Union Berlin have made a winning return to European Football with a 4-0 win over Finnish side KuPS in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Union Berlin Make Winning Return to European Football
First-Leg Win Sets up Exciting Homecoming
Union Berlin last explored European football in 2001 after reaching the final of the DFB-Pokal. Now, the club from the east side of the German capital have made a strong start to their new European campaign.
Faced up against Finnish top-flight side KuPS in the UEFA Europa Conference League, it could have been a difficult task, particularly as the six times champions currently sit second in the Veikkausliiga.
However, former Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi gave the visitors an early advantage and from then, the result never looked in doubt. On the half-hour mark, Urs Fischer’s side scored twice within a minute. First, Awoniyi played it through to Max Kruse to slot home his first of the season before the provider added a third moments later.
In the second half, Andreas Voglsammer added a fourth in stoppage time to give Die Eisernen a comfortable lead heading into the second leg.
Return Leg at the Olympiastadion
Union fans will turn out in their droves for the second leg, despite the match taking place at their main rival’s stadium across the city. Due to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei being largely terraced standing, the match has been moved to the home of Hertha Berlin to meet UEFA’s regulations.
Regardless of the location, it will be a historic evening for the club as they look to progress to the latter stages of the competition.
Third Season in the Bundesliga for Union Berlin
While there is a focus in their European campaign, some are cautious that it could cause Union to take one eye off of their domestic schedule. However, the club doesn’t operate in that way and will treat each game in each competition with respect.
Union enjoyed their first-ever top-flight campaign two seasons ago before finishing last season in seventh place, thus qualifying for the Europa Conference League. They began this season with a 1-1 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen.