In what was a blistering start to the match, Philipp Hosiner gave die Eiserne an early lead before Kenny Prince Redondo seized upon a Lasse Sobiech error to double Union’s lead before the break.
Ewald Lienen’s St. Pauli pushed for a way back into the game in the second half, but were unable to convert any of the chances that fell their way as Jens Keller’s side held firm. If anything, die Eiserne could’ve added even more gloss to the score line but regardless Union carry on what has been a quietly superb start to their season.
Efficient Eiserne make it count
In what was certainly a raucous atmosphere at a Stadion an der Alten Föresterei that was packed to the rafters, it didn’t take the home side long to click into rhythm and they were nearly ahead but Steven Skryzbski’s early header sailed just wide of Robin Himmelmann’s goal.
In the absence of this seasons star man and top scorer, Colin Quaner, you’d have been forgiven for thinking that die Eiserne, Union Berlin, may have struggled in front of goal, but they quickly put Skryzbski’s early miss behind them and took an eleventh minute lead courtesy of Philipp Hosiner, Quaner’s replacement. The Austrian was at hand to pounce on a loose ball and drove in from the left hand flank and placed a finish under Himmelmann into the opposite corner. Hosiner matching his record for the entirety of last season, where he endured a dismal spell with 1. FC Köln.
Evidently spurred on my their goal, Jens Keller’s side immediately pushed for a second and if it hadn’t had been for the heroics of Himmelmann they’d have had it; the 6ft 1” ‘keeper charging out Manuel Neuer-esque to prevent the hosts from instantaneously doubling their lead.
They’ve gone about it quietly, but die Eiserne has started the season very well. Arriving in the aftermath of the tragic death of Sasha Lewandowski, Keller has quickly transformed the Berlin based club into one of the toughest sides to be in the entire 2. Bundesliga – so much so that only VfL Bochum have defeated Union, and that even came back on the opening Matchday. Meanwhile for St. Pauli the blistering opening forty-five minutes away to VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 1 seems a long way a way. As it stood they were heading to a similar fate in Köpenick; St. Pauli were shocked, Union were one goal to the good.
That being said, die Freibeuter, St. Pauli, did look dangerous every time they headed forward with a foray into the Union Berlin half. On both occasions their best opportunities would fall at the feet or Marvin Ducksch, although Jakob Busk was equal to them on both - The second a curling effort from distance that required the Dane to tip over his bar. The former Borussia Dortmund man, Ducksch, is still looking for his first goal in the brown of St. Pauli, and thanks to the efforts of Busk it appeared it wouldn’t be forthcoming in the capital.
Just as they were growing into the game however, Ewald Lienen’s side shot themselves in the foot and the task at hand became that much harder as die Eiserne were gifted a second from the most unlikely of sources. Usually Mr Reliable, Lasse Sobiech first did superbly and dispossessed Hosiner as he drew close to goal.
Yet after doing the hard work, the St. Pauli captain gifted possession to Kenny Prince Redondo on the edge of the box, who took a touch and drilled a left footed effort into the far corner to make it two just before the break. After an underwhelming first season at the Stadion an der Alten Föresterei, the man from Munich repaid the faith shown in him by Keller and made it two in three games.
Renewed St. Pauli, but result never in doubt
Clearly displeased by his sides showing in the first half and never afraid to ruffle a few feathers, Lienen made a double substitution at the break. Maurice Jerome Litka and Christopher Avevor made way for Aziz Bouhaddouz and Bernd Nehrig; the 20-year-old debutante, Litka, had failed to have an impact on the game, whilst his replacement the Moroccan Bohaddouz has impressed since his summer move from SV Sandhausen.
Yet the pragmatism from the German, Lienen, didn’t have the desired affect, and soon his side could and should have been three down. Hosiner dragging his shot from a central position wide of Himmelmann’s post, when it was harder to miss.
As the half drew on however, the substitutions died have the desired effect and die Freibeuter were able to dominate large swathes of possession. They carved out a number of chances too, although Busk was at hand to deny Waldemar Sobota from some 25 yards. Whilst neither Jan-Philipp Kalla nor Christopher Buchtmann were able to get a touch on a ball that fizzed across the penalty area, courtesy of Bouhaddouz.
Despite the renewed impetus from St. Pauli, in all truth be told, the home side were quite comfortable throughout the second half. The very accomplished midfield trio of Felix Kroos, Damir Kreilach and Stephan Fürstner able to deal with most of what came their way and control the tempo of the game. In all honesty, die Eiserne’s midfield would equally be at home in the Bundesliga and shows the increased draw that a club like Union Berlin can now have.
Union nearly had third late on, and it was the man who missed their first chance of the game that would miss their last. Skryzbski racing through on goal, but perhaps the only St. Pauli layer to come out of the game unscathed, Himmelmann, stood tall and eventually made the save; not that it mattered much in the end as referee, Harm Osmers, soon drew a close to the proceedings and continued Union Berlin’s superb start to the season.