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Leagues: Bundesliga

Union triumphant in Berlin derby to deepen Hertha’s woes


Berlin (AFP) – American striker Jordan Siebatcheu scored on his Bundesliga debut as Union Berlin cantered to a 3-1 home victory over city rivals Hertha on Saturday.

Brought in over the summer to replace Nottingham Forest-bound Taiwo Awoniyi, Siebatcheu glanced a Sheraldo Becker cross past Oliver Christensen to put Union ahead in the 32nd minute.

Becker added one of his own in the 50th minute, before Robin Knoche headed in a Christopher Trimmel corner four minutes later to put the result beyond doubt.

Hertha winger Dodi Lukebakio scored a late consolation goal to bring the score to 3-1. 

Union have now won four in a row against their big brothers from the city’s west and have only lost twice from seven Bundesliga clashes since being promoted to the top division in 2019.

The loss comes a week after Hertha, who narrowly escaped relegation in 2021-22, were eliminated in the first round of the German Cup on penalties by second division Eintracht Braunschweig.

Speaking before the match, Union Berlin coach Urs Fischer lauded his new arrival, saying Siebatcheu, who will look to lead the line for the United States at the Qatar World Cup, “might not have the speed (of Awoyni), but he certainly feels at home in the penalty area.”

Werder Bremen celebrated their return to the Bundesliga after a year in the second division by snatching a point in a 2-2 draw away at Wolfsburg.

In their first Bundesliga match under former Bayern Munich and Monaco coach Niko Kovac, Wolfsburg took the lead early, with Lukas Nmecha dinking a perfect chip over keeper Jiri Pavlenka to put the home side in the lead.

Bremen, clad in a salmon pink away strip, hit back quickly with two quick goals through Niclas Fuellkrug (21st minute) and Leonardo Bittencourt (23rd minute) to take a lead into halftime.

Kovac brought on Max Kruse in the 76th minute and the former Bremen forward quickly laid on an equaliser, gliding the ball into the penalty box for Josuha Guilavogui to hammer it home.

Elsewhere, Borussia Moenchengladbach got off to a winning start under new manager Daniel Farke, beating a 10-man Hoffenheim 3-1 at home.

Hoffenheim managed to hit the lead in the 25th minute just after defender Stefan Posch received his second yellow for a studs-up tackle on Ramy Bensebaini, but were unable to hold on.

The visitors conceded goals to Bensebaini four minutes before the break, and then Marcus Thuram and Nico Elvedi in the space of seven minutes in the second half.

Beaten German Cup finalists in 2021-22, SC Freiburg continued their strong form under long-time manager Christian Streich, scoring four second-half goals to win 4-0 away at Augsburg.

In Saturday’s other early game, Mainz defeated Bochum 2-1 through two goals from Austrian striker Karim Onisiwo.

Borussia Dortmund will take on fellow Champions League participants Bayern Leverkusen in Saturday’s final match.

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