Not many people know that Taiwo Awoniyi is a Liverpool player on loan at Mainz. But he didn’t get much playing time this season, as he played 9 matches in all competitions, but only started two Bundesliga games and the rest from the bench.
He knew he needed to gear up his game, but when the Bundesliga resume, he started on the bench again in a game against Koln.
But in the early second half, Mainz coach Rouven Schroder grew impatient after his team were trailing 2-0 and he decided to change Ji Dong-won with Awoniyi.
The 22-year-old didn’t disappoint as he scored his first ever Bundesliga goal this season. While the game ended in 2-2 draw, Awoniyi is enjoying his moment.
“For us to draw the game from 2-0 down, I was really happy. Not only because I scored, but for the team as a whole.
“In a game of football, coming from 2-0 down and drawing the game in a place that is not your stadium, is not always easy. So, I think the whole team was really happy about it at the end.”
Awoniyi also admitted that he’s been waiting for the opportunity to shine in Bundesliga.
“I’d say my best moment is the first goal I scored, against Koln.
“That was naturally my best moment because, even though the fans are not there, but coming in and scoring in less than five minutes is something really great for me.”
The Nigerian U-23 player also accepted the fact that they will have to play without any fan cheering inside the stadium.
“For me, with all respect to the fans, if they’re in the stadium it would’ve been more awesome with the way they cheer you and everything.
“But I believe when they watch at home, they will also be really glad that we scored and I scored as well. But for me, I just have to take it as it is, without the fans, because the most important thing is to score and that’s what happened.”
Awoniyi also shares his thought on how Bundesliga have done well in terms of managing the league during the health crisis.
“For me, Germany is really top when it comes to organisation and managing situations. For me, I think when they decided to start, it’s because they had their plan, they’ve really looked into the situation to start all over again.
“I think they really have a good organisation put in place before they started the league. And I think it was something good in the whole perspective, but the only sad thing for me as a player is the fans, because they also love to support their team in the stadium.
“But at the moment, we can only ask them to stay at home and to watch at home, because everything that was done was for their own safety.”