Pros 09.04.2022 — 18:55 Uhr

Despite taking a 2-0 lead, Mainz leave Köln empty handed

Mainz’s long wait for a third away win of the season continues after a 3-2 defeat against FC Köln.

Mainz suffered a bitter 3-2 defeat at the hands of FC Köln on Saturday afternoon. The Zerofivers led 2-0 after goals from Jonny Burkardt and Karim Onisiwo and were much the better team for the first hour. The final 30 minutes however belonged to Köln and they completed a memorable comeback through goals from Ellyes Skhiri, Dejan Ljubicic and Luca Kilian.

Sporting director Martin Schmidt analysed the performance after the final whistle: “It was a fantastic away performance for the first 60 minutes and we were deservedly in front. Our opponents were stunned and maybe we got too comfortable. Their goal to make it 2-1 came out of nowhere. That got them back into the game and they made some good substitutions on top of that. They got the wind in their sails and the supporters got behind them. They ended up out muscling us in the middle of the park,” said Schmidt.

Bo Svensson only made one change from the side that faced Augsburg in midweek, with Anton Stach coming in for Jae-Sung Lee.

Burkardt gives Mainz the lead

Bo Svensson said before the game that he expected a “proper game of football” in front of 50,000 fans at the RheinEnergieSTADION. The Zerofivers were clearly eager to get off to a lively start and looked to be more dynamic in the opening stages than they were in the games against Mönchengladbach and Augsburg. They implemented their plan well and made it difficult for their opponents to find their way into the game and it didn’t take long for FSV to find the opener. Alexander Hack took the ball from his own half and found Burkardt, who played it on to Onisiwo, who once again found Hack. The defender played a superb ball into the path of Burkardt and the 21-year-old found himself in on goal on the right hand side. Burkardt’s shot took a wicked deflection off a Köln defender, which wrong footed goalkeeper Schwäbe and the ball found the back of the net (14’).

The hosts found it difficult to pick holes in the resolute Mainz defence and they were constantly facing the threat of the Zerofivers hitting them on the counter attack. Robin Zentner wasn’t tested until the 20th minute, when Florian Kanz had an effort on goal. Afterwards however, FSV had two good chances to double their lead. Burkardt tested the goalkeeper with a daisy cutter from 20 yards (24’) and just two minutes later, Jean-Paul Boetius had a glorious opportunity to make it 2-0, but he was denied by a fantastic Schwäbe save. FSV were deservedly in the lead after an half an hour. The final quarter of an hour was less frantic and there was only one more real opportunity to speak of, which came for the home side. Kingsley Ehizibue got on the end of a Jannes Horn cross, but his header was off-target (41’).

Onisiwo doubles Mainz’s lead but Köln turn it around

Köln came out for the second half unchanged but Bo Svensson was forced to make his first substitution. Alexander Hack had to come off due to an ankle problem and was replaced by David Nemeth. The second half started much like the first and Mainz were very much the better side. They defended resolutely and prevented the home team from creating any real opportunities and in the 55th minute, they made it 2-0. Dominik Kohr played a long ball from his own half and found Onisiwo, who produced a great finish, giving the Köln goalkeeper no chance. Just five minutes later however, Köln got themselves back into the game. A corner on the left hand side was flicked on by Anthony Modeste and Skhiri bundled it in.

The atmosphere in the stadium became increasingly heated and the game was on a knife edge. Mainz’s busy week appeared to be catching up with them and they found it increasingly difficult to create any meaningful attacks. The hosts started to dominate the game and bigger gaps were appearing in the middle of the park. Köln’s 78th minute equaliser came after Stefan Bell and Moussa Niakhaté failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to Ljubicic, who smashed it past Zentner. Things went from bad to worse for Mainz in the 82nd minute, when Kilian tapped it in from close range from a rebound from a Zentner save.

FSV did however have a couple of chances to equalise in stoppage time. The substitute Jae-Sung Lee couldn’t quite get on the end of a Brosinski cross and it looked as though Mainz had run out of time. However, with just seconds remaining, a Kevin Stöger shot rebounded to Marcus Ingvartsen, who was in a central position eight yards from goal. The Dane lacked the necessary composure and fired the ball over the bar.

Mainz are sat 10th in the table on 38 points after 29 games. The Zerofivers will welcome VfB Stuttgart to the MEWA Arena on Saturday (15:30 CEST).