BERLIN (AP) — Midfielder Brenden Aaronson was sent off. That didn't stop Union Berlin.
Ten-man Union earned a 4-1 win in Darmstadt after Robin Gosens scored twice in his first Bundesliga start on Saturday.
“Today you saw what makes us special," said Gosens, who spent his career in the Netherlands and Italy before joining Union in the offseason. “It always sounds so simple, but we're a team, a family, everyone knows exactly what the other can do and what they have to do themselves, that we can overcome obstacles and always fight back, no matter what happens. Only a few teams can say that about themselves.”
Gosens celebrated his first professional start in Germany by eluding one Darmstadt defender and shooting between the legs of another to open the scoring in the fourth minute.
“That's where the team really showed great morale,” Union coach Urs Fischer said of his team's response to the sending off. “And yes, set-pieces can decide games, that's where we were very dangerous.”
Defender Danilho Doekhi made it 4-1 with a header to a corner in the 65th, but needed attention for a painful clash of heads with a defender. He continued.
“For me it was almost a perfect afternoon. My first Bundesliga start and my first brace,” Gosens said.
Germany coach Hansi Flick and sporting director Rudi Völler were in the stands. Gosens has played 18 games for Germany but Flick omitted the left back from his World Cup squad last year.
DORTMUND DISAPPOINTS IN DERBY
Borussia Dortmund was again held by local rival Bochum to 1-1, rekindling memories of their 1-1 draw last season when Dortmund was denied what officials later agreed was a clear penalty decision. That draw arguably cost Dortmund the title.
Bochum's Kevin Stöger fired inside the far post in the 13th, when Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel couldn’t raise his arm in time to stop the shot.
The home team remained better but Dortmund improved in the second half and Donyell Malen equalized in the 56th.
Heidenheim wasted a two-goal lead in its first-ever Bundesliga home game as Hoffenheim came back to win 3-2.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
Ciarán Fahey, The Associated Press