Union Berlin creates international business in a dramatic way in its second year in the Bundesliga. Ironically, Conference League critic Max Kruse shot the iron with his winning goal to make it 2-1 in stoppage time on matchday 34 against RB Leipzig in the new European Cup competition.
Union Berlin match winner Max Kruse stood in the midst of pyro fog, enjoyed the “Kruse, Kruse” chants of the returning fans and beamed with his celebrating and smirking colleagues. With his last-minute goal for a 2-1 (0-0) win against runner-up RB Leipzig, the Conference League critic shot the “Iron” in a long-distance duel with his ex-club Borussia Mönchengladbach in the new European Cup competition and thus ensured the greatest success in the history of the Köpenicker.
“It’s world class that we rewarded ourselves for our sensational season at the last minute in the last game,” said the striker after his eleventh and certainly most important goal of the season on Sky-Microphone in a bottle-beer-soaked jubilation shirt with the inscription “Union plays international”.
Regarding his reservations about the Conference League (“Somehow I don’t feel like that. I don’t even know what that is”), Kruse was also in the hour of success: “I want to remain credible. But I also said that I would wants to win every game, and it was clear that we would play in this league if we win, and I always give everything to bring in victories, “said Kruse. And with a twinkle in his eye suggested a mini-break “with a shisha and no alcohol” for the evening after dinner with his father.
Kruse and Union have enough reason to celebrate. His goal in stoppage time turned the match for good. Previously, Marvin Friedrich (67.) had the leadership of the guests, where coach Julian Nagelsmann sat on the bench for the last time before his move to champions Bayern Munich, balanced by Justin Kluivert (55.) and thus set the course for Europe.
Before 2000 spectators: Kruse with an almost dream goal
Kruse almost took advantage of a Saxon mistake (5th). The ex-national player outsmarted the RB substitute goalkeeper Josep Martinez, who was too far in front of the goal and who ran for European Championship vacationer Peter Gulacsi, with an arc lamp from 40 meters. However, his shot went a good two meters past the gate.
As a result, Leipzig repeatedly looked for the vertical, Union defense around Friedrich and Robin Knoche was mostly on the spot at the decisive moment – but little went forward. Until Union striker Petar Musa (34th) was suddenly free: After a play over Kruse and Christopher Lenz, the Czech only hit the left post.
After the break, Leipzig became much more active, Nagelsmann brought in Christopher Nkunku and Yussuf Poulsen in the second half. That paid off quickly, as Nkunku put Kluivert in the lead.
The Berliners answered after a corner by Friedrich’s volley to 1: 1. After that, Luthe held the hosts with several parades in the race for the European Cup place, which Kruse made perfect for Union.