Taiwo Awoniyi scored two quick-fire goals as Union Berlin came from behind to win 2-1 at Mainz.
There was little to choose between the two sides in a keenly contested first half. Max Kruse fired off a warning shot from distance for Union, before Mainz's Anderson Lucoqui steered a back-post strike comfortably wide. In-between those two openings, Awoniyi had completely fluffed his lines in an attempt to turn home Kruse's cross. It proved a costly miss as Marcus Ingvartsen swept a smart first-time finish beyond Andreas Luthe to give Mainz the half-time lead against his parent club.
Union re-emerged from the tunnel with far greater purpose about their game. Kruse shot wide from 18 yards, before playing in Awoniyi for the equaliser. The former Liverpool striker, who also spent time on loan at Mainz, finished with aplomb from inside the area after barrelling past David Nemeth. He doubled his tally less than four minutes later in an almost carbon copy of his first, though Robin Zentner got a hand to the strike and will feel he should have done better. Karim Onisiwo and Moussa Niakhate went desperately close to levelling matters late on, but Mainz - reduced to 10 men in added time when Domink Kohr collected his second yellow card - could not avert a third straight game without a win.
- Awoniyi's scored five times this season and 11 in the Bundesliga all told. One of those fell during a loan stint at Mainz in 2019/20.
- Six different players have scored for Mainz in this season's Bundesliga. Ingvartsen is one of them. The Dane scored nine times in 68 competitive appearances for Union.
- Kruse's produced six goals and three assists in 16 meetings with Mainz.
- Urs Fischer oversaw his 75th Bundesliga match as Union head coach (W27, D22, L26).
- Kohr was sent off for the first time in over two years. That red card also came in a game against Mainz.
- Stefan Bell made his 200th Bundesliga appearance. He is the second Mainz player to reach the milestone after Nikolce Noveski.
Watch: Taiwo Awoniyi reacts to his match-winning double
Mainz: Zentner (c) - Widmer, Bell, St. Juste - Brosinski (Niakhate 76'), Barreiro (Stöger 76'), Kohr, Lucoqui - Ingvartsen (Boetius 67') - Burkardt (Stach 67'), Onisiwo
Unused subs: Dahmen, Martin, Niakhate, Nemeth, Boetius, Stach, Lee, Stöger, Tauer
Out: Hack (not included), Szalai (knee)
Coach: Bo Svensson
Union: Luthe - Friedrich (c), Knoche, Jaeckel - Ryerson, Khedira, Prömel, Gießelmann - Haraguchi (Behrens 62') - Kruse (Möhwald 83'), Awoniyi (Voglsammer 82')
Unused subs: Ronnow, van Drongelen, Puchacz, Trimmel, Öztunali, Möhwald, Voglsammer, Behrens, Becker
Out: Baumgartl (concussion)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Watch: Kruse: "We've matured as a team"