3: 2 victory against Bochum
Union Berlin wins Europa League
Union Berlin will play the Europa League next season. With a 3: 2 victory against VfL Bochum, the Köpenickers crowned an extraordinary season on the last day of the match. By Jakob Lobach
Union Berlin has refined the most successful Bundesliga season in the club’s history by moving into the Europa League. On the 34th match day, the Köpenickers deservedly won their home game against VfL Bochum, but thanks to a late winner, they were a little satisfied with 3: 2 (2: 0). Union thus secured a starting place in the second highest competition in European club football.
Football romance about Prömel
It was emotional for the first time on Saturday before the match: Grischa Prömel got farewell flowers on the pitch before moving to Hoffenheim. While the top player was on the verge of tears, he was celebrated with loud shouts from the ranks.
Shortly after, when the match started, the same eleven players were on the field for Union, who had played some intoxicating football in the 4-1 victory in Freiburg. And already in the fifth minute, it happened as it should according to the laws of football romance: After the first real attack from the Unioners, it was “of all people” Prömel who was free in front of the Bochum goal after a post from Genki Haraguchi. After a short tussle with the defender, Prömel Köpenickers finally tucked the ball home.
And as a result, Union was the better team. The Berliners controlled the match, while Bochum had a hard time getting offensively into the match. Union were determined to attack in the middle, even their wing attacks ended up centrally. However, the replacement of Sheraldo Becker, who had been strong until then, caused a small break in the game. The fast winger was injured in a tackle and was replaced by Sven Michel.
Fischer’s small hand and Teche’s hand
A decision that Urs Fischer once again proved his good hand with. So it was Michel who shot in the 23rd minute and hit Bochum’s Robert Tesche’s arm, which was a little too stretched. Referee Marco Fritz looked at the stage again and awarded a penalty kick. Taiwo Awoniyi took charge and put the ball in the bottom left corner of the goal. Bochum’s keeper Michael Esser managed to get hold of the rebound and tucked the ball into the empty net. The goal scorer not only gave his team a 2-0 lead, but also took the break.
It was Awoniyi who snatched the first big chance of the second half. A Union post bounced off a Bochum foot in front of the attacker’s feet. He did not hesitate and fired a shot at goal from a narrow angle, but it ended up in the side netting. Shortly afterwards, in the 55th minute, Bochum suddenly had reason to celebrate thanks to Simon Zoller. In a post from the left, the task in the Union defense was not correct at all, so that Zoller could completely free-standing place his header in the far corner. The goal symbolized that Bochum was now better in the match.
Awoniyi brilliantly finishes last stage and season
Little by little, Union also worked its way into the second half. The game was now more open. Bochum invested significantly more offensively, but Union also had chances in transition moments. Andreas Voglsammer, who came on for the yellow-red threatened Michel in the second half, shot too centrally on goal, and Awoniyi also missed a good chance to extend the lead (67th).
A circumstance that took revenge in the 79th minute. Because Bochum’s Takuma Asano reached a pass in the penalty area in front of goalkeeper Andreas Luthe and put it on Eduard Löwen. The transformed located in the right corner. Union had to briefly shake over entering the Europa League. It was Awoniyi again who put Union ahead again in the 88th minute with his second goal of the day – and, given the results at the other stadiums, in the Europa League.
The win against Bochum was the sixth in the last seven league games for the season that has just ended. A remarkable final sprint, for which the Köpenicks rewarded themselves with participation in the Europa League next season. There was an immediate, noticeable reward on Saturday in the form of lots of applause from the fans in the stands at An der Alten Försterei Stadium.
The short analysis
Especially in the first half, Union played in the style of a Europa League team. The team of coach Urs Fischer acted defensively and aggressively, offensively targeted, but still considered. The people of Köpenick also knew how to compensate as much as possible for Becker’s losses. With their 2-0 lead behind them, the hosts then came back on the field a little too passive and relaxed from the locker room. Bochum knew how to use this and immediately punished the Union’s negligence.
So a game with open visors developed, where the Berliners had to worry about their qualification for the Europa League, which they had previously thought almost certain. In the end, it was once again goal scorer Taiwo Awoniyi who, with his 15th goal of the season, not only perfected an extraordinary season for his club, but also a very strong season personally.
The game in live ticker
Broadcast: rbb UM6, 14 May 2022, at 18.00