1. FC Union Berlin came from a goal behind to grab a point at home to Greuther Fürth.
Sven Michel followed up on a goal and assist last week in Leipzig with another important strike after coming off the bench. The Union number 10 struck with 18 minutes left on the clock to add another point to the club’s Bundesliga tally for the season.
Stefan Leitl’s Greuther Fürth opened the scoring after 33 minutes through Branimir Hrgota.
1. FC Union Berlin: Rönnow; Jaeckel, Knoche, Heintz (Ryerson 24), Trimmel, Gießelmann (Michel 70), Khedira, Prömel, Haraguchi (Voglsammer 45), Becker (Öztunali 85), Awoniyi (Behrens 70)
Greuther Fürth: Linde; Itter, Viergever, Griesbeck, Willems (Bauer 73), Asta, Tillman (Jung 90), Raschl, Hrgota, Ngankam (Green 73), Leweling (Abiama 84)
1. FC Union Berlin secured their first Bundesliga victory in Leipzig on Saturday, and Urs Fischer made one change to his starting line-up: Genki Haraguchi returned to midfield in place of Andras Schäfer who has been ruled out with coronavirus. If Union needed pre-warning about Fürth’s threat, Fischer’s players could look back to December 12. A goal from Havard Nielsen in the second half handed Stefan Leitl’s side their first Bundesliga win after a long wait. Greuther Fürth made themselves hard to beat defensively at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei but possessed enough in the front three to have an attacking threat. Jamie Leweling mis-kicked his cross but Hrgota fell over the ball and the chance after 10 minutes was passed up. Christopher Trimmel ran from an advanced position on the right-hand side, whipped in a first-time cross but Taiwo Awoniyi shot off target. Despite their relegation being confirmed last week, Greuther Fürth played with the shackles off and were willing to take risks. Tobias Raschl’s 30-yard piledriver cannoned against Frederik Rönnow’s crossbar while Hrgota fired wide from distance two minutes later. Fischer was unfortunately forced into an early change after 22 minutes when Dominique Heintz pulled up on the left-side of the pitch. The defender was taken off a few minutes later and replaced by Julian Ryerson. On 32 minutes, Greuther Fürth broke the deadlock with a spectacular goal from former Borussia Mönchengladbach talent Hrgota. Jetro Williams’ free-kick into a crowded penalty box was cleared as far as the Fürth skipper who pulled off a sensational effort to find the top corner. It was a major setback for Union who ended the first 45 minutes looking to find their groove after going behind.
Fischer swapped Haraguchi for Andreas Voglsammer during the interval as Union looked to claw back points ahead of a vital three-game run-in until the end of the season. A stray pass from the substitute striker played in Jesse Ngankam but despite having acres of space and Hrgota at the far post the youngster passed up a chance to score a second. On 56 minutes, Prömel struck over the target after Rani Khedira’s cross was effectively cleared by the away defence. Voglsammer had a shot blocked a minute later with Fürth putting any notions of giving up the season to bed following their drop to the 2.Bundesliga. A big opportunity came Awoniyi’s way on 65 minutes after Robin Knoche broke the defensive line with a pass in behind. The Nigerian was denied however by Fürth’s Swedish goalkeeper Andreas Linde. After the clock reached 70 minutes, Fischer dipped into his reserves again with Sven Michel and Kevin Behrens introduced. It doesn’t needed to be repeated what happened in Leipzig over three late minutes as the two players combined to defeat the Bundesliga’s fourth-placed side. And remarkably, it was Michel who levelled the scores with 72 minutes gone at the Alte Försterei. Union received a huge stroke of luck as Nick Viergever was dispossessed and leaving the goal empty while Linde had positioned himself at the side of the goal for the return pass. Michel took full advantage to score his third Bundesliga goal since signing from Paderborn in January. After Levin Öztunali was brought on with five to go, it was all Union. A knockdown from Michel gave Voglsammer a sight at goal but he dragged the effort wide. Öztunali almost weaved his way through the Fürth defence in stoppage time, but it wasn’t to be as referee Patrick Ittrich blew the end to 1. FC Union Berlin’s 100th Bundesliga match.