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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Stuttgart scores a point for Unión: Thanks to Sosa and Sasa – Sport

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1. FC Union Berlin and Hertha BSC have a neighborly relationship that is not entirely smooth and did not improve on Saturday. Not that that was intentional. But some local help in the form of a win against VfB Stuttgart, who like Hertha BSC are in a relegation battle, was definitely in the realm of possibility. Solo: Unión gave up this victory at the last minute. After a 1-0 halftime lead, the Köpenickers conceded the equalizer against VfB. And that had a number of implications.

It didn’t just mean that Union missed out on the early achievement of the season goal called 40 points. But ultimately also that Hertha, due to their 2-0 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach, had to switch places with the Swabians. VfB have been in relegation range since Saturday, Hertha in relegation range. “That gives us ample chest for the next few games, regardless of what the opponents do,” Stuttgart coach Pellegrino Materazzo said.

The goal to make it 1-1 followed a pattern that should give Stuttgart a lot of hope. Left-back Borna Sosa crossed into the heart of the area and, like so many times in the past, found center forward Sasa Kalajdzic. The Austrian national team striker stretched his leg, maneuvered the ball into the Köpenicker goal and thus leveled Union center forward Taiwo Awoniyi’s opening goal (41st). The Nigerian had converted a penalty taken by Konstantinos Mavropanos into a save. “We are happy to take the point because not all teams in Union score,” Kalajdzic said.

Baumgartl complains to the referee: “One cheek!”

The game lived up to expectations in almost every aspect. And that meant it was as viscous as cold motor oil over a long period of time. Referee Robert Hartmann played his part with remarkably weak game management, which particularly annoyed the Unionist. “What some people did on the pitch is crazy. I don’t know if we play youth soccer or something else. Sorry for the emotions, but that’s cheeky. Anyone can make up what I mean here,” Union defender Timo Baumgartl said. , in Sky. and the referee said: “There was no line to be seen, each duel at 50:50 was called for Stuttgart. We play men’s football, so you have to evaluate the duels differently.”

VfB Stuttgart: Taiwo Awoniyi (left) celebrates his penalty goal.  For a long time it seemed that this goal would be enough for Union Berlin to win at home.

Taiwo Awoniyi (left) celebrates his penalty goal. For a long time it seemed that this goal would be enough for Union Berlin to win at home.

(Photo: Andreas Gora/dpa)

Especially in the early stages, both teams noted that avoiding mistakes was the top priority. The Union acted a little more optimistically, having chances here and there, like a long-range shot from Rani Khedira, two attempts from a tight angle from Nico Gießelmann and Grischa Pröml, or an Awoniyi goal denied for offside, and therefore deserved a lead. I could talk.

That only changed and turned around after the break. “In the second half we tried to be more confident and created more scoring chances,” said late-minute striker Kalajdzic. The Austrian has already scored three goals in the last four games. It can be seen as one of the most important arguments for Stuttgart in the relegation battle. “No one wanted to hear that we missed Kalajdzic in the first half of the season,” sporting director Sven Mislintat said of the attacking force, who had been out for months with a serious shoulder injury. But it’s not just about Kalajdzic. Players like Omar Marmoush and Chris Führich have also returned, and they expand the personal alternatives for coach Materazzo.

Like Kalajdzic, Mislintat found it extremely legitimate to take inspiration from the fact that he scored on Koepenick. Mislintat counts the Berliners among the best organized teams in the Bundesliga, especially defensively. But it was at least as valuable that Stuttgart came from a 0:2 deficit against Mönchengladbach last week and, also in the final tournament, won 3:2. That adds up to a confidence boost that should be welcome in the closing weeks of the season.

“It was important for us to build momentum, we did that last week,” Mislintat said. Now you have “silvered” that victory with a point earned. The hoarding of the most expensive metal should continue next week, when VfB welcomes FC Augsburg. Kalajdzic was looking forward to the game: “I hope that each of the 60,000 seats allowed will be filled and that the fans will carry us forward.”

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