bundesliga

Taiwo Awoniyi own-goal gifts Wolfsburg win over Union Berlin

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Taiwo Awoniyi scored for the second week running, albeit into his own goal as Wolfsburg thanked the Union Berlin forward for gifting them three important points on Saturday.

Wolfsburg 1-0 Union
Goal: 1-0 Awoniyi o.g. 25'

Wolfsburg were straight on the front foot and a rasping volley from Xaver Schlager had the woodwork rattling after just a few minutes. Bartosz Bialek was next up to send in a shot on the Union goal, which was saved by Andreas Luthe. The Union goalkeeper made another excellent one-handed save to turn a Bialek header over the crossbar, but there was nothing he could do to keep out a header from his own player from the resulting corner, as Awoniyi flicked the ball past his own goalkeeper to gift the hosts the lead midway through the first half. The Wolves were good value for their lead, although Union had threatened Koen Casteels' goal through Grischa Prömel and Dominique Heintz, suggesting the hosts were far from home and dry.

Union started the second half much stronger and thought they had levelled when Sheraldo Becker turned in Awoniyi's cross, but an earlier foul on Maximilian Arnold saw the goal disallowed. Awoniyi looked keen to make amends for his own goal and score in the right net, and service to the Union frontman was improving as he had a header saved. Substitute Lukas Nmecha became the second Wolfsburg player to hit the post as he tried to score from the tightest of angles and Jonas Wind came close to scrambling the ball inside the other post as the hosts responded to a good spell of Union pressure. Max Kruse had been rather anonymous against his former club, but he popped up and almost added a second as the game entered into its final 15 minutes. Nmecha tried again from a slightly better angle, but was denied by Luthe as Wolfsburg wasted the better chances and Union could not capitalise on their greater quantity of opportunities to level up late on.

Match stats

  • Kruse produced 19 goals and 12 assists across 45 competitive appearances for Union. He has 10 and 12 in 48 for Wolfsburg.
  • Awoniyi scored Union's third own goal of the season; only Fürth (five) have conceded more.
  • Awoniyi also scored the opening goal in the reverse fixture, albeit at the right end.
  • The Union forward was substituted for the 20th time this season - more than any other player in the Bundesliga.
  • Conversely, Andreas Voglsammer became the player with the most substitute entrances in the Bundesliga this season, coming on for the 19th time.
  • The Berliners have lost three straight away games without scoring for the first in the top flight.

Watch: Kohfeldt relieved after Wolfsburg win

Line-ups

Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Mbabu, Bornauw, Brooks - Baku (Steffen 76'), Arnold, Schlager (Vranckx 64'), Roussillon - Kruse (Gerhardt 86') - Bialek (L. Nmecha 64'), Wind
Unused subs: Pervan, Waldschmidt, Philipp, F. Nmecha, Lukebakio
Out: Lacroix (suspended), Otavio (knee), Van de Ven (thigh), William (knee)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt 

Union: Luthe - Baumgartl, Knoche, Heintz (Öztunali 82') - Ryerson, Haraguchi (Möhwald 64'), Khedira (Ujah 82'), Prömel (c), Oczipka - Becker (Voglsammer 71'), Awoniyi (Michel 71')
Unused subs: Rönnow, Jaeckel, Gießelmann, Trimmel
Out: Endo (leg), Schäfer (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer