The Conference League away game at Feyenoord Rotterdam was not exactly a good star for 1. FC Union. Shortly before departure, defense chief Marvin Friedrich had to quarantine himself due to a coronavirus infection. On Wednesday evening, the Berlin delegation headed by President Dirk Zingler was physically assaulted in a restaurant in downtown Rotterdam, allegedly by Feyenoord hooligans.
And finally the arrival of the 2400 Berlin supporters further complicated the noticeable Ignatz storm. A substantial part of the Union annex, which had covered the path to the stadium with a march of supporters, did not reach the guest block until well after kick-off.
Things didn’t go much better for Berliners on the lawn either. In the third match of the group stage, the Berliners conceded a 1: 3 (1: 2) loss to Feyenoord Rotterdam in the legendary De Kuip on Thursday. The Union’s goal for the interim 1: 2 was scored by Taiwo Awoniyi with a header.
As expected, coach Urs Fischer ordered Timo Baumgartl for Friedrich in the last three and turned very cautiously. Tymoteusz Puchacz and Kevin Möhwald slipped into the starting XI, and captain Christopher Trimmel also returned. Otherwise, the Swiss trusted the team that beat VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 on Saturday.
In the initial phase, the two abandoned the teams on careful frisks and looked for the fast lane after winning the ball. When more and more Berlin fans arrived in the guest block after almost ten minutes and made their voices heard loudly, Union had their first scene in the penalty area. Awoniyi, however, was stably shot right before graduation. The Berliners protest, but referee Giorgi Kruashvili lets go.
A bit later Union got a taste of what he could do against a team like Feyenoord. The three-time European Cup winner is no longer the best team of the past, but still has some extremely talented footballers in its ranks.
Sometimes Berliners seemed overwhelmed
Especially the young Colombian Luis Sinisterra, whom the Rotterdam fans had already sung with enthusiasm in the tram, enchanted the public on several occasions with his mixture of speed, agility and a multitude of tricks. At the 12. Minute, Sinisterra escaped Paul Jaeckel on the left, handed the ball to the penalty spot, Guus Til did not touch completely, but Alireza Jahanbakhsh took off from two meters.
Union was caught off guard by this residue. Berliners looked overwhelmed and confused for a few minutes. The gaps between the midfielder and the attackers were far too large and so the team barely managed to keep the ball in their own ranks for more than two stations. Feyenoord pushed the Berliners deep into their own half and entered the penalty area several times. Only the imprecise flanks prevented a higher advance.
However, it then came out of nowhere. Robin Knoche couldn’t control a distressed high ball and Bryan Linssen used the clear path to the Berlin goal for a low, dry shot. Knoche was terribly upset and complained about being pushed from behind, but the goal counted.
The Berliners opened the pitch and must have shaken in the guest block, but quickly found their way back into the game – after a free kick. Trimmel walked through the butter-soft five-meter space and Awoniyi headed unbearably into the right corner.
Before half-time, these two Berliners still had a good chance to counterattack. However, while that fizzled out, the direct counterattack almost brought the score to 3-1. Sinisterra and Jens Toornstra failed three times against Union goalkeeper Andreas Luthe and defensive legs Berlin. With the 1: 2 at half-time, the guests could still live quite well.
In the second half, Feyenoord Union left this Ball for long periods, waiting for the counter-attack. The game has become less impulsive and much more tactical. For a long time there were no clear chances and so Fischer stepped in after 66 minutes for the first time. For Max Kruse and Awoniyi, Kevin Behrens and Sheraldo Becker, who were trained at Ajax Amsterdam, Feyenoord’s big rival. When that had no effect, Union coaches decided to change tactics and be much more offensive.
While Cedric Teuchert, Andreas Voglsammer and Niko Gießelmann were still waiting to be substituted, but Feyenoord scored the third goal. Luthe was able to parry a shot from Linssen, but he was helpless in the face of Sinisterra’s stab. Union did not give up and the Berlin fans made a lot of noise, but the match was lost.