Florian Niederlechner brace rescues Augsburg draw at Union Berlin
Florian Niederlechner scored a brace as Augsburg twice came from behind to hold Union Berlin to a 2-2 draw.
Union Berlin 2-2 Augsburg
Goals: 1-0 Becker 7' (assist: Seguin), 1-1 Niederlechner 9' (assist: Vargas), 2-1 Behrens 22' (assist: Gießelmann), 2-2 Niederlechner 39'
Union were roared into their final home match of 2022 by their ferocious support. The hosts looked to control the early play and Sheraldo Becker was able to punish a major positional error from Rafal Gikiewicz by slotting the ball in delightfully from close to the touchline. The ball was poked through by Ruben Vargas to Niederlechner within seconds of the restart, and the Augsburg striker turned and applied a sharp finish. Becker and Niko Gießelmann had further chances in a frenzied opening period, which also saw Robert Gumny hitting the crossbar for the visitors. No sooner had the pace finally dropped than Kevin Behrens popped up to head a Gießelmann free-kick in and restore the hosts’ lead. Janik Haberer then had two headed chances for Union, only for Augsburg to strike back in a final first-half twist. Niederlechner added his second with a stunning acrobatic finish when Ermedin Demirovic’s effort rebounded off the crossbar.
The chances continued to flow after the restart initially, with Haberer presented with another headed opening in the first minute of the second period. Gießelmann curled a free-kick onto the crossbar soon afterwards as Die Eisernen pushed to regain the lead. The hosts were successfully able to inject more structure and calm into proceedings and were now keeping Augsburg at bay. Felix Uduokhai’s introduction as a substitute towards the end of the first half had also added some much-needed stability to the visiting defence, though Behrens headed onto the post halfway through the second period. A tight finish ensued in marked contrast to the chaotic opening, with Jordan’s late introduction as a substitute unable to change things – a speculative Genki Haraguchi effort and dangerous pin-ball bounce off Sven Michel being the best the hosts could muster. The point is enough for Union to leapfrog Freiburg back into second place.
- Niederlechner scored his first brace in the Bundesliga since January 2021 – which also came against Union.
- Becker has now been directly involved in 10 of Die Eisernen’s 23 Bundesliga goals this season. His goal was his first in seven matches.
- Union remain unbeaten this season in seven home matches – only Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig also still boast unbeaten home records.
- Augsburg’s four yellow cards in the match mean they now have 45 cards this season – more than any other club.
- Augsburg are now without a win in six Bundesliga matches (and seven in all competitions).
- However, they are unbeaten in five Bundesliga meetings with Union.
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Union: Grill - Doekhi, Knoche, Leite - Ryerson, Seguin (Thorsby 83'), Khedira (c), Haberer (Haraguchi 70'), Gießelmann (Trimmel 83') - Becker (Michel 77'), Behrens (Jordan 84')
Unused subs: Busk, Jaeckel, Pantovic, Leweling
Out: Möhwald (fitness), Rönnow (thigh), Schäfer (foot)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Augsburg: Gikiewicz - Gumny (Oxford 77'), Bauer (Uduokhai 32'), Gouweleeuw (c), Iago - Baumgartlinger, Rexhbecaj - Vargas (Petkov 65'), Niederlechner, Demirovic (Maier 65') - Berisha (Jensen 32')
Unused subs: Koubek, Winther, Gruezo, Caligiuri
Out: Dorsch (metatarsal), Framberger (gashed knee), Hahn (knee), Sarenren Bazee (cruciate ligament), Strobl (knee)
Coach: Enrico Maaßen
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