Goalless draw denies FSV tenth home win of the season
Mainz played out a goalless draw with VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 30, in a game in which chances were few and far between.
After a steady performance before the break and an improved performance in the second half, Mainz had to settle for a goalless draw in their game against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon. The relegation threatened side from Baden-Württemberg edged the first half but came out toothless in the second and were possibly the happier of the two sides at full time. This was the Zerofivers first goalless draw since the 0-0 against Freiburg back in September.
Bo Svensson made two changes from the side that faced Köln last time out. The suspended Aarón was replaced by Anderson Lucoqui and Alexander Hack, who is currently on the sidelines due to an ankle injury, was replaced by the homegrown Niklas Tauer. Nine of the 20 players in Mainz’s squad were products of the club’s youth setup.
A turgid first half
The game against the struggling Stuttgart was frantic in the opening stages, with both sides making unforced errors, meaning there was little goal-mouth action to report early on. The only real opportunity inside the first ten minutes came for VfB’s Sasa Kalajdzic, but he couldn’t quite get on the end of Borna Sosa’s ball over the top. Both goalkeepers had little to do for the first 20 minutes and at this point in the game, there had only been one shot on goal. Both sides found it difficult to break each other down. Stuttgart lacked the vigour to threaten the Zerofivers and despite their patience, Mainz also failed to create anything clear-cut.
It remained a tight contest for the majority of the half, in which chances were hard to come by. The biggest and clearest chance of the half came in the 40th minute, when Orel Mangala smashed the ball towards Mainz’s goal from around 18 yards out. Robin Zentner dived brilliantly to tip the ball round the post and keep the scores level.
VfB miss their chance to take the lead and FSV take control of the game
With little more than 60 seconds gone after the restart, the visitors had a great opportunity to take the lead. Chris Führich found Tiago Tomas in a promising position inside the penalty area and the Portuguese had just Zentner to beat. However, the Mainz goalkeeper stood his ground and blocked the shot, once again keeping the scores level. FSV struggled to get a foothold early in the second half and were lucky that Stuttgart didn’t take the lead in the 51st minute, when Zentner came racing out of his goal to clear a long ball. The keeper, however, crashed into Bell, who was also making an attempt to clear his lines. The loose ball fell to Chris Führich who couldn’t find the open goal from 30 yards out.
Just four minutes later, it looked as though Mainz had taken the lead, when Kohr got on the end of an Anton Stach corner. His effort came off the inside of the post and fell into the hands of Müller in the Stuttgart goal, but the ball looked as if it had crossed the line. The technology, however, showed that Müller had kept it out, and the score remained 0-0. Just one minute later, the ball fell to Stach on the edge of the area, but he failed to make contact and the chance went begging. It must be said though, that there were more chances in the first ten minutes of the second half, than there were in the entirety of the first 45 minutes.
The Zerofivers made their first change with just over an hour on the clock, when Svensson brought on Marcus Ingvartsen for Karim Onisiwo. Mainz began to find their way into the game and looked the more likely team. In the 65th minute, Jean-Paul Boetius found Jonny Burkardt with a great pass. The striker was through on goal, albeit under pressure from Konstantinos Mavropanos. As he made his way into the penalty area, Burkardt looked to cut inside, but lost his footing and the chance went begging. FSV were now the much more dangerous side and had another good opportunity in the 72nd minute, when Ingvartsen’s effort with his weaker foot narrowly missed the target.
The Dane had another great opportunity in the 82nd minute, when the ball fell to him on the penalty spot, following a Moussa Niakhathé cross. However, he blazed his volley over the bar and again, FSV failed to take the lead. Ingvartsen’s chance was reminiscent of the one he missed in the dying stages against Köln last time out. In the 89th minute, Svensson’s side had yet another chance to win the game, but Burkardt fired his effort over the goal. The guests, however, clung on for the draw and picked up a valuable point in their fight for survival. FSV were left the more frustrated side after having had the better opportunities.
Mainz, who have picked up 39 points after 30 games, will travel to Wolfsburg on Friday evening (20:30).