The Nigerian international was the Iron Ones’ go-to man during the first half of the campaign and had been struggling to find his swag since the turn of the year
Super Eagles star Taiwo Awoniyi came off the bench to net his first Bundesliga goal of 2022 and helped Union Berlin arrest a three-match losing streak with a 3-1 home win over Mainz on Saturday afternoon.
Awoniyi had been stuck on nine Bundesliga goals for several weeks, with the former Liverpool signing not hitting the net for Urs Fischer’s men since scoring in the 2-1 defeat of RB Leipzig on December 3rd, a run of 444 minutes.
Still, it was a surprise to see the former Golden Eaglets star left out of the starting lineup, with Union’s boss preferring Sheraldo Becker and Andreas Voglsammer in the attack against Mainz.
And Becker repaid his manager’s trust by doubling the home side’s advantage ten minutes into the second period after Genki Haraguchi had given them a seventh-minute lead. Awoniyi entered the fray in the 67th minute after Dominik Kohr had been sent off for the visitors.
And the Nigerian international made his presence felt with a composed finish eight minutes later, following more good work from Becker.
It was Awoniyi’s tenth Bundesliga goal of the season and his third against his former employees, for whom he scored just once in 12 games during the 2019-20 season. In the reverse fixture, Awoniyi bagged his first and only top-flight brace to date to power Union to a comeback 2-1 win in October.
Slack defending allowed Delano Burgzorg to notch a consolation goal for Mainz in the 90th minute. But the Iron Ones had done enough to secure their tenth league win of the 24-week old campaign.