Steven Skrzybski gave the visitors the lead in the first half, but soon after the break the hosts responded with a spectacular finish from Konstantin Kerschbaumer.
The draw would have been the fair before, before Skrzybski struck in what might have been the winner, just as the referee blew for full-time.
Skrzybski goal the different in hectic half
Bielefeld were coming into the game on the back of a 1-0 win versus rivals VfL Bochum last Monday night, their first victory in four, with two changes made to their team here seeing Manuel Prietl and Leandro Putaro coming in for Kenau Staude and Fabian Klos. Union remain without a win since November, when Jens Keller was still in charge, with their latest defeat coming at the hands of 1. FC Nürrnberg. Marvin Freidrich, making his debut following his move from FC Augsburg, Michael Parensen, Damir Kreilach and Skrzybski all came into their team.
The hosts started strongly. Florian Hartherz had a couple of attempts on goal in the first ten minutes, the second being the closer of the two. Putaro found him in a good position, but the left-back struck wide. Andreas Voglsammer was then denied by Daniel Mesenhöler – he showed great skill in controlling the ball before taking a shot, but a fingertip save from the Union Berlin goalkeeper kept the ball out.
Their promising early work was ruined by a mistake at the back. A ponderous header from Florian Dick, aimed nowhere in particular, was jumped upon by Skrzybski. He took his chance by lobbing the ball well over the reach of Stefan Ortega, and his luck was in as it bounced towards goal without a defender being able to get back in time.
Bielefeld responded well to that setback, with Patrick Weihrauch just falling short of meeting a Voglsammer cross, before a Hartherz cross found Kerschbaumer, but his header kept it on its way rather than leading to an attempt on goal. At the other end of the pitch, Simon Hedlund had a shot saved by Ortega, whilst Kreilach then put the ball wide.
By this point it was end-to-end, with both sides testing the opposition goalkeeper on regular occasions. The best chance before half-time fell to Bielefeld, with a cross from Hartherz getting ahead of the defence but Putaro, who stayed onside, rushed his shot, catching the ball on the side of his foot and missing the target.
Kerschbaumer hits scorcher before controversial finish
There was no let-up in the action after the break either. Just as in the first half, Skrzybski nearly made the most of a mistake at the back, but this time with a defender at his back Oretga saved the ball before he could do anything more. Bielefeld then countered, with Voglsammer denied in the box by Parensen. There was appeals for the ball coming off his arm, and it definitely hit his hands as he went to ground, but no play for the ball was being made.
Soon after, the equaliser came in stunning style. Weihrauch found Kerschbaumer, and he went for the spectacular. Striking the ball seemingly with the tip of his feet from in the air, he lobbed it high over Mesenhöler and in to the net just under the bar.
Kreilach had the chance to restore Union’s lead just after, as he was sought out by a high Christopher Trimmel cross, however he put the ball wide. More of the play was taking place in the away half though, with a dangerous cross from Voglsammer not quite finding Putaro, before Kristian Pedersen made a vital interception in the box to deny Weihrauch a shot.
Marcel Hartel was introduced by André Hofschneider, and within a couple of minutes he should have had his side back in the lead. Hedlund found the former 1. FC Köln in enough space to time his shot, however he only managed to go wide. The momentum now was more in their favour, in as much as it could be in this competitive match, but the goal wasn’t coming, not even when a Trimmel free-kick left the ball for the taking in chaotic scenes in the Bielefeld box.
The game though ended in the most controversial circumstances. Union had a late free-kick, which found Hartel, whose shot was punched away by Ortega. The ball landed at the feet of Skrzybski, yet the referee Tobias Reichel didn’t see the attack was still on and blew his whistle for full-time, just milliseconds before Skrzybski’s shot hit the back of the net. They were understandably livid, but there was nothing they could do.