Taiwo Awoniyi impressed as Union Berlin secured an excellent 4-1 win away to Hertha Berlin in Germany’s capital city to brighten their chances of sealing a European spot come May.
The capital city clash pitted together two sides experiencing differing fortunes, with the hosts battling to avoid the drop and their visitors in the mix for European qualification.
It's the #BerlinDerby today between Hertha & Union at the magnificent Olympiastadion.— Lolade Adewuyi (@Jololade) April 9, 2022
A loss for Hertha will send them closer to relegation. Taiwo Awoniyi has been firing for Union, could he send their city rivals out of the Bundesliga on his way to the Premier League? pic.twitter.com/kQPN2rTYZA
17-goal hero Awoniyi scored in the 2-0 Union win at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei back in November. The 25-year-old forward was at the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria’s Super Eagles when the Iron Ones earned a 3-2 win at the Olympiastadion Berlin in the DFB Pokal on January 19.
And with two wins already in their bag in two derbies, Union Berlin were the sharper and more confident of the two sides in the opening stages on Saturday.
Hertha Berlin dominated a larger chunk of the ball possession, but Union Berlin created the better chances, winning several corner kicks in succession.
Niko Giesselmann and Sheraldo Becker, at different times, sent fierce shots on target, but Hertha’s goalkeeper Marcel Lotka, who was enjoying another brilliant game, produced a couple of excellent saves to keep the scoreline level.
But Lotka had no answer for Union’s opener when it arrived at the half-hour mark. Genki Haraguchi times his jump perfectly to get on the end of a fine Becker cross, heading the ball inside the right post.
On the stroke of halftime, Awoniyi thought he had grabbed his side’s second of the evening.
The former Liverpool signing produced a fantastic shot from the edge of the box after a brilliant solo run. The ball was heading towards the middle of the goal, but Marcel Lotka made an astonishing save. Fans were almost celebrating that goal.
But all of Union Berlin’s best work in the first half were thrown in the dustbin four minutes after the interval when Timo Baumgartl miscued the ball into his own net to make it one-all.
But the visitors picked themselves up quickly and were back in front four minutes later through a beautiful Grischa Promel header.
Awoniyi’s strike partner, Becker, added a third for Union in the 74th minute as the visitors showed they were a class ahead of their city rivals.
Andreas Voglsammer replaced Taiwo Awoniyi in the 82nd minute and three minutes later, Sven Michel made it 4-1 to the high-flying Berliners.