Urs Fischer made three changes to his Union Berlin side ahead of FC’s visit. Florian Hübner, Michael Parensen and Sebastian Polter came into the starting line-up following defeat against Schalke, as Keven Schlotterbeck (suspended), Neven Subotic (injured) and Marius Bülter (bench) missed out.
As for 1. FC Köln head coach, Markus Gisdol, there were four alterations after the 1:1 draw against FC Augsburg. Jonas Hector and Rafael Czichos missed out through suspension, while Ismail Jakobs dropped out through injury and Anthony Modeste to the bench. Lasse Sobiech, Noah Katterbach, Kingsley Ehizibue and Jhon Cordoba came in for the quartet.
The opening 15 minutes in Berlin were tense, as expected. Union first few forays at goal caused little trouble for Timo Horn, as Christopher Lenz shot wide and Sebastian Anderson’s effort was easily gathered. FC’s best opportunity came for Kingsley Ehizibue, but he couldn’t quite get a superb Sebastiaan Bornauw pass under control.
The next chance for Markus Gisdol’s side came through Birger Verstraete, though Rafal Gikiewicz was equal to the Belgian’s dipping and diving free-kick. Simon Terodde went close not long after, with the former Union forward toe-poking a Dominick Drexler cross just wide of the near post. Gikiewicz was again the thorn in Verstraete’s side on the half hour, parrying another dead-ball effort to safety.
As FC looked to be building the pressure, Union struck. After Timo Horn did superbly well to turn Anderson’s shot around the post, the resulting corner found the Swede and he powered past the helpless Horn from close range. Union then had a the chance to double their lead as Marcus Ingvartsen and Polter went through on goal, yet neither pulled the trigger as the chance went unused. That’s how it remained until the break, as Andersson’s header proved the difference.
Markus Gisdol made one change at the break, as the yellow-carded Kingsley Ehizibue was replaced by Louis Schaub. The first action in the second saw Union go close from a corner, but they didn’t have to wait long to double their advantage. A mistake in midfield from FC and a quick ball forward from Christian Gentner allowed Sebastian Andersson to round Timo Horn and slot into the empty net.
As FC tried to regroup, a clever intervention from Noah Katterbach at the back post prevent things from getting worse. Pinball in the Union box also did little in the way of good for Gisdol’s side, as a Dominick Drexler’s effort was blocked before a series of deflections saw the ball trickle just wide of the far post.
The remainder of the game brought nothing in terms of of FC going forward. Marius Bülter’s cross was narrowly missed by Julian Ryerson, as Union’s substitutions threatened to make things even worse. FC’s next game will be against Bayer Leverkusen at the RheinEnergieSTADION on Saturday afternoon.
1. FC Union Berlin (3-4-1-2): Gikiewicz – Friedrich, Hübner, Parensen – Timmel, Gentner, Andrich (Kroos 8'), Lenz – Ingvartsen (Ryerson 77‘) – Polter (Bülter 63‘), Andersson.
1. FC Köln (4-4-2): Horn – Schmitz, Bornauw, Sobiech, Katterbach – Ehizibue (Schaub 46‘), Verstraete, Höger (Kainz 68‘), Drexler – Terodde (Modeste 72‘), Cordoba.
Goals: 1:0, Andersson 33’. 2:0, Andersson 50’.
Referee: Patrick Ittrich (Hamburg).
Booked: Sobiech (8’), Ehizibue (45’), Drexler (65’), Andrich (81’).
Attendance: 22,012 (sold-out).