Fischer’s Awoniyi experiment backfires for Union at lowly Furth

The Nigerian striker had started every single one of his 14 league appearances for the Iron Ones until their visit to Furth on Sunday

Taiwo Awoniyi came in as a second-half substitute as Union Berlin crashed to a shocking 1-0 defeat to lowly Greuther Furth at the Sportpark Ronhof Thomas Sommer.

This matchday 15 clash between high-flying Union Berlin and basement club Furth was a matter of how many goals the newly-promoted club would concede and not if fourth-place Union would win.

Furth had won none and drawn just one of their previous 14 matches, losing 7-1 last weekend at Bayer Leverkusen.

A similar scoreline was not out of range against Union, with the Iron Ones boasting one of the Bundesliga’s most clinical finishers in Awoniyi.

The Super Eagles striker had hit target nine times for Union in the German top-flight, only behind Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, and Patrik Schick on the goalscorer’s chart.

And after failing to it the mark versus Slavia Prague on Thursday as Union crashed out of the Europa Conference League, the 24-year-old was primed to bare his fangs against Furth.

But manager Urs Fischer surprised many by naming Awoniyi on the substitute bench, instead opting for the attacking trio of Sheraldo Becker, Max Kruse, Kevin Behrens.

The home side kept all three at bay before Haavard Nielsen scored what proved to be the winner ten minutes into the second period.

Fischer sent on Awoniyi in the 63rd minute, and the ex-Golden Eaglets hero came closest to rescuing a point for his side, but his stoppage-time header went just wide of the mark.

Furth held on for a famous win as a disappointing Union returned to Berlin empty-handed and dropped to sixth on the league table.  

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