiyemspor, Union ended with an immensely important victory. The Union women's side won 3-1 against their local rivals from Kreuzberg at Dörpfeldstraße, with Elisa Spolaczyk, Marie Becker and Lisa Heiseler scoring the goals.
1. FC Union Berlin: Wagner - Wildner, Gericke, Becker, Bach (71. Kratz) - Rurack, Wimmer, Heiseler, Reissner (88. Bucher) - Spolaczyk, Youssef (85. Reichenbach)
Türkiyemspor Berlin: Scheunemann - Schrey, Schick, Michalke (47. Janitzki), Wolter Cosme, Lübcke, Szuh, Almasalme, Aydin, Yavuz, Illmann (82. Zander-Zeidam)
Goals: 1:0 Spolaczyk (8th), 1:1 Aydin (23rd), 2:1 Becker (50th), Heiseler (80th, penalty)
Spolaczyk gives Union an early lead. Türkiyemspor equalise
There were three changes in the Union starting eleven from the 1-0 win against Leipzig-Süd last weekend with Marie Becker, Naika Reissner and Pauline Wimmer replacing Elisa Schindler, Megan Reichenbach and Hannah Kratz.
Türkiyemspor got off to the better start, htting the bar after only three minutes. But Union reacted immediately. A shot by Naika Reissner in the 4th minute flew just over the bar, but in the 7th minute the Union made the breakthrough. Reissner had broken down the left wing and crossed into the six yard box, where Spolaczyk headed home. Shortly afterwards, Union almost added to their tally, but Nour Youssef missed another cross from Reissner by a hair's breadth after ten minutes.
It was an open, lively game, in front of 450 spectators in Dörpfeldstraße, and certainly lived up to its billing as the top game of the weekend. In the 16th minute, Union keeper Melanie Wagner deflected a shot over the crossbar, but five minutes later the goalkeeper had to pick the ball out of her net. Leyila Aydin's 21st minute shot in the penalty area was deflected, and the ball trickled torturously over the line.
After the equaliser the game continued to go back and forth, though with Union now in the ascendancy. Both a header by Spolaczyk, as well as a shot from Lisa Heiseler's shot a minute later were parried by the opposing goalkeeper, Laetitia Scheunemann. The Köpenickers were always dangerous, especially down the left hand side where Reissner was full of running. Meanwhile Melanie Wagner made two further superb stops, first with her feet from close range, before also deflecting a long-range shot over the crossbar four minutes late.
The scores were, however, still level at half-time.
Becker and Heiseler chip in with the winning goals
The second half began similarly to the first half, with an Union goal after only four minutes. Following Pauline Wimmer's free kick, Scheunemann was unable to hold the ball, allowing Marie Becker to finish from close range.
The game grew more intense and combative, and was littered with interruptions in play. You could see how much was at stake for both teams. As a result, however, chances were few and far between. Türkiyemspor had a great chance to equalise in the 72nd minute, when they shot just over from close range after a set-piece.
But then in the 78th minute Naika Reissner was felled in the penalty area, the referee pointing immediately to the spot. After long and loud protests, even resulting in two red cards being shown to two of the Türkiyemspor coaches. Lisa Heiseler was finally allowed to take the penalty kick and finished calmly and coolly. It was the decider.
Union played out the remaining minutes without further risk to their lead.
With this victory, Union are now the undisputed league leaders, leading Türkiyemspor by four in third place, while Viktoria Berlin remain second, one point behind the leaders.
The coach and the player's views after the final whistle
"I am totally proud of the team," said head coach Ailien Poese. "That we showed such intensity over 90 minutes and were paid back with the deserved goals. It was an absolute top game against a really good opponent with a strong mentality. These are the games that remind you why you love football so much."
Meanwhile scorer Naika Reissner was beaming afterwards. "I thought we played really well over both halves. We applied an extreme amount of pressure, which the opposition had had a problem dealing with. Personally, I am also very happy with my performance after missing the last three or four weeks due to injury."
Goalkeeper Melanie Wagner was also happy after the final whistle: "The first half was pretty even, but in the second half we were able to put our foot down, and reward ourselves with the two goals. Overall, it was a really very good performance."
After the win, Union will have a well-deserved break. Then two weeks on Sunday, on 6 November 2022, it's back to business away at Magdeburger FFC. This clash is again a duel between two unbeaten teams, Magdeburg, in 4th place with 15 points, are still the only team in the league apart from Union not to have conceded a defeat so far this season.