VAR rules out VfB strike
The match was the expected hard-fought encounter from the outset and after a period of initial sparring, Juan Jose Perea went close for VfB (13’), with Kevin Behrens firing off a warning shot from the hosts shortly afterwards (22’). Dan-Axel Zagadou had a chance to break the deadlock in the 29th minute but his close-range header flew narrowly over the bar.
VfB did manage to put the ball in the net via Perea after Lennart Grill’s attempted clearance went awry, but it was disallowed following a VAR review for a handball by the Colombian in the build-up (33’). Bruno Labbadia’s charges remained the better team and put the hosts under pressure, Tiago Tomás forcing Grill into a save shortly before the interval (43’).
Frustrating second half
Union were much improved after the break and quickly took the lead when Jerome Roussillon’s cross to the back post was met by Sheraldo Becker, who was left with a simple finish (51’). Zagadou could have equalised moments later with another header, but this one fizzed just the wrong side of the post.
Union put the game to bed midway through the half though, as Behrens made it 2-0 from close range (65’) before Genki Haraguchi scored an unfortunate own goal (68’). VfB refused to give up and continued to create chances but were ultimately unable to finish them off.
51st minute (1-0): Roussillon crosses to the back post, Becker sticks out a foot and puts Union in front.
65th minute (2-0): The ball falls to Behrens inside the penalty box and he makes it 2-0 from close range.
68th minute (3-0): Union get another goal almost immediately as Haraguchi diverts a cross into his own net.
Bruno Labbadia: “I’m frustrated and disappointed that we lost this game because we could have won it. We were wasteful with our own chances, and our defending in certain moments wasn’t decisive enough, which is what led to us conceding goals too easily. We’re all feeling down now but the crucial thing is that we keep going.”