Mainz leave Augsburg empty handed
Despite a gutsy performance, Mainz fell to a 2-1 defeat in Augsburg, in game which featured a dubious penalty decision and two disallowed goals.
Mainz suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of FC Augsburg in their rearranged Matchday 26 game on Wednesday evening. It was a tight, physical contest from the very first whistle at the WWK Arena, with both teams fighting hard for three points. Mainz went behind early on in the game after the referee awarded Augsburg a soft penalty, which their captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw successfully converted. Shortly after half time, Silvan Widmer equalised for the Zerofivers, but the hosts retook the lead just 90 seconds later. Despite creating multiple chances and a spirited performance against an energetic Augsburg team, Svensson’s side left Bavaria empty handed.
Bo Svensson made three changes from the side that drew against Gladbach last Sunday. Jonathan Burkardt, Jae-Sung Lee and Dominik Kohr (who was suspended last time out) came in for Anton Stach, Leandro Barreiro and Marcus Ingvartsen.
A dubious penalty decision puts Mainz on the back foot
Before the game, Svensson urged his side to build on the second half performance against Gladbach, but it was Augsburg who got off to the better start. The hosts, who went into the game off the back of a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg, carved out an opportunity with less than a minute on the clock. André Hahn’s cross found teammate Florian Niederlechner who was unmarked in the centre, but the striker failed to hit the target with a wayward header. The Zerofivers grew into the game and created an early chance of their own. Stefan Bell had a headed opportunity in the ninth minute after he was picked out by teammate Aarón. However, just a minute later, the game changed when referee Matthias Jöllenbeck awarded the hosts a questionable penalty. Robin Zentner took a heavy touch after receiving a back pass and the ball was chased down by Niederlechner. There was minimal contact between the two players, but the Augsburg striker flung himself to the ground and the referee awarded the penalty. Captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw had no problem converting the spot-kick and he gave his side a 1-0 lead.
Following the controversial decision, Mainz played their way into the game and got themselves into some good areas. However, they struggled to convert all their possession into real goal scoring opportunities. Their best chance of the half came in the 26th minute, when Robin Zentner played a long ball over the top, which was chased down by Jonny Burkardt. The 21-year-old beat Rafal Gikiewicz to the ball and he managed to dribble it round the Augsburg keeper. As he did so, he was off balance and he put the ball into the side netting. A quarter of an hour before the break, the ball was put into the Mainz goal for the second time. After an Augsburg corner was flicked on into the six yard box, André Hahn was the quickest to react and he found the bottom left hand corner. However, after a VAR check, the striker was deemed to have controlled the ball with his hand and it was chalked off. Just before half time, Lee found the Augsburg net after he lobbed the goalkeeper from outside the area, but he was flagged for offside. Augsburg missed one or two more promising chances and the score remained 1-0 at the break.
Widmer equalises but Augsburg respond immediately
An unchanged Mainz made a bright start to the second half and were soon rewarded after some good play in the opposition half. In the 54th minute, after a good move in midfield, Jean-Paul Boetius put right-back Widmer through with a precise pass. The Switzerland international remained cool in front of goal and stabbed the ball past Gikiewicz, putting Mainz back on level terms. However, the joy was short-lived. Augsburg substitute Vargas scored from close range after a corner kick to put his side back in front. Svensson reacted by bringing on some fresh legs. Kevin Stöger came on for Kohr and Anton Stach replaced Lee.
Mainz looked to get themselves back into the contest but were met with some resolute Augsburg defending and they failed to created too many clear cut chances. Goal-scorer Vargas tested Zenter with a curler in the 64th minute but Mainz nearly equalised five minutes later, when Burkardt sought to beat the goalkeeper who was a long way off his line. Luckily for Gikiewicz, the 21-year-old failed to hit the target with his long range effort and the score remained 1-0. A tight game ensued with lots of stoppages and set piece situations, but the Zerofivers continued to push. Svensson brought on Barreiro and Ingvartsen for Hack and Burkardt and just a short time later in the 79th minute, Mainz created their best chance of the half. Onisiwo found the unmarked Stach in the six yard box with a pinpoint cross, but his effort was palmed away by the Augsburg keeper. With the last kick of the game, Ingvartsen flashed the ball past the post but time was up for the Zerofivers and the game finished 2-1.
This defeat puts FSV in 10th position on 38 points after 28 games. Svensson’s side travel to Köln this Saturday (15:30 CEST) to round off their busy week.