Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi has escaped relegation with his German team Mainz in the Bundesliga.
Though Awoniyi was absent due to the recent concussion he suffered, his teammates delivered the need result; beating Werder Bremen 3-1 to preserve their elite status for at least another season
Bremen won praise for their performance against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, but their failure to take any points from Mainz may be proved costly than ever imagined.
Florian Kohfeldt’s side started brightly in Mainz against a team who had failed to win a single game at home or even score a goal at home since the Bundesliga restarted last month.
But Bremen faded quickly, and two goals in five first-half minutes from Robin Quaison and then Jean-Paul Boetius quickly exposed Bremen’s soft underbelly.
Mainz came into the game with momentum following their shock win at Dortmund on Wednesday and, despite Yuya Osako pulling one back for Bremen, Edimilson Fernandes sealed the win late on for Mainz.
The damage for Bremen was really done in Düsseldorf though, where Fortuna picked up a point against Augsburg to put them in the driving seat on the final day. Bremen will be relieved that Fortuna didn’t get all three points, a result that would have sent them down.
Bremen have one last throw of the dice on the final day of the season against Cologne, while Düsseldorf know a win in Berlin against Union will put them in the relegation play-off and send Bremen down. Since the Bundesliga’s inception in 1963, Werder Bremen have spent more seasons than any club in it. That record is now in serious jeopardy.
With the escape of Mainz, it gives Nigerian Bundesliga fans something to cheer having seen Super Eagles defender Jamiu Collins go down with Paderborn last weekend.