Mainz’s perfect start on the road continues
Aaron’s dream free kick gives FSV the win at BORUSSIA-PARK
Mainz made it three wins from three on the road this season after a 1-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday afternoon. It was goalless at the break after a very entertaining first half full of chances for both teams. Ko Itakura was sent off for a reckless foul on Karim Onisiwo in the 55th minute and this proved to be the decisive moment in the contest. Aaron scored a delicious goal from the resulting free kick to give his side all three points.
Svensson made two changes from the side that faced Bayer Leverkusen last weekend. Leandro Barreiro and Jae-Sung Lee came in for Anton Stach and Angelo Fulgini. Mainz made a great start to the contest and put their opponents under some early pressure. Widmer had a clear opportunity to give his side the lead with just six minutes on the clock, when he was picked out by Aaron at the back post, but the captain fired his header straight at Yann Sommer. The resulting corner kick provided another opportunity for the guests, but Sommer successfully dealt with Barreiro’s volley. FSV remained on top, but they failed to get their reward. Marcus Thuram had Gladbach’s first chance after a quarter of an hour, but he failed to test Robin Zentner from around 18 yards (16’).
Sensational Kohr keeps his side level
As the half progressed, Gladbach enjoyed more of the ball and they began to take control of the contest. Thuram had a double chance with 23 minutes on the clock, but his first effort was blocked by Hack and his second was kept out by Robin Zentner. VfL continued to look the more likely side and they nearly took the lead in the 31st minute, but Marcus Thuram’s effort flicked the top of the crossbar. Mainz nearly forged an opportunity from a corner a few minutes later, but Bensebaini cleared before Lee could get on the end of Aaron’s cross (34’). The best chance of the half, however, was still to come. Marcus Thuram robbed Maxim Leitsch on the half way line to put himself through on goal. It was a two-on-one situation and Gladbach looked certain to score. But as Thuram squared the ball to Neuhaus for a tap-in, Kohr made an exceptional last-ditch sliding tackle to clear the danger and keep the scores level (35’).
Late chances for both sides
The game continued to ebb and flow and Onisiwo had his first real opportunity of the match when he was picked out by Stefan Bell from deep. His shot, however, was blocked by Elvedi and the danger passed (38’). Thuram had yet another chance just before the break after he was fed by Neuhaus, but Zentner was once again up to the task and he made a crucial save (43’). Despite some big chances for both sides, it remained goalless at the break.
A red card and a wonder goal
Kouadio Koné tested Zentner just a few minutes after the break and it looked as though the second half would pick up where the first left off (48’). But just seven minutes later, the game changed when Ko Itakura was sent from the field for a reckless foul on Karim Onisiwo. The Austrian striker was through on goal, but he was dragged down by the Japan international on the edge of the area and the referee had no choice but to show the red card (53’). Aaron stepped up to take the resulting free kick and he deliciously curled it into the top corner to send the travelling supporters wild. It was a dream goal for the Spaniard (55’).
The final half an hour was much less frantic than the first half an hour and Mainz were looking to make their extra man count. The Zerofivers enjoyed lots of possession, but Gladbach still managed to create some opportunities. Jonas Hofmann got himself into a promising position inside the six yard box but he fluffed his lines and failed to get the required connection (65’). Hofmann had another chance a few minutes later, but Widmer blocked his shot and the danger was cleared (74’). Substitute Angelo Fulgini had chance for the guests just a few moments later, but his curling effort was palmed away by Sommer (76’). Gladbach continued to pile on the pressure and they even had the ball in the net with four minutes to play, but was ruled out for offside (86’). Despite the pressure from the home side, the Zerofivers, bolstered by their fresh legs off the bench, held on for the three points.
Svensson’s side remain undefeated on the road and are sat fifth in the table on ten points. Next up for FSV is a visit to Hoffenheim next Saturday.