1-0, Hosiner 33'. 2-0, Kreilach 54'. 2-1, Höler 76'.
1. FC Union Berlin 2-1 SV Sandhausen: 10-man Union get back to winning ways
Image credit: Bundesliga.de

1. FC Union Berlin 2-1 SV Sandhausen: 10-man Union get back to winning ways

Union are keeping pace in the Bundesliga race.

Jonathan Walsh
1. FC Union Berlin(4-1-2-1-2) Mesenhöler; Trimmel, Leistner, Puncec, Pedersen; Fürstner; Kroos (Daube 79'), Kreilach; Hedlund (Kessel 83'); Hosiner (Redondo 71'), Polter.
SV Sandhausen(4-2-3-1) Knaller; Thiede, Kister, Knipping, Roßbach; Lukasik, Kulovits (Kuhn 84'); Pledl, Stiefler (Derstroff 64'), Kosecki (Höler 57'); Sukuta-Pasu.
REFEREESven Jablonski (Bremen). Booked: Kister (60'), Kulovits (69'), Pedersen (86'), Roßbach (90+2'). Sent-off: Polter (56').

Philipp Hosiner and Damir Kreilach's goals earned three points for 1. FC Union Berlin against SV Sandhausen, as Lucas Höler's goal provided in vain during the 2-1 defeat.

Team news

Jens Keller was desperate to bounce back from the disappointing 3-1 defeat at VfB Stuttgart last weekend, and made two changes from that side. Simon Hedlund and Hosiner were brought in as Steven Skrzybski (injured) and Kenny Prince Redondo (bench) dropped out.

Sandhausen and Kenan Kocak, on the other hand, enjoyed a 4-0 win over Karlsruher SC a week previous. Despite that, Kocak opted for four alterations. Tim Kister, Marco Thiede, Daniel Lukasik and Jakub Kosecki came in for Markus Karl (not in squad), Philipp Klingmann, Denis Linsmayer (suspended) and Korbinian Vollmann (bench).

Hosiner has the hosts ahead

The first half hour of the opening period was filled with good endeavour, yet it provided little in the way of challenge for either defence or goalkeeper as a midfield battle emerged.

Then came the moment of quality required to make the breakthrough. Christopher Trimmel, as he has done so often this season, produced a ball of real quality to open things up. His first-time, half-volley cross was flicked on by Sebastian Polter and Hosiner stole a march on the Sandhausen back-line to get in behind to slide past Marco Knaller.

Almost immediately after they went a goal up, a long ball was met by the powerful Kreilach as his header struck the outside of the post. There was one moment of controversy before the break, however, as Kosecki appeared to be tripped by Felix Kroos in the penalty area. It went unpunished by Sven Jablonski, though.

Polter red card doesn't prove decisive

Daniel Mesenhöler began the second half as the busier goalkeeper and found himself called into action to palm away Roberto Puncec's attempted clearance from Manuel Stiefler's cross. Richie Sakuta-Pasu, despite his best efforts, failed to turn home the rebound as the visitors looked for a quick response.

Instead, they found themselves further behind. Kroos' corner reached the back post, although not intended to end up there, and was volleyed at goal by Kristian Pedersen. A handball from Tim Knipping kept the ball out, though it dropped kindly for Kreilach to thump into an empty goal from just a yard out.

Then, in what seemed like a fairly innocuous attempt to win the ball back, Jablonski produced a red card for the forward. Sandhausen were incensed, Polter was calm. It seemed like Polter's step had caught the back of Kister's leg, and even replays failed to show whether there was obvious intent. Either way, it livened up Sandhausen.

Their pressure culminated in what would turn out to be a consolation goal, but a fine one at that. Stefan Kulovits' cross was flicked goalwards superbly by Höler, who beat Mesenhöler. Union went level with Hannover 96 and Eintracht Braunschweig as a result of the win. Sandhausen, still on 38 points, should have done enough to be safe.