The two-time goalscorer Sheraldo Becker hung on the bench as if petrified, Urs Fischer just shook his head in disbelief in the Berlin drizzle. Even the encouraging chants of the more than 70,000 fans in the Olympic Stadium were unable to comfort the Union Berlin professionals on a historic Champions League evening. The pain after the late knockout in the dramatic 2:3 against Sporting Braga was deep.
“A lot is going against us at the moment. We concede goals that bring everything together,” said a disappointed Kevin Volland after the failed premier class home premiere on DAZN: “We have to invest a lot to see luck on our side again.” Once again, the Berliners couldn’t find a way out their crisis in results, instead they suffered the next bitter defeat at the last minute, like the opening defeat at Real Madrid (0-1).
“Trust is not that great”
Becker (30th, 37th) scored the first Union Champions League goals in the club’s history, but Sikou Niakaté (41st), the former Leipzig Bruma (51st) and André Castro (90th + 4) crashed the Berlin European Cup party – and caused the Köpenick team to lose their sixth competitive game in a row. With zero points from two games in the difficult Group C, Union already has its back against the wall.
Fischer had exuded optimism before the game and relied on the fans. “You have to be happy about that. “There’s not a lot of trust at the moment, we need the twelfth man,” he said – and the Iron fans did their best from the start to push their struggling team in the red-decorated home of city rivals Hertha BSC .
The Köpenick team immediately pushed forward. After four minutes, the Olympic Stadium shook for the first time when national player Robin Gosens shot in from close range to take the supposed lead – but the goal was canceled due to an offside position in the making.
His two goals were not enough for Union Berlin to win: Attacker Sheraldo Becker: Image: AFP
The “Iron” then left the ball to the fifth-placed team in the Portuguese league and waited for moments of transition. Kevin Behrens lacked speed on the way to the goal after a mistake by the Braga defense (19th), but the Berliners became more and more dangerous and were rewarded. Becker deliberately slotted in after Alex Král’s pass – a historic goal that revived the mood in the stands.
And the Berliners continued: The strong Lucas Tousart extended the ball into the path of Becker, who once again remained strong in front of the goal and scored to make it 2-0. But the guests responded promptly: goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow was unable to hold on to a shot from a corner and Niakaté scored from close range. The Berliners saved themselves during the break.
But the Portuguese increased the pressure after the break and the former Leipzig Bruma scored the equalizer with a remarkable long-range shot. This didn’t dampen the mood in the stands, the game was now completely open. Substitute Volland missed a great opportunity to take the lead again from close range (70′). He signaled a strong final phase. But Castro caused the late shock.