Union Berlin's European dream ends with soft whimper in Belgium
By Peter Vice @ViceytheSS
German 2022/23 UEFA Europa League representatives 1. FC Union too have seen their European dream die today after faltering badly in Belgium.
|Urs Fischer.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Fischer made just one change to the XI that drew Wolfsburg 1-1 on Sunday. Jerome Roussillon rotated in for Niko Gießelmann at the left wingback position. The former VfL Wolfsburg defender has been most active offensively on his flank as of late. It was Roussillon who burst into the box for Union in the 6th minute. A fine layoff for Sven Michel unfortunately ended when the FCU attacker got dispossessed. The Belgian hosts very nearly scored on the ensuing counter.
Union 60, playing in the much larger venue of Jupiler Pro League competitions R.S.C. Anderlecht, looked especially dangerous on counterattacks throughout the opening quarter-of-an-hour. Their German guests had to survive several scares during the tense opening stages. Not unlike in the first leg, mental errors proved fatal for Fischer's Eisernen. Robin Knoche played an unwise pass over to Diogo Leite in the penalty area in the 18th. Ivorian striker Simon Adingra took the ball off the Portuguese defender and serviced Teddy Teuma for the game's opening goal.
Union weren't able to muster up much in terms of a response. Their Belgian counterparts passed the ball around them for much of the duration of the second half. Fischer's men had great difficulty keeping up. Die Eiserenen got stuck often in open play and weren't able to make the most of a few free-kicks from dangerous positions. Some better cycle play and a few more risky moves after the restart only led to more Saint-Gilloise counters. Lazare Amani doused hopes for a comeback further with the 2-0 in the 63rd.
The closest the German guests came to making a game of it yet occurred when Liete headed over a Christopher Trimmel corner in the 78th. Shortly after that, the FCU were reduced to ten-men when the subbed on Janik Haberer incurred a second yellow card in the 80th. The call - for a studs-up follow through on Senne Lynen after a shot - was a bit harsh, but it never really appeared as if Ficher's crew were going to find their way back into the match.
The Belgians continued to push for a third goal. Sheraldo Becker had to clear a ball off the line in the 87th. Amani saw a goal disallowed for offside in the 89th. French winger Loic Lapoussin would finally net one that counted at 90+4. The East German Irons bounce out of Europe courtesy of a 3-6 aggregate scoreline.