Pefok, Becker score as Union Berlin retakes Bundesliga lead
Sun, Sep 18, 2022
Other News (AP)
BERLIN (AP) - American forward Jordan Pefok and Sheraldo Becker scored again Sunday to fire Union Berlin back to the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg.
Becker set up Pefok to open the scoring in the 55th minute, then the Suriname forward raced clear to seal the win in the 77th, giving Union a two-point lead over Borussia Dortmund after seven rounds.
Union fans warmly welcomed Timo Baumgartl, back in the starting lineup for the first time in five months after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The 26-year-old defender's last league game was against Eintracht Frankfurt in April.
Former Union star Max Kruse was spared the fans' reception as he has fallen out of favor with Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac, who said the former Germany forward will never play for the club again.
The home team made the better start but was unable to force a breakthrough. Wolfsburg's defense recovered enough to stop the ball reaching Union's speedy Pefok and Becker.
Pefok, whose full name is Theoson-Jordan Siebatcheu, went narrowly wide after the break. He then scooped the ball over as Urs Fischer's side again started with intent. Maximilian Arnold went close at the other end.
Then the moment the home fans were waiting for. Becker showed pace against his marker before crossing for Pefok to score with a glancing header. It was the American's third Bundesliga goal in six appearances since his summer switch from Young Boys.
Becker sealed it when he took Paul Seguin's pass with his shoulder after Arnold lost the ball and raced through to coolly finish for his sixth goal of season.
Both Pefok and Becker were given standing ovations when they went off in the 87th.
After six defeats, Bochum was hoping to get its first point later against visiting Cologne. Interim coach Heiko Butscher has his debut following the firing of Thomas Reis on Monday.
Freiburg closed the seventh round later at Hoffenheim.
In the second division, American Terrence Boyd scored a pair of tying goals to give Kaiserslautern a 2-2 draw at Heidenheimer. The 31-year-old Boyd has five goals this season.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports