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Union Berlin Continue Their Winless Streak Of Games

Thursday 5th December 2013
Union Berlin (not Union J) fan Will Brown takes a look at last weekend's fixture between Union Berlin and VFR Aalen.

Union Berlin's nightmare November ended on a low note, as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at home to VFR Aalen at the Stadion an der Alten Försterei to extend their winless run to four matches. A tight game was finally settled in the 92nd minute by Michael Klauß, after two strikes by Enrico Valentini, either side of Torsten Mattuschka levelling things up with a stunning free-kick, had given the visitors the lead.

Going into the game, the sides had managed one goal between them in November, coming from Aalen striker Robert Lechleiter on the first day of the month, in a 1-0 win over Düsseldorf. The first half exemplified why both of these teams have struggled to score of late: poor finishing from Union, and a lack of quality in the final third from VFR.

Aalen were set up to defend and attempt to catch the home side on the break, with wingers Valentini and Lechleiter prepared to get forward quickly to support lone striker Reichwein. It was a tactic which almost paid dividends as early as the tenth minute, when Leichleiter was played in by visiting skipper Leandro Grech, only for his first touch to let him down and allow home ‘keeper Daniel Haas to smother the ball. Two minutes later, Reichwein's effort from the edge of the area almost slipped through Haas' hands, who was relieved to see the ball bounce away from goal after misjudging the flight of the shot.

After this early scare, Union proceeded to take charge of the game. Adam Nemec, who scored four goals early in the season, showed why Die Eisernen are struggling to hit the back of the net when he steered a free header from eight yards out over the crossbar. A well worked corner between home captain Mattuschka and Martin Dausch saw the latter's curling effort fly just wide as the home team sought to end their drought in front of goal. It wasn't to be, however, with Terrode this time the guilty party, heading too close to Fejzić in the Aalen goal from six yards out after good work from Sören Brandy.

The second half struggled to get going, as Union continued to see more of the ball, but not create a great number of chances. Aalen punished them just before the hour mark through a goal which owed a lot to a wicked deflection off Marc Pfertzel. After some patient build up play, Valentini tried an ambitious shot from 20 yards, which hit Pfertzel and spun into the bottom corner, leaving a wrong-footed Haas helpless.

Within moments, however, the game was level. Union's one goal in their previous five games was a wonderful free-kick from Mattuschka, and he repeated the trick from 25 yards out to restore parity. Fejzić got a hand on it, but wasn't able to keep the ball out, and the home side sensed their winless run could be coming to an end, as they began to press with more urgency than had been the case until that point in the second half.

However, the visitors held firm, and were able to restore their lead following some neat build-up play. Grech's chipped ball down the right hand side found Reichwein in space, whose low cross was poked home by Valentini for his second of the game. Union responded by throwing on target man Christian Stuff, who should have levelled with 10 minutes to go after a scramble in the penalty area, but could only lift his shot over the bar. Union Berlin were made to pay in injury time when Klauß slotted home from six yards following a quick counter-attack. The win lifted Aalen to ninth, while Berlin drop to fifth; both still in touch with the promotion chasing pack, but for Union, this was a disappointing end to a disappointing month. A cup game at home to Kaiserslautern on Tuesday gives them the chance to make amends quickly, while Aalen have the week off to prepare for Paderborn at home.

Union Berlin (4-3-1-2): Haas; Pfertzel, Puncec, Schönheim, Kohlmann; Brandy, Kreilach, Dausch; Mattuschka; Terrode, Nemec

VFR Aalen (4-5-1): Fejzić; Traut, Barth, Hübner, Buballa; Lechleiter, Hofmann, Junglas, Grech, Valentini; Reichwein

Attendance: 17236

Man of the Match: Leandro Grech (VFR Aalen). The visiting captain kept his team well organised and showed some nice touches on the ball. His pass for the second Aalen goal was superb.
Will Brown
Huge football fan, also a follower of tennis, cricket and athletics. Student at Durham University, where I study German and Spanish. Coventry City (live near Coventry during University holidays) and Union Berlin fan, after spending the summer of 2013 in Berlin. Currently living in Graz, Austria, and watching GAK 1902 from time to time.

Total articles: 14

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