Union Berlin has crowned a successful season by entering the Europa League.
The Union players charged at Taiwo Awoniyi and celebrated their match winner. All around them, fans of the Berliners ran onto the field and cheered the crowning of a successful season. The Köpenickers are playing internationally again, this time even in the Europa League.
“I think today will just be a huge party, you have to enjoy it too: Union for the second time in a row internationally,” said Grischa Prömel after the 3-2 (2-0) win against VfL Bochum, who are fifth in the table secured. Thus, in their third season in the upper house, the Berliners surpassed the success of last year, when coach Urs Fischer’s team reached the Conference League.
In front of 22,012 spectators in the An der Alten Försterei stadium, Prömel (5th) gave the Berliners the lead in his last game for Union, Awoniyi scored twice (25th, hand penalty / 88th). Simon Zoller (55th) and Eduard Löwen (79th) scored the goals for Bochum, who had already secured relegation before the last matchday.
Union had already secured participation in a European competition in advance. The fact that the team could even improve again compared to last season was “mad”, Fischer explained before the game: “It’s a positive pressure because you can win something.”
Union – Bochum: Awoniyi with the late winner
Among other things, the Union coach had to do without Timo Baumgartl, who had ended the season prematurely due to testicular cancer. The team warmed up in red T-shirts with the number 25, the centre-back’s shirt number.
Before kick-off, Union also said goodbye to a quintet from his ranks to thunderous applause. In addition to Prömel, who will join TSG Hoffenheim, Jakob Busk, Bastian Oczipka, Anthony Ujah and Suleiman Abdullahi will leave the club. Especially Prömel was loudly celebrated by the fans.
And the 27-year-old made the supporters cheer again shortly after the start of the game. After a cross from Genki Haraguchi, Prömel headed in from close range. Union initially had the game under control. Bochum tried to find an answer, but found hardly any offensive solutions against concentrated defending Unioner.
Sheraldo Becker, who had previously stopped after two actions, finally had to be replaced due to injury. Sven Michel came on for the striker in the 19th minute, and he immediately scored a hand penalty for the hosts. Robert Tesche was shot in the arm by Michel. According to the video images, referee Marco Fritz pointed to the point, Awoniyi converted.
However, neither team became really dangerous as a result. After the break, Bochum became a little more active and Zoller scored the goal with a header. Awoniyi missed a good opportunity for Union and failed at Esser (66th), who also defused the subsequent corner.
Union Berlin – VfL Bochum: The voices
Urs Fischer (Coach Union Berlin): “I also think that the opening goal didn’t do us any good. You felt a certain uncertainty. I think that has something to do with the fact that you have an idea of what you could achieve. In the second half, I liked it a lot better. Then you’re fifth after 34 match days. I haven’t found a single word that describes this situation.”
Thomas Reis (coach VfL Bochum): “You could see that we had a few personnel problems, but we didn’t complain about that either. We changed the basic structure a little bit, and it took a little while. Goals conceded come from mistakes, but it’s still too easy.”