Sasa Kalajdzic came off the bench to score two late goals and salvage a point for VfB Stuttgart in a 2-2 draw at home to Union Berlin on Tuesday.
Stuttgart had beaten Borussia Dortmund at the weekend, while Union impressed in a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich, so both sides were full of confidence coming into this one. It was the visitors who settled first, though, with Marvin Friedrich heading Union in front in the fourth minute from a Christopher Trimmel free-kick. The hosts refused to be thrown off course though, reacting well and going close to equalising from Mateo Klimowicz’s fierce drive from the edge of the box, before Konstantinos Mavropanos headed straight at Andreas Luthe from a corner. Union were the better side overall in the first 45 minutes, however, and could have taken a more comfortable lead into the break, but both Sheraldo Becker and Cedric Teuchert fired over from presentable chances.
Stuttgart coach Pellegrino Matarazzo made two attacking changes at the interval, bringing on Tanguy Coulibaly and Daniel Didavi to offer greater variety in the final third, and the move very nearly paid instant dividends. Didavi floated a cross into the box, and Nico Gonzalez hit the bar from a stunning overhead kick. Coulibaly was involved in VfB’s next chance, scurrying into space on the right before crossing for Gonzalez, whose header fizzed just wide. After weathering that storm, Union showed them how it was done when Taiwo Awoniyi glanced a header past Gregor Kobel from Christopher Lenz’s cross, seemingly securing all three points for the visitors. Kalajdzic had other ideas, though. Brought off the bench in the 80th minute, the striker reduced the areas with a firm header from a corner within five minutes, before snatching a point for his side in stoppage time with a brilliantly taken goal, controlling Didavi’s cross on his chest before volleying home from 17 yards.
- Gonzalez was back in the Stuttgart starting line-up for the first time since Matchday 8 after recovering from injury.
- Friedrich has now scored three Bundesliga goals this season, and five overall. All of them have been headers teed up by Trimmel.
- Awoniyi scored his third Bundesliga goal of the season. They have all come in Union's last three away games.
- Kalajdzic had not scored since Bundesliga Matchday 3, but netted his first Bundesliga brace here.
- Stuttgart and Union are meeting for the first time in the top flight, with this fixture becoming the 930th in the history of the Bundesliga.
- Stuttgart are unbeaten against Union in their last 5 competitive meetings.
- VfB have scored at least once in every game in 2020/21.
Stuttgart: Kobel - Anton, Mavropanos (Stenzel 53'), Kempf (Kalajdzic 80') - Silas, Endo, Castro (c), Sosa (Coulibaly 46') - Förster (Klement 80'), Klimowicz (Didavi 46') - Gonzalez
Subs: Bredlow, Churlinov, Kaminski
Out: Al Ghaddioui (pelvis), Cisse (groin), Karazor (knee), Thommy (elbow)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
Union: Luthe - Trimmel (c), Friedrich, Knoche, Lenz - Griesbeck (Gogia 87'), Prömel - Becker (Bülter 61'), Teuchert (Ryerson 68'), Gießelmann - Awoniyi
Subs: Karius, Maciejewski, Endo, Moser
Out: Andrich (suspended), Gentner (calf), Hübner (groin), Ingvartsen (ribs), Kruse (thigh), Pohjanpalo (ankle), Schlotterbeck (thigh), Ujah (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer