Union Berlin had Genki Haraguchi, Sheraldo Becker and substitute Taiwo Awoniyi on target as the capital club ended a recent run of defeats with a deserved victory against 10-man Mainz.
Stuck in a rut of three games without a win and having failed to score a single goal during that run, Urs Fischer's side quickly set about resolving recent woes in front of their passionate fans. It wasn't long before Union's loyal support were roaring their approval when Haraguchi - following up from Niko Gießelmann's blocked effort - blasted a shot at goal that struck Alexander Hack before flying in. A long VAR check followed, but Haraguchi's first Bundesliga goal in over five years was eventually given the green light. Despite being on a high having collected seven points from their previous three outings, Mainz's away form was well signposted going into this game. Bo Svensson's men had picked up just one point from six road trips and their task almost got even more daunting when Becker's clever flick took him past the out-rushing Robin Zentner. To the goalkeeper's relief, the ball had too much zip, leaving Becker frustrated and Mainz with a goal-kick.
The only team to have won in Mainz this season, Union clearly fancied their chances of doing the double over the side with whom they started the day neck-and-neck in the standings. A spectacular effort from Becker after the restart raised home hopes even further. Cutting in from the right, the flying Suriname international let fly with a curling effort from distance that glided past the despairing Zentner and inched inside the far post. The goal served as a hammer blow to the visitors, whose task was subsequently rendered nigh on impossible when Dominik Kohr was shown a second yellow card on the hour. It was game over when Awoniyi - who hadn't found the net since Matchday 14 - accepted Becker's pass from the left before stroking into the corner. Delano Burgzorg's consolation for Mainz will have done little to lift the visitors' spirits, with their opponents now up to seventh and reviving hopes of a European finish.
- Haraguchi scored in the Bundesliga for the first time in over five years. The 30-year-old had previously netted for Hertha Berlin against Ingolstadt in February 2017.
- All of the Japanese attacker's five Bundesliga goals have been scored in Berlin, his first four coming with Hertha between 2014 and 2018.
- As many as four of Becker's five Bundesliga goals have been scored at home.
- Awoniyi scored for the first time from the substitutes' bench as a Union player.
- Kohr has been sent off five times in his Bundesliga career, more than any other active player in the German top flight.
- Mainz have failed to win any of their last seven away games, taking just one point in that sequence.
Watch: Awoniyi: "Everyone can see our quality"
Union: Luthe - Jaeckel, Knoche, Baumgartl - Trimmel (c), Khedira, Prömel (Öztunali 86'), Gießelmann (Oczipka 86') - Becker (Michel 76'), Haraguchi (Möhwald 76') - Voglsammer (Awoniyi 67')
Subs: Rönnow, Ryerson, Heintz, Ujah
Out: Endo (leg), Schäfer (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer
Mainz: Zentner - Bell (Tauer 70'), Hack (Stöger 62'), Niakhate (c) - Widmer, Stach, Kohr, Martin - Lee (Boetius 70') - Onisiwo (Ingvartsen 62'), Burkardt (Burgzorg 77')
Subs: Rieß, Brosinski, Nemet, Barreiro
Out: Dahmen (ankle), St. Juste (shoulder)
Coach: Bo Svensson
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