Onisiwo: “That goal meant a lot to me”
The Mainz forward secured the win by scoring the third goal and ended his goal drought against SC Freiburg.
Karim Onisiwo scored a crucial goal in the 3-1 away win against SC Freiburg on Matchday 11, one day before the start of Carneval. The Austrian had to wait a long time to be able to celebrate like that with his last goal coming two years ago in the 2016/17 season in a 4-2 win in the OPEL ARENA against Freiburg. Onisiwo ran towards the bench after he had scored to celebrate with the rest of the players and staff.
Onisiwo’s face after he scored told the story of how difficult the goal drought has been and the delight was also visibly shared by his teammates. “The goal meant a lot to me,” said Onisiwo. “My last goal was a long time ago. It was a tough game in the second half. Freiburg really went for it so we are delighted to come away with a 3-1 win. We had to hold in but we managed to get the win in the end.”
Onisiwo’s form has improved in recent weeks starting with a good performance in the DFB Pokal in Augsburg and he followed that up with a positive appearance as a substitute against Werder Bremen. The forward said he has never doubted himself. “You have to wait for your chances and take them when they come. It doesn’t always come off all the time. It worked out for me this time and I am happy to have helped the team. As an attacker you always want to help the team by scoring goals.”
Brilliant team spirit
Rouven Schröder believes that the fact that the goalscorer ran to the bench to celebrate with the rest of the team shows the great spirit within the team. “We are all delighted for Karim. The 3-1 win was important for the team as well as for Karim. He works hard in training and in games and he deserved the goal. It is really important for a forward to start scoring goals again,” explained the Mainz sporting director. “When Karim came on he held the ball up well, ran the channels well and was effective on the counter attack.”
The head coach was delighted with the way the goal was scored. “You could see how determined he was to make sure he got the goal such as the way he got his body in there to score the goal. He was ready to put his body on the line and risk hurting himself the score the goal,” said Schwarz. Just as Freiburg were starting to grow into the game, Onisiwo outmuscled Nicolas Höfler to prod past the goalkeeper following a short corner. “I really wanted to get to the ball first and score the goal. I am delighted to have scored, get the three points and get back-to-back wins,” said the 26-year-old.
“Definitely not my intention”
When Onisiwo challenged Höfler to score, the Freiburg player ruptured ligaments in his knee and had to be substituted. “It was definitely not my intention. Everyone who knows me knows that I am not a dirty player. I started to dribble and was surrounded by Freiburg players. I am extremely sorry and hope the injury is not too serious.”