Mainz fail to make chances pay in Kaiserslautern
Mainz dominated the Rhineland-Palatinate derby for large spells, but came up short after failing to take our chances and some questionable refereeing.
1. FSV Mainz have been eliminated from the from the first round of the DFB-Pokal for the first time since 2014 following a 2-0 defeat to 3. Liga opponents Kaiserslautern. Manfred Starke (63’) converted a controversial penalty, before Florian Pick (90’) finished off a quick counter to wrap up the win.
Sandro Schwarz sent his team out in a 4-4-2 diamond against the third-tier Kaiserslautern, with new signing Edmilson Fernandes getting his first start in holding midfield. The Zerofivers had control of the affair from the first minute, carving out several early opportunities. Robin Quaison first wide of ex-Mainzer Lennart Grill’s goal (7’), before seeing his next strike from range saved just two minutes later. The Swede fired a third chance over before the 15-minute mark, before following up with arguably the best chance of the lot.
The hosts didn’t’ have their first sight at goal until the half-hour mark, though Thiele’s header was far from testing Florian Müller’s goal. Despite Kaiserslautern growing in confidence, they failed to produce any noticeable chances to threaten the Mainz goal and the half finished goalless.
FSV dominate, Zwayer awards controversial penalty
The Bundesliga team came out of the blocks in the second half the more energetic and threatening side once more. Boëtius’ speculative effort from Onisiwo’s layoff (55’) was too central to trouble the keeper, while Onisiwo’s finish from close range only managed to find the side netting (56’). Moments later, another close-range Thiele header was easily dealt with by Müller at the other end (57’), before his opposite number Grill stretched to make a finger-tip save denying Boëtius’ bending effort.
Controversy followed in the Mainz box, as Thiele clipped Bell’s heels while taking a shot and sent both players tumbling. Zwayer awarded a penalty to the hosts, to much confusion from the sidelines. But Martin Starke didn’t care, as he stepped up to convert the spot kick in fortunate circumstances. Müller initially saved the penalty, but watched helplessly as the rebound trickled over the line to give the hosts the lead (63’).
Mainz were visibly unsettled in the subsequent minutes, but eventually regained control of the game. Grill parried away another Onisiwo shot from a tight angle in the 72nd minute. Schwarz made an attacking change with 15 to go, bringing on Jonathan Burkardt who immediately created an opening for fellow substitute Alex Maxim, which the Romanian blasted over the bar. Boëtius hit another strike towards goal on the 88th minute, however neither Quaison nor Burkardt were able to turn in the rebound.
The game was then put to bed in the final minutes, as the 3. Liga outfit hit the Zerofivers on the break and were picked off by Florian Pick’s placed finish past Müller. Burkardt’s hit the woodwork with Mainz’s final attempt in the 96th minute, however ultimately it wasn’t to be and FSV were therefore eliminated in the first round of the Pokal for the first time in five years.
Though the referee’s controversial decision had a big influence on the game, Schmidt’s side will be left ruing the many missed chances early on.
Mainz 05: Brosinski, Bell (63’ St Juste), Niakhaté, Aarón – Fernandes, Latza (C) (67’ Maxim), Baku (75’ Burkardt), Boëtius – Quaison, Onisiwo
Kaiserslautern: Grill – Matuwila, Starke (87’ Fechner), Thiele, Pick, Hemlein (56‘ Skarlatidis), Schad, Hercher, Kühlwetter, Sickinger, Bachmann
Goals: 1-0 Starke (63‘ penalty), 2-0 Pick (90‘)
Referee: Felix Zwayer