Some Borussia Dortmund fans experience shivers in their backs whenever they think about Union Berlin. Two years and five years after that famous DFB-Pokal cup time, when BVB were on the verge of crashing out before defeating the 2. Bundesliga club 3-0 on penalties to progress, the two sides will meet again for only the second time in this year’s DFB Pokal second round on 31st October (18:30 CET). Dortmund’s match is once again against Union, once again at home in the Signal-Iduna-Park and once again in the second round.
Five current players in the Union Berlin squad started for the club from the capital that night in Dortmund. Eroll Zejnullahu, Kenny Redondo and Simon Hedlund all featured in the match alongside Michael Parensen, who’s unfortunate own goal gave Dortmund the lead on the night, and Felix Kroos, who had a penalty saved by BVB goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller in the shoot-out. In the current Dortmund squad, only Lukas Piszczek, Jacob Bruun Larsen and Mario Götze were in the featured for the home side in the cup tie on 26th October 2016.
The Berlin club have been on the wrong side of fate in recent years. “It would have been nice to have played at home in a DFB-Pokal match for a change,” said 1. FC Union Berlin chief executive Oliver Ruhnert, who nevertheless is looking forward taking on their Bundesliga opponents. “Of course Borussia Dortmund are attractive opponents, but at the same time very difficult opponents. We played very well in the match two years ago and this will be the aim for this upcoming match. It will be an interesting match with a special atmosphere which our players will enjoy experiencing.”
Borussia Dortmund were able to avoid another cup shock with a breathtaking finish to their DFB-Pokal first round match. The visitors trailed 1-0 to SpVgg Greuther Fürth in the fifth minute of stoppage time before Axel Witsel sent the game into extra time with a last gasp equaliser for the pre-match favourites. Marco Reus then saved BVB from a penalty shootout with a 121st minute winner, literally the last kick of the match. Union Berlin will hope to make their second round cup clash just as exciting.