1. FC Union Berlin won away at the so far unbeaten FC Carl Zeiss Jena II, 3-0 on Sunday afternoon with a first half goal from Sarah Abu Sabbah giving the guests the lead, before substitute Maria Cristina Lange scored a second half brace to finish things off.
FC Carl Zeiss Jena II: M. Wichmann - Berk, (46. Walter), Kratzer, L. Wichmann, Hof (24. Sträßer), Frießleben - Leberecht (70. Krafczyk), Groß, Landmann - Börner (70. Breker), Reske
1. FC Union Berlin: Wagner - Metzker, K. Orschmann, Niesler, Reissner - Rurack (66. Lange), Frank (91. Bach), Heiseler - Youssef (46. Blaschka), Abu Sabbah (79. Görsdorf), D. Orschmann (79. Trojahn)
Personnel: Union head coach Ailien Poese changed her starting line-up in two positions from the side which had started against Viktoria Berlin last weekend. Charleen Niesler replaced Marie Becker in central defence and Zita Rurack moved into the starting eleven for Athanasia Moraitou, currently away with the Greek national team.
Goals: 0:1 Abu Sabbah (13.), 0:2 Lange (74.), 0:3 Lange (88.)
Union dominate - Abu Sabbah scores
Union team started on the front foot immediately placing the still unbeaten second-placed team in the Regionalliga Nordost under pressure early on, pushing them back deep into their own half. Captain Lisa Heiseler tested goalkeeper Mailin Wichmann for the first time with a free kick from the right after only two minutes. Then, three minutes later Sarah Abu Sabbah missed the target, having been set up by Rurack.
The first big chance of the game, however, came from Rurack herself. After a cross from Dina Orschmann on the left, Union's number nine headed just over the goal from inside the box. It took just one more minute for the breakthrough. Heiseler played Dina Orschmann free from the centre on the left wing, who crossed flat to the back post, where Abu Sabbah had no trouble slotting in.
The lead gave the Union players further confidence and they dominated possession. In the 19th minute of the game, Abu Sabbah's beautiful cross from the outside found Heiseler, who was free in the penalty area but couldn’t quite bring the ball down, and though Union had the majority of possession they failed to turn it into meaningful chances until the half hour mark, when they picked up their threat.
Katja Orschmann struck a typically long, targeted free kick towards Heiseler with captain lifting the ball to the head of Rurack, who, however, headed the ball just over the goal from a good position. Once again Union upped the pressure. A minute later Abu Sabbah sent Dina Orschmann off on a run, but the winger missed at the near post. Dina Orschmann was again the focus of the next chance when Naika Reissner sent the vice-captain deep and she flicked her shot just wide of goal. Before the whistle blew Abu Sabbah tried from distance, again, and the Unioner would be forgiven for wondering if they would regret not having taken their chances.
Lange’s brace settles things
Union made one change at the break, bringing on Anouk Blaschka, but her appearance aside the second half carried on largely from where the first had ended. Union dominated, repeatedly creating dangerous situations. Just two minutes after the restart Abu Sabbah, up on her toes, missed from a Pia Metzker cross before Jena failed to clear a free kick and Dina Orschmann tested goalkeeper Wichmann with a header from near the penalty spot, which was then cleared for a corner. Heiseler took it and Abu Sabbah chested just wide.
After that, however, the hosts had their first real chance to score from a set-piece. Leonie Wichmann hit a dangerous free kick dangerously box, which was flicked on by Denise Landmann, just missing the Union goal. At the other end Heiseler tried a free kick, herself, that went wide after an hour.
Shortly afterwards, Union made another change, Maria Cristina Lange coming into the game, and it took only eight minutes until the tall striker played a one-two with Heiseler and finished neatly from inside the box. It was the first competitive goal in an Union kit for Lange, who arrived from Potsdam in the summer, and it buoyed her, you could see her growing in confidence as the game wore on.
In the 82nd minute, she collected a long ball and shot at the far post, the ball just passing the keeper’s left hand post. Three minutes later, Lange tried this time from distance, but again she just missed. With two minutes of normal time to play, however, she did better. Reissner found Lange in the penalty area, she shot, and though the first attempt was initially held by Wichmann, the rebound dropped to Lange who scored her second goal of the day with a shot into the empty net.
The views on the game
"We had the game clearly in our hands, we managed well and didn't really allow any chances at the back,” said Union defender, Katja Orschmann after the final whistle. “We had to go into the game mentally strong, aware that Jena were undefeated so far."
Meanwhile Lange was overjoyed, saying, “I'm glad that I was able to contribute to the victory with my first two competitive goals for Union."
"Jena defended well and allowed few gaps,” said Union head coach Ailien Poese. “The early 1-0 was good for us. Of course, we then had to follow up after so many big chances, but we created more and more. That Nina Lange then scored two after her substitution is of course very nice."
The return trip from Jena will be followed by tomorrow's training, but the coming weekend is match-free for Ailien Poese's team. Their next competitive match for is at 19:30 on Thursday, 05.10.2023, in the Polytan Cup against TSV Mariendorf 1897. The league then continues three days later with a home match against SV Blau Weiss Berolina Mitte 49.