The back and forth had to end some time. It took a man in green to decide the game. No, not the Grinch, but he may as well be now in East Berlin as Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz’s last-second gaffe gave the home side three points in the last game of 2019.
Rouwen Hennings put Fortuna Düsseldorf on the board in the waning minutes of the first half with a smash almost directly off a goal kick. But Parensen tapped in a rebound to put things level barely three minutes into the second half. As the rain came down, both sides looked for a sign from above.
Dusseldorf’s Erik Thommy thought about it. And made it count. A simple cross into the box. Or perhaps a shot? It flew in the air to somewhere. No one took it seriously, not even Gikiewicz. It wasn’t coming terribly fast. Gikiewicz decided to let it fly into the ground, hoping it would skip past. It found its target alright: the right post knocked it in, turning the cross into a shot and goal. Suddenly, Düsseldorf’s point total grew three times its size and Union Berlin ended the Hinrunde with a loss, although fans of the promoted side have to be fairly pleased as how their club has fared overall in its first season of top-flight fussball.
Union Berlin starting 11: Gikiewicz, Parensen, Hübner (Mees, 46’), Friedrich, Lenz, Gentner, Andrich, Trimmel (C), Bülter (Ryerson, 83‘), Ingvartsen (Ujah, 62‘), Andersson
Unused subs: Nicolas, Subotic, Polter, Kroos, Schmiedebach, Becker
Head Coach: Urs Fischer
Fortuna Düsseldorf starting 11: Steffen, Suttner, Hoffmann, Ayhan, Zimmermann, Bodzek, Fink (C), Morales, Ampomah (Thommy, 67‘), Kownacki (Bormuth, 90’), Hennings
Unused subs: Kastenmeier, Barkok, Ofori, Pledl, Giesselmann, Contento, Zimmer
Head Coach: Friedhelm Funkel
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