Jovic equalises twice as Quaison nets a brace.
Mainz 05 and Eintracht Frankfurt battled it out on Wednesday evening in the Rhein-main-Derby, with the game ending as a 2-2 draw. The home side took the lead both times through Robin Quaison (10’ and 36’) but Luka Jovic equalised twice (31’ and 45+1).
In Sandro Schwarz’s 50th game as head coach, he made two changes to the team that suffered a defeat in Leipzig. Jean-Paul Boëtius and Pierre Kunde Malong came in for Levin Öztunali and Karim Onisiwo as Schwarz played his team in a 4-4-2 diamond formation. The opening ten minutes of the game saw both teams have early chances, with Filip Kostic shooting wide for the away side and Boëtius also having an effort miss the target. In the sixth minute, Danny Latza played a superb ball into Jean-Philippe Mateta but the young French striker, who was through one-on-one, rifled his shot wide of the post. It was the first real big chance of the game to take the lead. However, three minutes later, the breakthrough was made as Mateta knocked a ball onto Quaison, who rifled the ball into the top of the net from just inside the area, as he scored his second goal of the season. After taking the lead, the home team had their tails up and a few minutes later, Mateta had a very ambitious volley sail over the crossbar. Daniel Brosinski also had a freekick well saved by Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp. The 23rd minute saw Eintracht have their first real chance of the game, as Sébastian Haller beat Stefan Bell to a header, which went inches past Robin Zentner’s post.
The Zerofivers were fighting whole-heartedly against the Europa League side and their lead was fully deserved. However, on the half hour mark, Frankfurt equalised through Luka Jovic. Jean-Philippe Gbamin was caught on the ball in midfield, and the away side broke with ruthless efficiency. Haller found De Guzman, who played in Kostic down the wing, before a cross from the left was put away by Jovic, leaving Zentner with no chance. With the away team back in the game, a response was needed from Mainz, who delivered. A cross from Boëtius on the left was put away by Quaison, who had drifted in behind the defender to give Mainz 05 the lead again. Five minutes later, it could have been 3-1 but Kevin Trapp parried Mateta’s shot well to keep the away side in the game. With an attendance of 30,805, the stadium was rocking. Nevertheless, one minute before the half-time whistle was blown, Frankfurt equalised again, the goalscorer also once again being Jovic. The striker beat Aaron Martin to a header at a corner and the ball was in the back of the net.
Two unchanged teams came out for the second half and once again, both teams showed great promise going forward. Zentner denied Haller early on to keep the score level, before the game then calmed down, with both teams trying to control the game. There was controversy in the 75th minute as an Aaron Martin shot appeared to be blocked by the arm of Salcedo, but no penalty was given. Ridle Baku was able to make his comeback as he replaced Kunde in midfield and joined the game. Mainz 05 had the chance to score the winner late on as Boëtius was played in through one-on-one with the keeper, but he had his effort saved as the game ended 2-2. Mainz will play their last game of the first half of the season in Hoffenheim on Sunday (18:00 CET). Captain Stefan Bell is suspended for the game after picking up five yellow cards.