Germany: Bundesliga
0 - 2
(0 - 1)
Union Berlin
K. Adeyemi (41), I. Maatsen (90)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

15:30 Kickoffs: Dortmund and Leipzig both win, Frankfurt snap skid, Darmstadt suffer meltdown

There were plenty of goals, not to mention plenty of slapstick, in the latest set of Bundesliga 15:30 kickoffs. Dortmund and Leipzig remain one point apart in the race for the top four after securing away wins against respective opponents Union Berlin and VfL Bochum. 

Eintracht Frankfurt also emerged away victors, thanks in large part due to a monumental goalkeeping error from 1. FC Heidenheim keeper Kevin Müller. The FCH net-minders momentary blackout was nevertheless nothing compared to what transpired in Darmstadt. 

Torsten Lieberknecht's SV98 completely fell apart in one of the worst collapses witnessed in the German top flight in many years. FC Augsburg scored five goals inside 30 minutes against the wilted Lilies en route to a 6-0 victory. 
Edin Terzic's Borussia Dortmund were able to complete the double over 1. FC Union Berlin in their trip to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Saturday afternoon. A 2-0 win for Terzic's BVB keeps them in fourth place in the Bundesliga table with ten match-days remaining. RB Leipzig kept pace in the race for the top four with an away win of their own at Bochum.

Terzic made two changes to the XI that lined up against Hoffenheim last Sunday. Karim Adeyemi took the place of the suspended Donyell Malen. Niklas Süle also entered on behalf of Marco Reus. Die Schwarzgelben maintained their 4-2-3-1 shape, with Julian Brandt moving up from midfield into the ten-slot. With Süle back, captain Emré Can returned to the midfield double-six alongside Marcel Sabitzer. Just like he did last week, Jadon Sancho began on the right.

Nenad Bjelica also had a suspended player to compensate for in the form of left wingback Robin Gosens. Jerome Roussillon replaced Gosens on a like-for-like. Two players returning from suspension, striker Kevin Volland and defender Diogo Leite, dispatched Brenden Aaronson and Robin Knoche back to the bench. Volland played alongside Hollerbach and Kevin Vogt returned to central defense as Bjelica's previous 3-5-2 flattened out.

Not unlike last week, Dortmund had their fair share of difficulty moving the ball out of the back ranks without passing errors. Some deep ball losses accorded the capital city hosts a few chances to score in the opening 10 minutes, but Bjelica's team remained unable to capitalize. The opening half hour mostly featured sloppy play from both sides and neither team managed to get a grip in possession.

The first real chance of the game came in the 35th when Nico Schlotterbeck forced a save out of FCU keeper Frederick Rønnow off a corner. Things picked up a bit after Dortmund got the Union net-minder involved. Rønnow had to be on hand again to save a Brandt deflection of an Ian Maatsen effort in the 38th. Some three minutes later, Adeyemi finally netted the opening goal.

Terzic's new introduction took a few intelligent touches in space just outside the penalty area in the 41st. A powerful finish from just inside the 18 thundered in underneath the crossbar. After struggling throughout most of the opening 45, the Westphalians went into the tunnel with what felt like a deserved 1-0 half-time lead. Combo play near the end of the first-half was much improved.

Dortmund emerged from the locker room with some momentum after the restart. Sancho and lead striker Niclas Füllkrug got efforts off during a largely dominant first 10 minutes. Union nevertheless came close to equalizing in the 56th. Maatsen and BVB back-up keeper Alexander Meyer prevented FCU strikers Volland and Benedict Hollerbach on a double chance.

Not a great deal happened after that until Bjelica brought on Chris Bedia and reformatted the squad into a full-frontal threat in the final ten minutes. Union increased the pressure, yet ultimately ended up conceding a second goal. Maatsen netted the 2-0 after winning a ground duel against Josip Juranovic off a throw in at the start of second half injury time.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, Dortmund's fellow top-four aspirants RB Leipzig were able to keep pace after falling behind early in their trip to Bochum. Marco Rose's German Red Bulls scored four unanswered goals to top Thomas Letsch's Revierklub and take all three points from their trip to the Pott. Leipzig remain one point behind Dortmund in fifth place.

In a match that Bundesliga watchers won't soon forget, last-placed SV Darmstadt 98 suffered a complete amateurish meltdown against visiting FC Augsburg at the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor. Torsten Lieberknecht's Lilies completely fell apart via a series of blackout passing errors and ended up conceding five goals inside of 30 minutes. The SV98 trainer had to pull three rattled players off the pitch before the end of the first half.

Jess Thorup's Fuggerstädter showed some mercy after the match ended up being decided early. Philipp Tietz added a late goal to complete a scorer's brace against his former club. FCA skipper Ermedin Demirovic also bagged a brace in the 6-0 victory. The only good news for Lieberknecht's team on this day concerned the fact that relegation rivals Mainz were only able to secure one point in a 1-1 draw with Gladbach.

In another match decided by some slapstick, a heinous error from Heidenheim keeper Kevin Müller proved the difference in Eintracht Frankfurt's 2-1 win over Frank Schmidt's FCH. Müller whiffed on a Benedict Gimber back-pass in the 39th, allowing the ball to roll in the back of the net. Niels Nkounkou added the 2-0 seconds after being introduced at the half. Dino Toppmöller's SGE snapped a six-game winless run with the result.

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