African All Stars

Awoniyi’s Union Berlin bow to Abiama & Sarpei's Greuther Furth

20:15 WAT 12/12/2021
Taiwo Awoniyi
The Super Eagles’ Afcon prospect was a second-half substitute, but he could not halt the Iron Ones from losing to Stefan Leitl's Cloverleaves

Greuther Furth won their first Bundesliga game of the 2021-22 campaign by defeating Union Berlin 1-0 on Sunday evening.

Prior to this encounter staged at the Sportpark Ronhof, the Cloverleaves had gone on a run of 14 games without a single win.

They bowed 7-1 to Bayer Leverkusen last time out, nonetheless, they put up an exceptional; display to cage the Iron Ones.

The hosts started brightly with Branimir Hrgota’s eighth-minute effort just wide of the left post.

Chances were very few in the first 45 minutes, but it was the home team who showed promise. Nonetheless, that did not pay off as they shot tamely at goal.

After a frustrating first half, Union Berlin stepped up their game in their quest to keep their European dreams alive.

Their first real opportunity came in the 54th minute but Genki Haraguchi ultimately fired wide of the target.

Greuther Furth’s persistence eventually paid off two minutes later as Haavard Nielsen rifled a shot inside the box which deflected past goalkeeper Andreas Luthe.

After taking the lead, the home team remained resolute at the rear to secure their first clean sheet of the season.

Even at the result, they occupy the base of the table with just four points from 15 matches, while their opponents dropped to sixth with 23 points from the same number of matches.

Nigeria prospect Dickson Abiama was handed a place in the hosts’ starting XI but was subbed off for Jamie Leweling. Whereas, Ghana’s Hans Nunoo Sarpei was kept on the bench from start to finish.

On the other hand, Taiwo Awoniyi was introduced in the 63rd minute for Max Kruse but his presence could not stop the Iron Ones from losing. His compatriots Anthony Ujah and Suleiman Abdullahi were not listed for action by manager Urs Fischer.

Prior to this match, Awoniyi had scored nine Bundesliga goals in 14 appearances.

Although, he is not a regular in the Nigeria senior national team, the former Liverpool striker would be hoping to make the Super Eagles' provisional squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

With Napoli’s Victor Osimhen still a doubt for the African football showpiece, the 24-year-old could be taken to Cameroon to help solve the three-time African champions’ goalscoring issues.