Union beats Wolfsburg 2-1 to reach German Cup quarterfinals

January 31, 2023 GMT
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FC Union Berlin's Aissa Laidouni, right, and VfL Wolfsburg's Felix Nmecha fight for the ball during a German Cup soccer match, Tuesday, Jna. 31, 2023, in Berlin. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)
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FC Union Berlin's Aissa Laidouni, right, and VfL Wolfsburg's Felix Nmecha fight for the ball during a German Cup soccer match, Tuesday, Jna. 31, 2023, in Berlin. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Kevin Behrens and Robin Knoche put Union Berlin into the quarterfinals of the German Cup with a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg on Tuesday – but the team celebrated another player who didn’t score.

Jerome Roussillon failed to put away the game’s best chance with the final kick of the game. The former Wolfsburg defender, who joined Union in the winter transfer period, waited too long as he surveyed the empty net on a counterattack, allowed a defender to get back and block the shot.

Roussillon slumped to the ground after his miss, but was soon swarmed by Union teammates who rushed to console him.

Luca Waldschmidt gave the visitors an early lead but Knoche equalized in the 12th minute when he was left free at the back post to meet Josip Juranović’s corner. Juranović was making his first start for Union following his transfer from Celtic.

Jordan Pefok struck the corner of the goalframe as Union came closest to taking the lead in the first half. The American forward made way for Behrens in the 63rd – when Tunisia midfielder Aïssa Laïdouni also came on for his Union debut.

Behrens got the winner in the 79th when Rani Khedira crossed for Sheraldo Becker at the back post. Becker headed the ball back into the center for Behrens’ easy finish.

It was Union’s fourth win from four games in 2023.

Earlier, Serhou Guirassy scored in the fifth minute of injury time for Stuttgart to progress with a 2-1 win at Paderborn.

In other third-round games on Wednesday, Bayern Munich visits Mainz and Leipzig hosts Hoffenheim.

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