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Union Berlin beats Frankfurt away to move closer to survival

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Union Berlin earned a hard-fought 2-1 win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday to move above the home side in the table and get its fans dreaming of surviving its first season in the Bundesliga.

Mistakes led to second-half goals from Sebastian Andersson and an own goal from Evan Ndicka, lifting Union to 10th place, nine points above the relegation zone and 12 above an automatic relegation place.

The game was marked by protests against Monday night games from the home fans as they left the standing terrace behind one of the goals empty. A huge banner displaying the word “Montag” (Monday) crossed out made their opposition clear.

Monday night matches have only been accompanied by protests in the Bundesliga, with fans leaving seats empty, boycotting games, and disrupting play with tennis balls and toilet paper among other measures.

The German soccer league has already bowed to the pressure and announced in November that it was scrapping the Monday night Bundesliga games from next season. Union paid no heed to the protests as first-half chances fell to Yunus Malli and Marius Bülter, while Frankfurt went closest through a near own goal from Florian Hübner.

But a mistake between Frankfurt defenders Erik Durm and David Abraham – each thought the other would clear the ball – allowed Christopher Lenz nip in to give Andersson a simple finish in the 49th minute.

Another mistake lead to the second goal in the 67th, when goalkeeper Kevin Trapp could only parry Marcus Ingvartsen’s cross across goal, where the retreating Ndicka deflected the ball into his own net under pressure from Andersson.

Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz denied Goncalo Paciencia an immediate response, but Andre Silva pulled one back with his heel in the 79th – after the ball took a decisive deflection from Hübner. The impressive Gikiewicz made a double-stop to deny Frankfurt late on.

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