bundesliga

Union Berlin and Freiburg share spoils in goalless draw in capital

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Union Berlin and Freiburg had chances and both teams struck the woodwork but could not find the net as they played out a goalless draw in the German capital on Wednesday.

Union 0-0 Freiburg

Only Bayer Leverkusen had scored more goals in the opening 15 minutes of Bundesliga games this season, but the visitors league-leading defence looked far more likely to concede early on as Union tore into them. Sheraldo Becker — preferred to Max Kruse — called Mark Flekken into action, and then teed up Taiwo Awoniyi, who should have scored his 10th league goal of the season but sent his close-range effort over the crossbar. At the opposite end, the woodwork rattled when Andreas Luthe turned a long-distance Maximilian Eggestein drive onto the bar and he then anticipated well to beat Woo-yeong Jeong to a through ball as Freiburg — who started the game one place and two points better off than their opponents — saw their grip on fifth place sorely tested in the opening half.

Undoubtedly fired up by their tempestuous, charismatic coach, Christian Streich, at half-time, Freiburg nearly forged ahead within 60 seconds of the restart: Vincenzo Grifo should have done better than fire against a post after being teed up by Lucas Höler, however. Grifo then fired over the bar from distance before Luthe denied Lukas Kübler one-on-one after Niko Gießelmann had misjudged a ball forward. Union hit back though and somehow the ball stayed out when Awoniyi struck the bar and Kübler blocked a Rani Khedira shot on the goal-line in a heart-stopping goalmouth scramble. Grischa Prömel came desperately close to making a connection with a cross that surely would have seen him break the deadlock at the Stadion an der Alten Försterei. Höler passed up one last opportunity - heading wide when well placed late on - while Philipp Lienhart headed straight at Luthe as the spoils were shared.

Match stats

  • Union played out their second goalless draw of the season following their home stalemate with Augsburg on Matchday 4. It was Freiburg's third, all of which have been away from home.
  • Freiburg were the last undefeated team in the league this season, getting to Matchday 11 before they were edged 2-1 by champions Bayern Munich.
  • Freiburg have conceded just one goal in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season, and boast a league-low seven conceded before half-time.
  • Freiburg haven't beaten Union since March 2020 but edge their all-time head-to-head record on goals scored (18-11). The teams have won four times each and drawn three times in 11 competitive meetings.

Line-ups

Union: Luthe – Jaeckel, Knoche, Baumgartl – Trimmel (c), Khedira, Prömel, Gießelmann – Haraguchi (Möhwald 72') – Becker (Voglsammer 86'), Awoniyi (Behrens 72')
Unused subs: Ronnow, Van Drongelen, Ryerson, Oczipka, Endo, Kruse
Out:
Busk (ill), Friedrich (ill)
Coach: 
Urs Fischer

Freiburg: Flekken – Lienhart, K. Schlotterbeck, N. Schlotterbeck – Kübler, Eggestein (Haberer 86'), Höfler, Günter (c) - Jeong (Schade 77'), Höler (Petersen 89'), Grifo (Sallai 77')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Heintz, Sildillia, Weißhaupt, Demirovic
Out:
Keitel (muscular), Schmid (match fitness)
Coach:
Christian Streich

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