Union Berlin took the lead towards the end of the first half when Marvin Freidrich powered a header past Timo Horn. Shortly before that, they were denied a penalty by VAR.
Koln made a very strong start to the second half, but Christian Gentner’s emphatic finish took the wind out their sails and made it 2-0 to Union. Jhon Cordoba gave Koln a lifeline with two minutes of stoppage time to go, slotting past Rafal Gikiewicz.
The billy goats almost went when step further when Benjamin Hubner appeared to bundle Mark Uth over in the box. The referee didn’t seem interested, and quickly bought the game to a close instead of calling for a penalty.
The first half lacked clear-cut chances
Koln came closest to scoring when Rafael Czichos powered a half volley from close range straight at Gikiewicz. Other than that chance, Union looked the marginally brighter side.
A breakthrough seemed to present itself after half an hour when referee Martin Petersen pointed to the spot for a handball by Czichos. A lengthy VAR check ensued, and the footage showed that the German centre-back’s arm was very tight to his body when the cross connected with him, so the referee correctly overturned the decision.
Union got the reward for their positive play when they took the lead after 39 minutes. A corner was whipped in by Christopher Trimmel and met with power by Friedrich.
Some blame should lie with Koln keeper Timo Horn, who seemed to change his mind about coming to collect the cross. The header meant Trimmel now has eight assists this season from right back, as the Austrian’s dead-ball delivery has been key for the Berliners this season.
Koln looked a lot more dangerous as the second half began, and started to pen Union into their own half. The Berliners still represented a threat on the counter however.
Koln’s momentum was taken away after 67 minutes, when Gentner made it two. A corner was cleared, and Marius Bulter floated it back into the box. The Koln defence came out far too slowly, and left Gentner with all the time in the world to chest the ball down and smash it past the onrushing Horn.
It looked as though Union had seen the game out
Union seemed to have achieved a valuable clean sheet, but Cordoba slotted the ball in from 12 yards out in the 92nd minute. A nervy couple of minutes followed, and Koln were furious when they weren’t given a penalty for a push by Hubner on Uth in the box right at the death.
This result see’s Union climb to 13th, level on points with Koln. Both teams are seven points clear of the relegation play-off place, currently occupied by Fortuna Dusseldorf.