By John Essien
Nigerian striker, Taiwo Awoniyi scored twice in the second-half as Union Berlin saw off Mainz FC in the German Bundesliga encounter on Sunday.
Following their 3-1 victory over Maccabi Haifa in Thursday’s UEFA Europa Conference League fixtures, the Iron Ones took a trip to the MEWA Arena.
The hosts had taken the lead in the 32nd minute through Marcus Ingvartsen, who squeezed a left-footed shot past Andreas Luther after he was set up by Austrian international of Nigerian descent, Karim Onisiwo.
They could have doubled their advantage, however, goalkeeper Luther made a smart save from Onisiwo’s effort.
Nine minutes after the hour mark, Awoniyi combined well to slot Kruse’s fine pass past goalkeeper Robin Zentner, after shrugging off a challenge from David Nemeth.
That goal was his fifth in the 2021-22 German top-flight season as well as Union Berlin’s 100th goal in the top-flight.
Four minutes later, he put his team ahead for the first time as Zentner could not get a hand to his stinging shot.
Mainz attacked en masse but their aspirations of earning at least a draw were dashed when Dominik Kohr was given his marching orders for a second caution.
Eight minutes from full-time, man-of-the-match Awoniyi was substituted for German striker Andreas Voglsammer, with his compatriots Anthony Ujah and Suleiman Abdullahi not listed for action.