Battling Borussia beaten late on by Union
Matchday 20 in the Bundesliga produced an unfortunate 2-1 home defeat to Union Berlin.
The 750 spectators allowed inside BORUSSIA-PARK saw a fairly quiet opening 15 minutes, with the match’s first noteworthy moment providing the opening goal. VAR spotted a handball by Denis Zakaria, and Max Kruse converted the resulting penalty (18’). Borussia were unfazed by the goal, however, and fought back, culminating in a deserved equaliser through Manu Koné (41’). The Foals continued to push forward in the second half, but were unlucky in front of goal. Then came the late hammer blow, again from Kruse, snatching all three points for Union Berlin in the 84th minute.
Adi Hütter made four changes from the DFB-Pokal tie in Hannover on Wednesday, with Luca Netz, Denis Zakaria, Breel Embolo and the fit-again Jonas Hofmann all coming in. Joe Scally, Lars Stindl, Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea were the players to drop out. Yann Sommer was in goal, while Matthias Ginter, Nico Elvedi and Marvin Friedrich lined up in a back-three. Stefan Lainer and Netz took up wide positions, with Zakaria and Manu Koné operating centrally. Hofmann, Florian Neuhaus and Breel Embolo made up the front line.
Borussia were without Lars Stindl for the match, as the captain suffered an MCL injury to his knee in training on Friday. Jordan Beyer (muscle problem), Christoph Kramer (cold) and Ramy Bensebaini (AFCON) remained unavailable. Not only was there a return to the squad for Jonas Hofmann following his recovery from knee surgery, but Mamadou Doucouré was also back in the matchday squad for the first time since June 2020.
18’: A deflected cross clips Denis Zakaria’s hand. VAR recommends that referee Dr. Felix Brych looks at the incident on the monitor and he awards a penalty. Kruse sends Sommer the wrong way. 1-0 to Union.
24’: Ginter’s pass runs through to Neuhaus on the edge of the box with his back to goal. He turns his man with a neat first touch, but he’s leaning back for the shot which rises over the top.
40’: Embolo does brilliantly to work the ball forward and feed Hofmann on the right-hand side. His low pull-back finds Koné on the edge of the box. The Frenchman gets it out of his feet and then beautifully curls a shot out of the goalkeeper’s reach. 1-1.
48’: Koné wins the ball high up the pitch and has a pop from 20 yards, but Rönnow gets his body behind it.
68’: A great attacking move from the Foals. Koné drives forward and picks out Embolo, who lays it off for Neuhaus to shoot, but a last-ditch block sends the ball behind for a corner.
77’: What a chance to take the lead! Ginter’s powerful shot from a tight angle is tipped away by Rönnow and falls to Netz in the six-yard box, but he can’t sort his feet in time and the rebound loops over the crossbar.
84’: A bitter pill to swallow. Gießelmann puts Kruse in behind and the former Foal buries a shot into the bottom corner. 2-1 to Union.
Borussia: Sommer – Ginter (86’ Plea), Elvedi, Friedrich – Lainer, Netz (87’ Scally) – Koné, Zakaria – Hofmann (79’ Herrmann), Neuhaus – Embolo // Unused subs: Sippel, Jantschke, Doucouré, Noß, Bennetts, Thuram
Union: Rönnow – Baumgartl, Knoche, Jaeckel – Trimmel, Khedira, Prömel (58’ Möhwald), Gießelmann (87’ Oczipka), Becker (70’ Öztunali), Voglsammer (70’ Behrens) – Kruse (87’ Haraguchi)
Goals: 0-1 Kruse (18’, pen.), 1-1 Koné (40’), 1-2 Kruse (84’)
Yellow cards: Friedrich – Prömel, Knoche
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (Munich)