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Champions League: Union still winless – 1:1 keeps chance of Europa League

Champions League: Union still winless – 1:1 keeps chance of Europa League

Despite a long majority, Union Berlin cannot win even under new coach Nenad Bjelica. In Braga, the Bundesliga team only managed a 1-1 draw. But the Europa League is still there.

Despite being in the majority for a long time, 1. FC Union Berlin’s winless streak continues under new coach Nenad Bjelica.

With the 1-1 (1-0) draw in the Champions League at SC Braga, the Bundesliga team, which has now been winless in 16 competitive games, at least had a small chance of overwintering in the European Cup. Union had already been eliminated from the premier class before the game, but with a home win against Real Madrid on December 12th, the Köpenickers could, at least theoretically, make it to third place in their group.

National player Robin Gosens (42nd minute) gave the guests the lead in front of 15,855 spectators, Álvaro Djaló (52nd) equalized for the Portuguese. Braga’s defender Sikou Niakaté was shown a red card after a serious foul against Kevin Behrens in the 31st minute.

Union offensive invisible

Bjelica chose an extremely passive approach for his first game with the Berliners. Instead of pressing high, Union initially stood low and let the hosts come. The new coach had switched to a back four and had Behrens as the only frontman. Kevin Volland, on the other hand, came on the right side, Gosens played on the offensive left wing.

However, these measures did not lead to any improvement after all the negative experiences of the past few weeks. In the constant rain in Braga, it was an extremely tough game with few highlights. When things got dangerous, it was only in the Union penalty area. In the 16th minute, Braga almost scored after a mistake by Robin Knoche. A good ten minutes later, Álvaro Djaló was completely free to head the ball, but nodded it wide from a few meters.

On the other hand, there was next to nothing from the Berliners on the offensive. Although after half an hour the statics of the game changed completely. Niakaté kicked Behrens in the heel from behind in a duel and initially saw yellow. But then the video referee intervened – Niakaté finally received a red card for the hard entry. Now Union was in the majority and Braga was suddenly deep.

After Gosens’ leadership: Braga wakes up

“We want to dominate,” said 52-year-old Bjelica during his introduction. But there was hardly any sign of that, at least in the first half. The visitors dominated the ball and the action when they had the majority, but they rarely found a way through the Portuguese defense. Until the 42nd minute.

Then, after a quick counterattack, Gosens suddenly appeared in the penalty area and made it 1-0 with a low shot. Just three minutes later, Rönnow prevented the equalizer in desperate need and fended off a shot from José Fonte from a few meters.

The expulsion from Union did not lead to more sovereignty. On the contrary. After the break the rain continued and so did the hesitant appearance of the guests. This took revenge after a few minutes when Djaló suddenly found himself free on the right side and also scored the equalizer with a low shot on the wet grass.

Anyone who expected a defiant reaction from Berliners was deceived. Braga, outnumbered, took command again and pushed for the lead. The strong Djaló (59th), Ricardo Horta (60th) and Simon Banza (64th) each narrowly failed. Union, on the other hand, seemed completely unsettled.

Union only had a second good chance to score in the entire game shortly before the end. Substitute David Fofana (84th) headed just past the SC goal.

Source: Stern

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