BUNDESLIGA: Awoniyi, Akpoguma score as Hoffenheim, Union Berlin share spoils in 2-2 draw

By Temisan Amoye

Taiwo Awoniyi continued his impressive form as he scored his fourth goal in as many matches to rescue Union Berlin in their 2-2 draw against Kevin Akpoguma’s Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga on Sunday.

Awoniyi who re-signed from Liverpool after spending the 2020-21 season on loan at the Berlin-based club has hit the ground running, scoring on his debut against Bayer Leverkusen and following that up with an impressive brace against Finnish side KuPS in the UEFA Conference League.

Union Berlin opened the scoring in the 10th minute, Niko Giesselmann scoring from a rebound after his initial header was blocked by Oliver Baumann in the Hoffenheim goal. Super Eagles defender Akpoguma drew Hoffenheim level, heading in an Angelo Stiller cross in the 14th minute.

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Union Berlin nearly restored their lead immediately, German forward Max Kruse hit the bar from a freekick in the 16th minute. Kruse then set his strike partner Awoniyi clean on goal with a through pass, with the Nigerian one-on-one with Baumann who made a good save to deny him.

Hoffenheim opened their season with an impressive 4-0 win over Ausburg, Hoffenheim regained control of proceedings and former Dortmund forward, Jacob Bruun Larsen’s strike from outside the box was saved by Andreas Luthe in the Hoffenheim goal. The Dane didn’t wait long to have an impact on the scoreline, slotting past Luthe in goal from a Kramaric pass to give Hoffenheim a 2-1 lead in the 30th minute.

Awoniyi restored parity in the 46th minute, scoring in his third consecutive game. His initial shot was parried by Baumann, with the 24-year-old striker making no mistake in slotting the rebound beyond Baumann to pull the Iron Ones level.

The Nigerian striker has scored four goals and assisted twice in four competitive matches for Union Berlin since completing a permanent move from Liverpool in July.

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Kruse and Awoniyi have combined well and developed an effective partnership up front for Union and the pair were at it again, almost giving Union the lead in the 62nd minute. Both strikers linking up well, but Baumann was as it again, making a strong save to deny Kruse.

Awoniyi was subbed out in the 68th minute, replaced by Andreas Voglsammer. Both teams shared the spoils after 90 minutes, with the scoreline ending 2-2.

The result sees Union Berlin earn a 2nd draw in two Bundesliga games this season, with the Iron Ones sitting 12th on the log.

Next for Awoniyi and Union Berlin is a home fixture against KuPS in the UEFA Conference League on Thursday and a visit from Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga next Sunday.

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