For their 3rd game in the 2022/23 Regionalliga Nordost season, 1. FC Union Berlin now have to play their first match outside of Berlin. On Sunday, 11 September 2022, 1. FFV Erfurt will welcome Union at the Sportforum Johannesplatz. Kick-off is at 14:00.
The opponents: Consistent Erfurt
1. FFV Erfurt, founded in 1997 as a women's football club only, have established themselves as a constant presense in the Regionalliga Nordost in recent years. The Thuringians have established themselves as a bastion of mid-table consistency, finishing in 7th place for the last three seasons in a row.
Having first reached this position in 2016/17, Erfurt then only played in the fourth-tier Verbandsliga for the following two years, deciding voluntarily not to play in the regional league in order to be able to reposition themselves. They have now been back in the Regionalliga since 2019 and haven't encountered any real relegation worries since then.
And after a 3-1 defeat at the start against Carl Zeiss Jena's second team, Erfurt managed to pick up their first points of the season last weekend. They won 3-1 at Bischofswerdaer FV and are now - oh, how could it be otherwise - in 7th place in the table.
One reason for this consistency is certainly Gino Heinze. The 30-year-old has been Erfurt's head coach since 2015, the longest-serving coach in the league.
Head-to-head: A spectacle in the last encounter
Union and Erfurt have already played each other 16 times, with the balance clearly in favour of Union. The Köpenickers have won twelve, with one draw and only three wins for Erfurt, and that last victory coming more than a decade ago. On 6 November 2011, FFV won 2-0 at home. Since then, the duels have been pretty clear-cut. Recent results including Unions resounding 6-0, (2014), 5-0 (2015) and 3-0 (2019) wins.
However, the last encounter between the two teams in October a year ago was to be a real spectacle at the Sportforum Johannesplatz, Union winning away, 5-4.
The visitors from Köpenick were leading 3-0 after only 20 minutes, so that it looked like they would canter to victory. However, Erfurt did not give up and pulled the score back to 4-3 in Union's favour, still before half-time. In the second half, Union attacker Megan Reichenbach, who scored twice, finally made the difference with her winner to make it 5-3.
Unioner, be warned. Erfurt's 25 year old number 7, Anna Mittelsdorf, scored three goals in that game.
The coach's view on the game
"Erfurt made a statement last week with their win against Bischofswerdaer, and have shown themselves to be attack-minded throughout their preparations for the season," said Ailien Poese, Union's head coach on Wednesday before the trip. "We expect an opponent who are eager to play, but who are also capable of defending well and who can be dangerous time and again, especially from set-pieces".
The 38-year-old is still without Marie Becker, Celine Frank and Sophie Trojahn due to injury. In addition, the team is currently suffering from a slight wave of colds, so that Naika Reissner, Latoya Bach and Chayenne Krebs are still questionable for the squad. Anouk Westphal, who was absent last weekend, will travel to Wolfsburg with the B Juniors. Ginger Schulz, meanwhile, is currently at the U-17 national team training course in Frankfurt. Pauline Wimmer, on the other hand, is ready for action again after her suspension, follwong her red card card against Viktoria on the first day of the season.