ROUND-UP: Africans in Bundesliga – Week 2
One known fact about the German Bundesliga is that, it’s never too early or late for surprises, and indeed but momentarily, the league was decided in this fashion.
Matchday 2 had a chunk of its ties decided by goals scored too early or better later but it was Nigeria returnee Anthony Ujah that led the way for his fellow African exports.
Africa Football Shop‘s German Bundesliga correspondent Tolulope Olasoji reports on the exploits of African in Germany.
Werder Bremen – seeking their first point(s) of the season – had Nigeria forward Anthony Ujah who needed a second invitation in the 26th minute to share the spoils with Salomon Kalou’s Hertha Berlin with the match ending a goal apiece. Congo DR defender Assani Lukmiya was also on parade for Bremen for the entire duration of the match but Kalou who could not add to his tally lasted for 82 minutes.
Collision with a team mate in a training session last week Tuesday meant Ghana defender Daniel Opare will have to wait a futher three weeks to make his much awaited debut for Augsburg similarly, Eintracht Frankfurt fullback Constant Djakpa also would hope he get his season debut next week as the Ivorian was left on the bench in Frankfurt home draw against Opare’s Augsburg.
Meanwhile, the return of Bundeliga freekick maestro Hakan Calhanoglu in the 18th minute away at Salif Sane’s Hannover 96 definitely left a bitter taste for the Senegal defender and his team to savour, as the early goal dented their initial plans of claiming their first maximum points this season.
Joel Matip and Eric Choupo-Moting’s Schalke 04 can still afford to thank unsettled (transfer-esque) German playmaker Julian Draxler for his 47th minute equalizer against newly promoted Darmstadt 98. The Cameroon internationals were on from start to finish in the disappointing home draw.
Mehdi Benatia was graced to witness a Kevin Volland’s record-matching nine seconds assault on Bayern Munich, but unluckily, the Moroccan was shrugged off six minutes after the half hour mark due to a thigh injury. His ten-man team, though, secured all three away points from the hands of a resilient Hoffeinham team – contrastingly by a late goal – all thanks to a Douglas Costa and Robert Lewandowski combination.
While VfB Stuttgart gaffer Alexander Zorniger would be left to imagine the steel and graft he’s missed in Serey Die, Ghanaian midfield stalwart Gideon Jung who endured an embarrassing first team debut last week should be elated as his second outing – also a trailer – saw his side battle thrice to lift the day at the dead of the match. The youngster bagged a 73rd minute booking; Ivory Coast midfielder Die can’t but hope to overcome his muscle sinew tear (in the hip region) to get his season underway.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his Borussia Dortmund teammate now occupy a very distinct position (top of the log) to last season’s as they continued their impressive form molesting Marvin Matip’s Ingolstadt by four goals to nil. Aubameyang took his season tally to two goals after his goal in added minute rounded off a Dortmund second half revival.
Mainz 05’s Leon Balogun did well in helping his team defend a goal margin in his eight minute cameo against a wasteful Borussia Mochengladbach that had Mali winger Ibrahima Traore a protagonist of most of their attacking forays. The diminutive player who started the move that led to Patrick Herrmann’s second half equaliser obviously suffered from his manager’s Lucien Favre decision not to start with a recognised striker as most of their play were wrongfully converted by makeshift striker Thorgan Hazard. Nigeria international Balogun and his mates were able to garner a first league win.