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Haraguchi off mark for Union, Bundesliga shows Ukraine solidarity


Berlin (AFP) – Japan midfielder Genki Haraguchi finally scored his first goal for Union Berlin Saturday while around Germany, Bundesliga clubs showed solidarity in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A minute’s silence was held before kick-off at grounds in Germany’s top flight with signs on display expressing support for the beleaguered nation. 

The Allianz Arena – home of Bayern Munich – will later be lit in Ukraine’s national colours of blue and yellow when the league leaders play Eintracht Frankfurt away.

In Berlin, Haraguchi ended his 22-match wait to score when the attacking midfielder cracked in his first Bundesliga goal for Union in a 3-1 win over Mainz.

It was the 30-year-old’s first goal since joining from second-tier Hanover 96 before the season.

Sheraldo Becker scored Union’s superb second with a long-range chip from outside the box.

Mainz were reduced to ten men when midfielder Dominik Kohr was sent off for a second booking.

Nigeria striker Taiwo Awoniyi tapped in his tenth league goal this season as Union shredded the defence before Dutch striker Delano Burgzorg scored Mainz’s late consolation.

Lucas Alario fired in off the crossbar before Moussa Diaby scored with two crisp finishes as Bayer Leverkusen consolidated third with a 3-0 home win over Arminia Bielefeld.

Italy midfielder Vincenzo Grifo converted an early penalty before forwards Kevin Schade and Lucas Hoeler tapped in late goals in Freiburg’s 3-0 home win over Hertha Berlin.

It was a miserable Bundesliga debut for Marcel Lotka, Hertha’s fourth-choice goalkeeper with first-choice Alexander Schwolow out with Covid and his deputies sidelined by injury.

After last Sunday’s 6-0 drubbing by Dortmund, Moenchengladbach earned a point as substitute Breel Embolo scored a late equaliser in their 2-2 draw at Wolfsburg.

The hosts played the last 20 minutes with ten men after Maxence Lacroix was sent off for bringing down Marcus Thuram, who Embolo replaced before heading in the equaliser.

Gladbach defender Matthias Ginter hit the net with a header in stoppage time, but the VAR ruled the goal out.

Bottom side Greuther Fuerth are unbeaten in their last six home games as they held Cologne to a 1-1 draw thanks to an equaliser by Sebastian Griesbeck for the hosts.

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