The Iron Ones have never claimed a victory at the home of their bitter rivals in the Bundesliga, and they fell yet again on Saturday
Taiwo Awoniyi featured for the first time in the Bundesliga for Union Berlin in 2022, but his presence did not help the Iron Ones avoid succumbing to a 2-0 defeat at Augsburg.
Awoniyi spent the best part of January in Cameroon, where he was Nigeria’s leading striker as the Super Eagles chased a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title.
In his absence, Urs Fischer’s men racked up three wins and a draw in their first four competitive matches of the year, including league victories over Hoffenheim and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
But the tie against Augsburg at the WWK Arena was always going to be tricky, with the home side looking to reverse a five-match Bundesliga winless streak while Union were unbeaten in five straight.
With strike partner Max Kruse surprisingly sold off to Wolfsburg during the winter transfer window, Awoniyi started in attack alongside Dutch forward Sheraldo Becker.
However, goals from Michael Gregoritsch and Andre Hahn, on either side of the halftime break, handed the hosts the win that momentarily lifts them out of the relation zone.
Awoniyi delivered an average performance, though, before Kevin Behrens replaced him in the 75th minute. The 24-year-old won three of his eight duels, completed two successful dribbles, struck two shots off target, and missed one big chance.
He remains one of the division’s most feared marksmen, though, with nine Bundesliga goals to his name.
Nigerian striker Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee and German-Nigerian defender Felix Uduakhai played the final three and ten minutes for Augsburg.
But Super Eagles striker Anthony Ujah, back from a lengthy injury layoff, did not make it off the bench for Union Berlin.