1. FC Union Berlin 1-2 FC Ingolstadt 04: Die Schanzer bounce back to end 2017 on a high

FC Ingolstadt 04 won for the first time in four matches as they came from behind to win 2-1 at 1. FC Union Berlin.

Steven Skrzybski had converted a debate penalty to put the hosts ahead in the second half, however two goals in four minutes for Ingolstadt came courtesy of substitute Robert Leipertz and a Dario Lezcano spot-kick.

Die Eisern therefore have now lost both games following the sacking of Jens Keller, with die Schanzer overtaking them in fourth place in the 2. Bundesliga table.

Both goalkeepers make saves to keep it goalless at the break

After recent dips in form, which had seen the hosts go winless in four (the third of which was enough to see Keller replaced by André Hofschneider) and Ingolstadt in three, both teams made two changes for their first game of the Rückrunde. Stephan Fürstner and Marcel Hartel replaced Dennis Daube and Akaki Gogia from Union’s defeat to Dynamo Dresden, whilst Almog Cohen and Stefan Lex returned at the expense of Max Christiansen and Leipertz for Ingolstadt following their 1-1 draw at 1. FC Kaiserslautern.

The match started fairly evenly but the hosts would have the better chances. Sebastian Polter had a shot from a tight angle on the left held by Örjan Nyland, with the closest Ingolstadt came being a Cohen header over the bar. Polter had a superb chance to open the lead though, after the officials missed him being clearly offside as the ball was played to him by Skrzybski. A defender kept tight enough to him, and in the end Nyland made the save to deny him.

The fact that both sides were on winless runs showed, however die Eisern established themselves as the better team as the first half wore on. Simon Hedlund saw a shot curl wide before Polter found his way past Marvin Matip, only for a heavy touch on the ball saw it run to Nyland.

Both Nyland and his Union counterpart Jakob Busk would made excellent saves in the final few minutes to keep the score level. Polter was the provider this time for Hartel, whose clever shot was tipped wide by the Ingolstadt goalkeeper. A few minutes later, Ingolstadt broke forward after winning the ball, with a Cohen pass to Lex leaving him through on goal, only for Busk to keep his shot out.

Ingolstadt recover from debatable penalty to win

The second half took its time to get going as well, until a controversial penalty was awarded to the hosts. Alfredo Morales leg brought down Hartel in the box, but it was questionable whether there was any intent in his movement at all. Nevertheless, Skrzybski stepped up and sent Nyland the wrong way to put his side in front.

An unlikely shooter in Matip went over for Ingolstadt, however Stefan Leitl’s decision to bring on both Thomas Pledl and Leipertz in the minutes following the goal proved inspirational. Leipertz scored the equaliser with a first-time shot after Pledl laid the ball back to him in the box, having received it himself from the left flank.

Barely three minutes later and they had the chance to complete the comeback. Cohen was taken down on the goal line by Toni Leistner, a much more obvious penalty than the first one. The result was the same, with Lezcano getting the better of Busk in the home goal.

Ingolstadt were on course to avenge their opening weekend defeat to their hosts, who only had one real chance to grab a point. A Christopher Trimmel free-kick found Leistner, however his header went wide. It means a drab end to a poor final few weeks before the winter break for Union Berlin, but Ingolstadt go into Christmas on a high.

Friday’s other 2. Bundesliga result

Eintracht Braunschweig 0-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf (0-1, Lovren 9‘)