The DFB Pokal often springs up unexpected encounters. For Carl Zeiss Jena of the third division and second-tier Union Berlin, their Cup encounter on Sunday 19th August will be a quick re-encounter for the two sides, who only just faced each other at the start of July in a friendly. A friendly that celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the FDGB Pokal final of 1968, in which Union overcame Jena.
Jena’s sporting director Chris Förster is looking forward to the fixture and wants to see the Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld sold-out: “It’s a very attractive draw,” he noted, as the team from the capital were one of the sides he was hoping to face in the first round. At FC Union, the excitement for the upcoming encounter is equally as tangible, but they are also aware of the tough task that they will be up against: “In the first round, there certainly could have been easier draws for us,” commented Union’s sporting director Oliver Ruhnert after the fixture was confirmed.
This match will be the first time the two teams have come to blows in the DFB Pokal. The most recent competitive action between the sides was back in 2009, when Union and FCC faced up in the third division. Most of the 42 games between the two outfits were contested in the GDR-Oberliga and it is Jena who come out on top in the all-time head-to-head record: 21 wins, ten draws, eleven losses.