Awoniyi nets ninth Bundesliga goal in Leipzig win
Red-hot Nigeria forward, Taiwo Awoniyi netted his ninth Bundesliga goal of the season on Friday evening, as Union Berlin beat Leipzig 2-1 at home to climb to fourth spot on the Bundesliga log.
Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku cancelled Taiwo Awoniyi’s early opener, before Timo Baumgartl scored the winner 10 minutes into the second half to lift Union into a Champions League qualification place.
Awoniyi – who registered the most shots [four] inside the box – poked in from close range on the sixth minute, for his 14th goal in all competitions, after Baumgartl header off Julian Ryerson cross, fell to his path.
Christopher Nkunku drew the visitors level seven minutes later, as his long range effort bounced and evaded a full-strectched Union goalkeeper, Andreas Luthe for the equaliser.
Timo Baumgartl restored Union’s lead – which turned out to be the matchwinner – 11 minutes into the second period, with a left-footed touch off a corner kick, after Leipzig’s defender Konrad Laimer deflected Max Kruse’s initial effort.
Kevin Behren who replaced Awoniyi on the 80 minute went close to extending Union’s lead within four minutes of being on the pitch, only for Leipzig goalkeeper, Peter Gulacsi to parry away his header.
Brian Brobbey nearly put The Red Bulls on level terms late on, following a flick-on header from Andre Silva on the left, but Genki Haraguchi reacted quickly to block his attempt.
Urs Fischer’s men held on to record their second win over Leipzig in six months, condemning the visitors to their third successive league defeat, despite having the larger share of ball possession [63 percent], during the matchday 14 tie.
Awoniyi will travel with The Iron Ones to face Peter Olayinka and Ubong Ekpai’s Slavia Prague on Thursday, for the UEFA Europa Conference League’s final Group E game, as both sides seek for a spot to join leaders, Feyenoord in the knockout stage.