With their first European away win, 1. FC Union Berlin managed to reach the group stage of the Conference League perfectly. Celebrating the power of a few hundred fans who traveled to Finland, Iron Kuopio PS at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki finished 4-0 (3-0) in the first leg of the first qualifying match of the new European Cup. Taiwo Owenyi (seventh minute / 31), Max Cruz (29) and substitute Andreas Vogelsamer (90 + 2) scored the goals of the superior Bundesliga club.
The return match next Thursday at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin is only a matter of form after the clear result and the clear dominance. The association can plan six more international participations later this year. The group stage begins on September 16th. The draw will take place in Istanbul on August 27, when Tottenham Hotspur, Roma or Basel will face more difficult opponents than the Finnish cup winners. The union will face more challenges in the Bundesliga at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Sunday.
Misty mists from the blazing fires of the Etihad fan building, who were allowed into the stadium despite a UEFA ban on guests, clouded the gray, rainy Helsinki skies as the ironclad side ran into hopes of an early opening goal. As in the 1-1 draw against Leverkusen at the start of the Bundesliga, Aouni was there. The striker directed a sharp cross from Timothy Boczacs to the goal. Puchacz celebrated his successful competitive debut as an attacking left-back. Like Levin Oztunali, the Pole was called into the starting line-up for the first time by coach Urs Fischer.
Give strength to Hoffenheim
The Finns pointed out at least briefly why Fischer chose the words of caution. Hiding was out of the question for them. For this they were bitterly punished by Awoniyi and Kruse after about half an hour. Kroos, who actually had no desire for a small European Cup, successfully completed a counterattack with a low shot. He scored his last international goal with Wolfsburg six years ago in the Champions League against Manchester United.
The evening sun, which suddenly set in, was shining for a long time on the field, when Aouni followed it up from close range after a poor defensive foul by the Finns. The party in the union fan block has been around for a long time. 20 years ago, at the start of the only European Cup ever (in addition to the 1986 group win in the previous Intertoto Cup), it was only enough for Al Ittihad to draw the European Cup away at Haka Valkeakoski (1:1) and Litex Lovetsch (0:1) : 0).
There was no longer any doubt about the early success in Helsinki. The iron switched to management mode very early. Awoniyi (54) slightly missed a three-piece after Oztunali’s preparatory work. It was over for Kroos and Oney after an hour. Fischer brought in Voglsammer and Sheraldo Becker – maintaining Hoffenheim’s strength was now even more important. Fogelsamer added again in injury time.
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