Taiwo Awoniyi extends scoring streak as Union Berlin earn first Bundesliga victory of the season
Union Berlin’s Taiwo Awoniyi stretched his Bundesliga goalscoring run to three matches with a goal in a 2-1 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach at Stadio An der Försterei on Sunday.
Niko Giesselmann gave Urs Fischer’s the lead with a stunning header on 22 minutes and Awoniyi doubled the lead four minutes before the break, but Union were denied a clean sheet — with Jonas Hofmann slotting home from close range after Adreas Luthe spilled Laszlo Benes’ shot.
Awoniyi, who was not included in Nigeria’s 30-man list for next month’s World Cup qualifying games against Liberia and Cape Verde, combined with Max Kruse to score what proved to be the winning goal — which stretched The Iron One’s unbeaten run at home in the Bundesliga to 18 games.
The goal against Gladbach means Awoniyi has scored in every game since the current Bundesliga campaign kicked off — and it took the striker’s tally for the season to five in all competitions.
Picking up a loose ball in his own half, the 24-year-old bursted forward and despite being surrounded by three defenders, managed to stay calm and waited for Kruse to run into space. He then laid a pass to the former Germany international, who then played a through ball to him. The Nigeria international latched on to the pass, beat goalkeeper Yann Sommer before squeezing in from a tight angle.
Awoniyi joined Liverpool in 2015 but never played for the Premier League club, moving out on loan to a number of clubs outside England — including FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Mouscron, KAA Gent, Mainz 05 — before his loan at Union Berlin last season. His move to Union was made permanent for a fee of €6.5m on July 20.
He scored five goals in 21 Bundesliga appearances for Union last season.
Kruse, speaking about the former Nigeria U17 international star’s form after the game, said: “He’s getting better and better.
“His development was very, very good last year, even if not everything went to plan. Lately, lots of things are really working out, so we shouldn’t be surprised if it starts going the other way again. But he works hard. He really fights, uses his strength. And of course he’s so fast that you try to use it.”