The two Nigerian stars found the back of the net for their respective clubs, but it is the former Liverpool man who will go home the happier of the duo
Nigerian defender Kevin Akpoguma scored the first of Hoffenheim’s goals, but Taiwo Awoniyi’s second-half strike ensured Union Berlin retain their unbeaten status with a 2-2 draw at the PreZero Arena.
A great start to life in Berlin has seen Awoniyi make a six-goal contribution (four goals, two assists) in four competitive games for the Iron Ones this campaign.
And it was no surprise to see head coach Urs Fischer start him once again in attack alongside one-time Germany golden boy Max Kruse.
But it was another Nigerian star who stole the show early on. Akpoguma, starting at right full-back, headed home the home side’s equaliser in the 14th minute after Niko Giesselmann had opened the scoring for Union Berlin four minutes earlier.
J. B. Larsen then completed the comeback for Hoffenheim on the half-hour mark as the home side went into the break with a 2-1 lead.
But two minutes after the restart, it was Awoniyi’s turn to shine, albeit at the expense of his compatriot.
Max Kruse picked up the ball in midfield and carved the opponent’s defence open with a killer through-ball, allowing Awoniyi to race through on goal. But goalkeeper Oliver Baumann denied the former Liverpool man with a great save when he looked certain to score.
But Akpoguma made a mess of his clearance, allowing Awoniyi to steal in and find the back of the net on the rebound for Union Berlin’s equaliser.
Urs Fischer sent Andreas Voglsammer to replace Awoniyi in the 70th minute, but all of Union Berlin’s effort to score the winner proved abortive.
And late on, defender Marvin Friedrich received his marching orders as the Iron Ones settled for a share of the spoils.