Despite being the better side for much of the game and having the clearer chances – including Aymen Barkok’s missed penalty – 1. FSV Mainz 05 came away from their game away at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim with just a single point on Sunday evening. The impressive Marco Richter put the 05ers ahead in the first half, before the hosts found an equaliser shortly after the restart. Alongside an away performance which was really strong for long periods, Jonny Burkardt and captain Silvan Widmer’s comebacks were additional bright spots for Mainz 05 given that neither had previously played a single minute this season.
Due to Dominik Kohr and Sepp van den Berg’s one-game-suspensions and injuries to Maxim Leitsch and Karim Onisiwo, Jan Siewert was forced into multiple changes. Widmer came into the side to make his first start of the season and Barkok replaced Danny da Costa, whilst Richter also returned to the starting eleven. Additionally, Jonny Burkardt was named on the bench alongside U23s players Marcus Müller and Lasse Wilhelm following a year out with injury.
Hoffenheim void of ideas, FSV miss chances to increase their lead
FSV immediately took the initiative and had the better of the play in the opening few minutes, whilst they also had the first couple of efforts at goal. First, Tom Krauß tried his luck from a tight angle (5’, over the bar), before Richter took aim from 18 yards with his left foot shortly afterwards, but he also failed to hit the target with his strike (7’). The hosts then began to grow into the game, but they were initially unable to find a way through Mainz’s well-organised defence. It took the hosts 27 minutes to register their first shot on target, with Robin Zentner making a comfortable save from Maximilian Beier’s effort. Hoffenheim now found themselves in the ascendancy, but the hosts didn’t manage to create many opportunities despite seeing more than 60 percent of the ball.
Consequently, it was Mainz who went ahead towards the end of the first half. Edimilson picked out Richter with an angled ball from his own half, before FSV’s summer signing put his side ahead with a toe-poked finish past Oliver Baumann into the bottom corner (39’). FSV continued to apply pressure and could have extended their lead moments later. Hoffenheim were only able to clear a cross from Ludovic Ajorque as far as Barkok, but Baumann was able to keep out his shot from ten yards – Mainz really should’ve doubled their lead (41’)! Mainz had regained control of the game at this point and continued to press for a second goal before the break. Edimilson Fernandes was given plenty of room to shoot with two minutes of the half remaining, but he missed the target with his strike from 20 yards. The most spectacular sequence of play in the first half then followed in added time, with TSG having multiple chances to find an equaliser. First, Grischa Prömel shot straight at Zentner, before Edimilson managed to block Beier’s goal bound effort. The ball then fell to Bülter, who saw his header hit the post, before Tom Krauß got a block on his follow-up attempt. Mainz were very fortunate to retain their clean sheet as they went into the break with a narrow lead.
The hosts made three substitutions during the interval and these changes paid off immediately: Less than three minutes into the second half, former 05er Anton Stach played the ball out to the recently introduced Pavel Kaderabek on the right flank, before Skov effortlessly made it 1-1 with his volley from Kaderabek’s perfect cross (48’). Mainz’s lead was gone and Zentner was called into action again shortly afterwards as he denied Wout Weghorst (55’). Nevertheless, FSV, who briefly struggled
following the goal, found their way back into the game and began to threaten in attack once more. First, Ajorque was unable to get on the end of a low ball into the box from Mwene (59’), before Baumann kept out Leandro Barreiro’s strike from 14 yards a couple of minutes later (61’). The game then picked up pace, with both sides looking as though they could find a second goal. However, Mainz began to take control around the hour mark as they started to create chances by the minute. Ajorque found himself through on goal after being played in by Richter, but John Anthony Brooks was crucially able to get back to put him off as he took aim at goal (62’). Barkok then had an even bigger chance a minute later as he missed the ball from five yards out following a perfect cross from Lee (63’). The action was now coming thick and fast as FSV were awarded a penalty not long afterwards after Kevin Akpoguma caught Lee on the shin inside the penalty area. Barkok stepped up to take the spot kick, but his penalty was saved by Baumann.
Brajan Gruda came on for the luckless Barkok straight after his missed penalty as Jan Siewert made his first change of the game. The academy graduate was then involved in Mainz’s next attack: Gruda drove through the hosts’ midfield and got as far as the Hoffenheim box, where he released Richter. FSV’s number ten then played a cross into the box, but Lee’s first time effort went narrowly wide (73’). Siewert made another attacking change as he brought Burkardt on in place of Lee moments later, with the attacker making his long-awaited comeback. Hoffenheim’s goal continued to lead a charmed life in the following stages, with Baumann tipping a free-kick from Richter onto the bar with his finger tips in the 80th minute. The hosts were fortunate to still be level at this point, with their goal being bombarded by the 05ers in the second half. Mainz then went close to finding a late winner as Richter struck the woodwork with another sweetly struck free-kick four minutes from time. That was the last chance of the game as the visitors were forced to settle for a point. However, FSV are now unbeaten in four league games.
Following the draw against Hoffenheim, Mainz have picked up eight points from twelve games, whilst they will be taking on SC Freiburg at the MEWA ARENA next Sunday.
TSG HOFFENHEIM 1-1 MAINZ 05
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Skov (63’ Bebou), Kabak (46’ Akpoguma), Brooks, Vogt, Bülter (46’ Kaderabek) - Stach (78’ Becker), Prömel (46’ Grillitsch), Kramaric - Weghorst, Beier
Mainz 05: Zentner - Barkok (69’ Gruda), Widmer (90+3’ da Costa), Edimilson, Caci, Mwene - Barreiro, Krauß, Lee (73’ Burkardt), Richter - Ajorque
Goals: 0-1 Richter (39’), 1-1 Skov (48’)
Referee: Deniz Aytekin