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Fofana Rescues Union Berlin with Historic UCL Goal
- Updated: November 9, 2023
Fofana Rescues Union Berlin with Historic UCL GoalUnion Berlin ended their 12-game losing streak in the UEFA Champions League with a historic performance, securing a crucial point in a 1-1 draw against Napoli. David Fofana emerged as the hero, scoring the equalizer and keeping Union Berlin’s hopes of European football alive.
Despite facing three consecutive defeats in their debut Champions League group stage campaign, Union Berlin entered the clash with Napoli with determination to secure a positive result. Sheraldo Becker’s early attempt reflected their bold start, challenging Napoli’s defense and testing goalkeeper Alex Meret. The urgency displayed by Urs Fischer’s men contradicted their 12-game winless run, which dated back to August 26.
However, Napoli, even without the injured Victor Osimhen, responded by elevating their performance. Natan’s header hit the post, and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa had a goal disallowed by VAR due to a foul by Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo. The breakthrough for Napoli came when Matteo Politano’s chest deflected the ball past Fredrik Rønnow off a Josip Juranović ricochet.
Union Berlin had opportunities, with Juranović’s free-kick hitting the upright just before halftime. The turning point arrived in the 52nd minute when Jérôme Roussillon’s long ball caught Napoli off guard. Becker’s shot was saved, but Fofana capitalized on the rebound, smashing it home and leveling the score.
Union Berlin managed to keep Napoli at bay until the closing stages, with Rønnow making crucial saves. Despite Amir Rrahmani’s header and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s attempt, Union Berlin secured a historic first Champions League point. This result keeps their hopes alive for clinching the third spot in Group C and advancing to the UEFA Europa League.
Key statistics highlighted Fofana’s significance as Union Berlin’s goal ended a five-game goalless streak. The on-loan Chelsea forward showcased his scoring prowess in all three UEFA senior club competitions. Union Berlin’s defensive record, with just one clean sheet in 16 competitive games this season, contrasts with Napoli’s historical concession of a goal against German opponents.
The lineups featured Meret, Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Natan, Rui for Napoli, and Rønnow, Jaeckel, Bonucci, Leite for Union Berlin. The draw against Napoli marks a significant milestone for Union Berlin in their UEFA Champions League journey.
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By- Sahiba Suri