Union's Robin Gosens looks for the ball during a German...

Union's Robin Gosens looks for the ball during a German Bundesliga soccer match between SV Darmstadt 98 and Union Berlin in Darmstadt, Germany, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. Credit: AP/Michael Probst

BERLIN — 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.

Aaronson was sent off in the 21st for his second yellow card and Union paid the price three minutes later when Marvin Mehlem equalized.

But Gosens scored again in the 34th with a header to a free kick and Kevin Behrens – who headed three goals last weekend – headed another five minutes later.

“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.”

Union players celebrate their side's second goal during a German...

Union players celebrate their side's second goal during a German Bundesliga soccer match between SV Darmstadt 98 and Union Berlin in Darmstadt, Germany, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. Credit: AP/Michael Probst

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.

Union did not emerge unscathed, however, with David Datro Fofana going off injured in the first half and his replacement, Sheraldo Becker, following in the 64th.

“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.

Union's Robin Gosens celebrates his side's opening goal during a...

Union's Robin Gosens celebrates his side's opening goal during a German Bundesliga soccer match between SV Darmstadt 98 and Union Berlin in Darmstadt, Germany, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. Credit: AP/Michael Probst

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.

“If you sleep for one half, you don't deserve more than a point in the end,” Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl said. “We have to improve. Otherwise it will be difficult.”

LEVERKUSEN LOOKING GOOD

New signing Victor Boniface scored twice as Bayer Leverkusen eased to a 3-0 win at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the late game.

Xabi Alonso’s team was in control throughout as it claimed its second win from two games and showed why it’s considered among the most likely to challenge Bayern Munich’s dominance.

Jonathan Tah also scored, Florian Wirtz starred, and Granit Xhaka had a fine goal ruled out for offside as the visitors followed up their opening 3-2 win over Leipzig with another impressive performance.

“Everyone showed today how well they can play football,” Wirtz said. “We managed that on the field, every one of us, and it was a lot of fun.”

Also, Maximilian Philipp scored in the sixth minute of injury time for Freiburg to beat Werder Bremen 1-0.

Heidenheim wasted a two-goal lead in its first-ever Bundesliga home game as Hoffenheim came back to win 3-2.

Jonas Wind scored twice for Wolfsburg to come from behind to beat Cologne 2-1.

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