Union Berlin has to worry about the dream goal of the Champions League after an unnecessary stumble. Against the relegation candidates VfL Bochum, the team of coach Urs Fischer gambled away a lead on Sunday and only managed to draw 1-1 (1-0) after being outnumbered for almost half an hour.
Although Union remains third in the table after 28 Bundesliga matchdays with 52 points, the lead over SC Freiburg in fifth place in the Europa League has shrunk to just two points. The Breisgauer had previously won 2-1 (0-0) at Werder Bremen.
“It’s a fair draw, we slept through the start of the second half and became very passive,” said Union’s Rani Khedira DAZN. The table constellation “does not concern us”, he claimed: “We can only influence our game, we should stick to that.”
Full-back Josip Juranovic (45′ + 3′) made Köpenicker celebrate with a brilliant free-kick goal before Kevin Stöger (55′, penalty kick) equalized for Bochum in the second round. Union’s Paul Jaeckel (61st) later saw the yellow-red card after repeated foul play.
Bochum, who lost 2:3 to their direct relegation rivals VfB Stuttgart last weekend, meanwhile celebrated a moral success in the fight to stay up in the league. With 27 points, he is 15th in the table. currently three points ahead of the Swabians in relegation rank 16.
“We have to be present right from the start, not miss out on the first half again,” Fischer said beforehand. But Union was there after the 2-1 defeat at Borussia Dortmund last week and was twice dangerous early on through Danilho Doekhi (2nd/5th). The central defender initially aimed over it before his second shot from afar landed in the arms of VfL goalkeeper Manuel Riemann.
After that, however, the two-fight game flattened out, with Union being the more active team in this phase. Bochum, who had to do without their captain Anthony Losilla, who was suspended, focused resolutely on a stable defense and did little in front. As a result, chance had to play a role for great chances, which were absolutely scarce in the first round.
A murmur went through the Alte Försterei when Jerome Roussillon’s cross (37th) kissed the Bochum crossbar. The lead fell just as smoothly in added time in the first half when VfL professional Patrick Osterhage fouled Union Aissa Laidouni around 20 meters from his own goal. From this excellent free-kick position, it was easy for magic foot Juranovic to curl the ball beautifully into the left corner.
If the first section was stingy with highlights, the second 45 minutes after the break made up for it. After Laidouni fouled VfL defender Ivan Ordets, Stöger safely converted the penalty that was due. And suddenly the guests saw their chance when Jaeckel was thrown off the pitch after repeated fouls. Bochum invested a lot and put pressure on them – and they were lucky that a goal by Union Kevin Behrens (64th) did not count according to the video images.
Union Berlin – VfL Bochum: The votes
Urs Fischer (Trainer Union Berlin): “From my point of view it was a good first half. We ran it up there. So we kept winning the ball. The lead was a great goal and deserved it. After the break we had 10, 15 minutes where you’re begging for an equaliser. The yellow-red card was a wake-up call. And then I see a chance for us to win the game. In the end you have to live with that point too.”
Thomas Letsch (coach VfL Bochum): “Union was a bit better in the first half. We were bad in our own possession. A lot was okay, but okay is not enough. Then came the dream goal. We were much braver in the second half and showed a great reaction. I’m happy that we’re going home with a point. We certainly had chances to win the game, but we’re happy to take the point with us. It can be very important for us.”