It's pretty quiet out here at this time.

Awoniyi and Becker strike to beat Wolfsburg

Union extend home record:

Sat, 16. October 2021
Awoniyi and Becker strike to beat Wolfsburg

Taiwo Awoniyi and Sheraldo Becker scored the goals in the second half to extend 1. FC Union Berlin's unbeaten run at home with a 2-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg.

Union held out a competitive first half at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei with Awoniyi capping off a great week following his national team debut for Nigeria with the opener on 48 minutes.

Substitute Sheraldo Becker made the three points safe on 84 minutes with a header which narrowly creeped over the line.

1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Jaeckel, Friedrich, Knoche; Ryerson, Gießelmann (Oczipka 90), Khedira, Prömel, Haraguchi (Voglsammer 73); Awoniyi, Kruse (Becker 73)

VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels; Roussillon, Bornauw, Brooks, Mbabu; Arnold, Guilavogui (Vrancx 60); Lukebakio, Philipp (Weghorst 68), Waldschmidt (Baku 60); Nmecha

The 2-1 turnaround at Mainz before the international break convinced coach Urs Fischer to start with the same XI who came out victorious last time out. Union's home form in the Bundesliga has been strong with two wins and two draws - an unbeaten run stretching back until the first game of the previous campaign. Julian Ryerson headed over after six minutes from a cross as the Köpenick club laid down a marker of intent. Meanwhile, the visitors from Wolfsburg were quick to adapt to the Union pressure and nearly scored themselves after 11 minutes. German U21 international Lukas Nmecha headed on target from close range but Robin Knoche was in the right place to hook the ball clear of the goal against his former club. Wolfsburg took more control towards the end of the half with the best chances falling the way of Mark van Bommel's team. Maximilian Philipp dragged a shot wide on 23 minutes as the team in green pushed enough men ahead of the ball to cause problems for Union. Two minutes later, Wolfsburg went from defence-to-attack on the break. Nmecha whipped the ball across the face of goal but Lukebakio hit the post from around two yards out. It was another serious let off for the home side who dealt with defensive situations better thereafter. Philipp ambitiously looked to lob Luthe on 37 minutes but the effort went wide. Despite Wout Weghorst's omission from the starting XI, the visitors could rely on attacking options from midfield. Joshua Guilavogui stepped out of midfield on 42 minutes to test the Union rearguard but his shot went a few metres of the target. Union hadn't penetrated the Wolfsburg backline for most of the half and despite that, there were still glimpses of hope. Max Kruse's dangerous cross, hit with whip and pace, caused all sorts of problems for the Wolfsburg defenders but Roussillon was well-positioned to clear at the far post before the half was out.

Fischer's side took three minutes after Sascha Steegemann restarted the match to break through the Wolfsburg defence. A lovely counter-attack was mastered by Genki Haraguchi who played in Awoniyi and the Super Eagles striker finished off past Koan Casteels. The away side, who are playing Champions League football this term, had their opportunities to level the game through the second half. Roussillon hit wide on 53 minutes from distance before Wout Weghorst came off the bench to give Wolfsburg a new dimension in attack. The Dutchman nearly scored with his first touch of the ball but a combination of Andreas Luthe and Knoche kept the marksmen at bay. On 81 minutes, Weghorst may feel he could have levelled, heading unmarked straight at Luthe from the middle of the penalty box. With three goals in four appearances against the club from Köpenick, these are opportunities the 29-year-old doesn't often pass up. But despite the pressure from the opposition, Union held firm and showed their character to bounce back again. Substitute Andreas Voglsammer clipped in the cross on 84 minutes and Becker was right at the far stick to head over the line. Goalkeeper Casteels almost managed to keep Becker's header out but this time goalline technology confirmed the ball was in. After coming off the bench for Max Kruse, Becker forced his impact on the game and almost clinched a third goal for Union. Sub Kevin Behrens linked superbly with the Dutchman who sprinted clear of the Wolfsburg defence, but Casteels was out quick to deny him a second. With Wolfsburg holding out until now, Union are able to strike another Bundesliga team off the list of teams defeated in the club's history.