Union fails Union: Europe off at Saint-Gilloise
Union Berlin is literally out of breath. At 0: 3 in the European Cup round of 16 at Saint-Gilloise, the irons have no chance. The international end must now be quickly compensated in the league.
The Union fans who had traveled with them celebrated before the final whistle despite the elimination, while their team’s European trip came to an unfortunate end on the lawn of Anderlecht’s Lotto Park.
At the namesake Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, the Bundesliga soccer club missed the historic entry into the quarter-finals of the Europa League. The Belgians were clearly superior to the tired Berliners, who have now been five games without a win, 3-0 (1-0).
Teddy Teuma (18th minute) set the course for the hosts with his early goal. Lazare Amani (63rd) made everything clear, Loic Lapoussin (90th + 4) even caused Union’s highest European defeat. Substitute Janik Haberer saw the yellow-red card in the 80th minute for repeated foul play.
“We were dealt with for 90 minutes today, that wasn’t Union-like, because we didn’t manage to correct our mistakes again,” said captain Rani Khedira on RTL. Defender Robin Knoche was annoyed about his mistake before the 0:1. “Of course that’s very, very bitter. We were a bit lacking in punch today,” said Knoche. “At the moment the disappointment is more important because you had the chance to reach the quarter-finals,” was Knoche’s European balance sheet.
The Irons had nothing to oppose in their 14th competitive game this year. Instead of hoping for a cracker like Juventus Turin or Manchester United as the next international opponents, the Berliners now have to concentrate on the Bundesliga final sprint.
The consolation: The qualification for the Champions League in the coming season is still there. On Sunday (3.30 p.m. / DAZN) Eintracht Frankfurt will come to the stadium at the Alte Försterei as a direct competitor in the duel of the disappointed European Cup losers this week.
Just no hair-raising individual mistakes like in the wild 3: 3 in the first leg – that was what coach Urs Fischer had made clear as his expectation. Diogo Leite did exactly that in the sixth minute. Knoche was able to clear Simon Adingra’s shot just before the line. Victor Boniface put the rebounding ball against the post. The Berliners should have known the power of Saint-Gilloise better from the three duels in the group phase and the first leg.
Last trip abroad this season
The 2,000 or so loyal Union fans quickly realized that this would be their last trip abroad this season. After the UEFA threat of an away ban, no pyrotechnics were fired this time. A banner with a tirade against the association was a form of protest.
When Leite again let Adingra take him by surprise after Knoche’s risky pass, Teuma threw the ball low into the goal. Captain Khedira tried to demonstrate defiance and perseverance with body language. It was just an attempt. Saint-Gilloise played his stint in a beat that unnerved the opponent, as Union Berlin tends to do at its best.
When the feeling came up in the second half that Union might be able to force extra time with a lucky shot, Boniface freed his colleague Amani, who shot in and celebrated with a flick flack. Not only the better soccer players, but also the better floor gymnasts came from the Belgian Union that evening. Shortly before the line, Sheraldo Becker (87′) prevented Boniface from making it 3-0 with a save before Lapoussin put the end.