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Union win season opener


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FC Viktoria Berlin: Buchholz – Lux, Sange, Agac (13. Künzel/46. Sarr), Grosch, Sänger, Gerken, Statz, Trapp, Yaren, Behrend (75. Shigjeqi)

1. FC Union Berlin: Wagner – Wildner, Becker, Gericke, Bach – Scheel (46. Görsdorf), Wimmer (sent off, 67.), Heiseler – Reissner (89. Kratz), Youssef (84. Reichenbach), Bucher (65. Spolaczyk)

Goals: 1:0 Lux (3.), 1:1 Heiseler (31. Pen.), 1:2 Reissner (65.)

Attendance: 700

Unfavourable start to the match, but the captain equalises

In the days before kick-off, the sense of anticipation for the season opener was palpable around the training ground in Dörpfeldstraße. Full of verve and euphoria, the young squad of 1. FC Union Berlin were champing at the bit for the first game of the season against city rivals Viktoria Berlin. But they would be immediately disillusioned just after taking the pitch. After just three minutes, Union fell behind at the Stadion Lichterfelde. Confusion reigned as a result of a corner kick and Vanessa Lux was hand to stab the ball home.

Union had to compose themselves, they had to adjust to the shock, and it took a few minutes to recover and get themselves back into the game. However, as it wore on, Union were seeing more of the ball, and equalised after half an hour. Naika Reissner was held in the box, the referee pointing immediately to the spot. As in the friendly a couple of weeks ago against the same opposition (which Viktoria won 2-1) new captain Lisa Heiseler put the resulting penalty away, coolly to the keeper’s left.

Reissner scores, Wimmer flies

The second half developed into a superb tussle, an end-to-end game with both teams creating several chances to score. In front of a very respectable 700 spectators – who made for a cracking and crackling atmosphere – it was Reissner, however, who was to score the decisive goal just after the hour. The 17-year-old, who arrived from Hoffenheim in the summer, beat the keeper, Inga Buchholz, having been set up by Lisa Görsdorf, capitalising, herself, on the chaos caused by Heiseler’s shot from 25 yards hitting the base of the post.

Only a few seconds later, however, Union’s optimism was again shattered when midfield strategist Pauline Wimmer was sent off by the referee after a foul resulted in her second yellow card.

Union struggled in the ensuing 25 minutes, outnumbered, and finding themselves increasingly pressed back into their own half. But they kept their heads, were cohesive and solid and with a lot of effort, however, held on to their lead.

Coach Ailien Poese was overjoyed after the successful start: “To defend so confidently for 25 minutes with a player down, and to hold on to this result is not simply a matter of course. [The performance] embodied everything we’ve been working on as a team during our preparations, and we are proud to have delivered it like that.”

A look ahead to next week

Next Sunday, the women face their next challenge when Union’s women welcome FSV Babelsberg 74 to Dörpfeldstraße for their first home game of the season. The Potsdam side drew 1-1 with Bischofswerdaer FV in their opening match today.

Kick-off is at 2 pm, admission is free.



Union win season opener
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