TAIWO AWONIYI LEADS MAINZ COME-BACK EXPLOITS IN 2-2 DRAW WITH COLOGNE

Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi was the hero as Mainz 05 came from two-goal down to secure a 2-2 draw with hosts, Cologne on Sunday as the German Bundesliga resumes.

Taiwo Awoniyi scored his first goal in the Bundesliga for Mainz to inspire a comeback from 0-2 down against Cologne. – © 1. FC Köln

Cologne, looking for their fourth straight league win, thought they had wrapped up the match played without spectators after early goals in each half.

Despite the lack of fans, Cologne had some support as about 1,300 season-ticket holders sent in their favourite club items – team shirts, scarves or stuffed animals – which were draped over the empty seats Mark Uth converted a sixth-minute penalty he won himself.

Florian Kainz headed in a perfect Dominick Drexler cross at the far post in the 52nd minute.

But Mainz, led by former Cologne coach Achim Beierlorzer, cut the deficit through Taiwo Awoniyi in the 61st and levelled 11 minutes later thanks to Kunde Malong’s 30m solo run and fine finish from inside the box.

Taiwo Awoniyi

They also went close to scoring a third in the final minutes.

Cologne remained 10th in the standings on 33 points while Mainz moved four points above the relegation play-off spot.

Leaders Bayern Munich, top on 55 points, play Union Berlin later on Sunday.

Borussia Dortmund are a point behind after Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Schalke 04.

The Bundesliga on Saturday became the first major league in the world to restart amid the pandemic.

A set of strict health regulations are governing the matches, including a ban on spectators in or around the stadiums to minimise the risk of infection.