Bochum hold 10-man Union Berlin to take share of the spoils
Union Berlin and Bochum battled to a draw on a damp day in the German capital, the visitors fighting back against the 10-man hosts thanks to Kevin Stöger's second-half penalty.
Union Berlin 1-1 Bochum
Goals: 1-0 Juranovic 45'+3, 1-1 Stöger (pen.) 55'
Red card: Jaeckel 61'
Union's position in the division's top-four may have been guaranteed for one more matchday no matter the outcome in their encounter against lowly Bochum, but Urs Fischer's side were in no mood to settle with the sides above them having dropped points. With the chance to cut the gap to Borussia Dortmund and leaders Bayern Munich, the capital club started brightly. While home captain Rani Khedira and Danilho Doekhi menaced for the hosts, visiting Bochum's challenge was hampered when Keven Schlotterbeck limped out of the contest with a nasty gash on his leg. Boasting an unbeaten home record at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei this season, Union were always likely to edge proceedings here. Kevin Behrens tried, and failed, to open the scoring with a header, while Jerome Roussillon clipped the top of a crossbar with a wayward cross. As half-time approached, the deadlock was finally broken in style, Juranovic picking his spot in the top corner with a free-kick that had goalkeeper Manuel Riemann beaten all the way.
Bochum saw a recent three-game unbeaten run checked with defeat against VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 27, a result that kept the team from North Rhine-Westphalia very much in the relegation mix. Needing a lift here, the visitors re-emerged for the second half with coach Thomas Letsch's encouraging words burning their ears. There was fire in the visitors' bellies when Aissa Laidouni's hack on Ivan Ordets offered Stöger the chance to level from the penalty spot, which the Austrian took with ease. Paul Jaeckel's subsequent sending off for a second bookable offence then silenced the home fans, whose relief at seeing a Riemann own goal was short lived when a VAR check ruled that Behrens was offside in the build-up. In a pulsating climax to an entertaining encounter, Frederik Rönnow superbly clawed out Philipp Hofmann's close-range header, while Behrens was presented with a golden opportunity to win it via a Sheraldo Becker cross. When the forward headed wide with the goal gaping, the spoils were destined to be shared.
- Juranovic netted his second Bundesliga goal. His first came from the penalty spot against Wolfsburg on Matchday 24.
- The Croatian also netted with a free-kick at this venue in Union's Europa League encounter against Union Saint-Gilloise earlier this season.
- This was Union's first goal direct from a free-kick in the Bundesliga since January 2021, when Robert Andrich scored against Wolfsburg.
- Stöger has converted three penalties in his last five games, while his four Bundesliga goals this season is a new personal best for a campaign.
- Bochum have conceded 19 goals from set pieces, a Bundesliga high only matched by Hertha Berlin this term.
- The opening goal saw the visitors concede for the 2,000th time in their Bundesliga history.
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Union: Ronnow - Doekhi, Knoche, Jaeckel - Juranovic, Laidouni (Leite 65'), Khedira (c), Haberer (Thorsby 80'), Roussillon (Gießelmann 86') - Becker (Pantovic 86'), Behrens (Jordan 86')
Unused subs: Grill, Trimmel, Michel, Leweling
Out: Schäfer (foot)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Bochum: Riemann (c) – Osei-Tutu (Gamboa 75'), Ordets, Schlotterbeck (Heintz 15'), Soares - Masovic, Osterhage - Asano (Zoller 88'), Stöger, Antwi-Adjei (Holtmann 88') - Hofmann
Unused subs: Esser, Förster, Lampropoulos, Kunde, Broschinski
Out: Losilla (suspended), Stafylidis (ill)
Coach: Thomas Letsch
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