Berlin Derby – spoils shared in hard-fought tie at An Der Alten Forsterei
It was a game of many chances but little quality as Eisern Union were kept to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Bundesliga strugglers and fierce rivals Hertha Berlin.
The score was opened by Robert Andrich as Union looked to assert their dominance early on, forcing the Hertha ‘keeper Alexander Schwolow into two smart saves inside seven minutes.
The mounting pressure then paid off for Eisern as they went ahead through a brilliant Andrich strike that shaved the post before hitting the back of the net.
It only took the hosts another two minutes to threaten the Hertha goal, as a shot from Julian Ryerson rattled to the crossbar, but the away side managed to soak up the early pressure and they then began to grow into the game.
Jordan Torunarigha hit the woodwork during the first spell of real pressure for ‘the old lady’ – but then it really began to tell.
Former Arsenal man Matteo Guendouzi was clipped in the penalty area 10 minutes before the break, and the resulting penalty was neatly tucked away by Lukebakio, levelling the game and setting up what was supposed to be a second half to savour.
This second half never arrived, however, as both sides set up cautiously after the break, with neither side wanting to take the chance on losing the bragging rights for the city.
A succession of fouls led to an ill-disciplined 45 minutes of football, with neither team being able to get into the same rhythm they did in the first half, and therefore there were much less chances to shout about. Union had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Sascha Stegemann who kept a good hold on the game.
It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes that Union really began to turn the screw, putting pressure on the Hertha back line but this didn’t tell as the balls in the box rarely had enough on them to make a difference.
Union travel to Champions Bayern München in six days’ time, before a game back at the Forsterei against Stuttgart. They currently sit in seventh place, four points off both Bayer Leverkusen and surprisingly, Borussia Dortmund.