Union Communications Team | August 2019
Urs Fischer and his men have just completed their first month of life in the Bundesliga. After a busy summer, filled with arrivals and departures, August saw us finally play our first competitive fixtures. First, a cup match against minnows Eichstätt. Matches against RB Leipzig, FC Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund completed the month. Let’s look back on how we started the season!
The first competitive match of the 19/20 season was one in the DFB Pokal. As is tradition, Bundesliga teams face an away trip to a team from a lower league. The draw coupled us against VfB Eichstätt from Bavaria. After an uneventful first half, and an early second-half goal for Union, the match seemed over.
However, the fourth-tier team gave Union a very tough second half. In the space of five minutes, Eichstätt went from 1-0 down to 2-1 up. An upset seemed on the cards. But after Urs Fischer brought on the big names that were rested for this match, Union managed to turn the match on its head once again. A quick double salvo from Swedish striker Sebastian Andersson ensured Union were spared the humiliation of first-round defeat in the DFB Pokal.
Our Bundesliga campaign started a week later, with a match against RB Leipzig. On many occasions, Unioner
have protested the commercial nature of this club. This time however, the match was not preceded by protests, but rather by a display of hundreds of portraits of Union fans who are not among us anymore (see the picture at the top of this article). A beautiful tribute that shows our club is one big family.
Shortly after this display, our first match in the Bundesliga was kicked off. The first half saw an Union that was mostly pushed back by a high-pressing Leipzig. However, the Bulls did not manage to really test Gikiewicz owing to impressive work by our defence.
In the second half, Union managed to break out more and more. One of those quick breaks resulted in a good counter attack in the 66th minute. After regaining the ball, Gogia found Bülter. Our left-winger then used his pace to create space for a cross, finding the head of Julius Kade with a good high ball. The youngster rose above the Leipzig defence to head the ball into the net in front of the Leipzig fans: 1-0 to Union!
The last 25 minutes of the match were tense, as Union had to get stuck in to preserve their 1-0 lead, even going down to 10 men after 88 minutes. In the end, the efforts of Leipzig to break down Union proved futile. First match, first win against all odds. The Unioner
in the stadium were ecstatic, and rightfully so.
After this perfect opening match, Union travelled to the far south of the country with plenty of confidence, to face FC Augsburg. This showed on the pitch, as our pride started brightly, creating their first major chance after only 7 minutes. A period of dominant football from FCU followed. The team rewarded itself for this in the 25th minute: right-back Ryerson found himself in a lot of space, which allowed him to give a perfect cross that was headed home by Marius Bülter.
This goal prompted Urs Fischer to play more passive and defensive football, as Union sought to contain Augsburg. However, this plan failed as Augsburg managed to equalise through André Hahn just before half-time.
In the second half, our trainer and his boys seemed content with a point away from home. Both Augsburg and Union created no big chances, meaning the dull second half ended as it had started: 1-1. A decent result for Union, who had now picked up four points from their first two matches.
Matchday three pitted Union against Bundesliga giants Dortmund. The away side fielded many creative, dynamic players, with Urs Fischer relying upon Union’s physical dominance to counter this threat. A first half in which BVB were able to exploit their pace advantage over FCU followed: starlet Haaland scored twice following quick breaks by Dortmund, while Sancho completed the first-half humiliation for Union by scoring a good goal after a skillful solo.
After BVB scored the 0-4 in the 61st minute, the chanting faded away from the home terraces as many Unioner
seemed disillusioned. They saw that Union gave it their all, but were still completely dominated by a much more efficient Dortmund side. Had they overestimated the qualities of their own team?
However, Union’s efforts were rewarded late on in the match, as substitute striker Anthony Ujah scored twice in quick succession. In their efforts to score the Anschlußtor
(the goal before the equalising goal), FCU gave away a lot of space, allowing BVB to break out and score the 2-5 from a penalty. Immediately after the penalty was taken, referee Hartmann ended the match. Despite the heavy loss, our players were celebrated as heroes by the fans in the stadium. No matter what, you always support your family.
After an eventful first month, Union can be proud of the four points they picked up in two difficult home games, and a difficult away game. We look forward to what September will bring our team, and hope we can stay clear of the relegation zone!