Pros 03.12.2018 — 17:50 Uhr

Mateta: Right place, right time

The Mainz striker scored his fourth goal of the season on Friday when he fired in the winner against Düsseldorf, while Robin Zentner made sure the side secured their second away victory in a row

Pure joy after the win. Mateta celebrates the 1-0 victory over Düsseldorf on Friday evening.

Three goals in the last four games: Jean-Philipp Mateta is in good stead to become a reliable goalscorer for Mainz. The Frenchman scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win against Fortuna Düsseldorf and was, along with goalkeeper Robin Zentnera big part of the win. He now has four goals to his name. “In a game like this you have to show your quality up front and be in the right place at the right time,” said the centre-forward after the second away win in succession.

Mateta arrived in the summer having scored 17 goals for the french second division side AC Le Havre. The 21-year-old scored in his second Bundesliga appearance during a 1-1 draw against Nürnberg. The Frenchman then went seven games without a goal, where the attacker was convincing with his tireless work on the pitch, making runs, closing down opponents and pushing forward. Sandro Schwarz never doubted the forward, who then scored in the against Werder bremen, Freiburg and now against Düsseldorf. “I don’t think too much about where my performances put me. That’s for others to think about,” said Mateta. “After the game, I celebrate the win with the boys and then I quickly switch my focus to the next game. I want to play in as many games as possible and decide games. We will see what happens.”

Goalkeeper couldn’t handle the shot

The Zerofiver’s best attack of the second half came from Robin Quaison, who found his strike partner with a perfectly weighted pass into the box. Mateta was quicker than centre-back Robin Bormuth and was able to use some trickery to work himself some space. Despite the keeper getting his hand to Mateta’s shot, the ball trickled over the line and into the net. “I really can’t say exactly how the ball went in. I was concentrating on the defender but I could see out of the corner of my eye that the keeper had gone for the near post.

Mateta later had another chance against the Fortuna keeper but wasn’t able to convert it. “We scored the goal and left the pitch as winners. It’s often the case for big clubs, you may not be playing to your best ability but you come away with the points. We did that and have a good result to take away with us.”

Kuhnert: Goalkeepers are all about saves

Robin Zentner was in fine form during Friday’s game. The Zerofiver thwarted a myriad of chances in the turbulent closing stages and was a big presence in the box. “He followed my instructions very well. He saved the game for us in the second half and that’s the reason he’s there. The keeper saves the team, literally,” said Stephan Kuhnert, concluding, “He did a really good job.”

Zentner was also happy with his performance, “It always feels good when you can do something to help the team and stop the opposition getting a goal. It’s not often that that happens,” said the 24-year-old, who claimed his contribution to the win was “just as big as everyone else’s.” Zentner has come into the team as a result of No.1 keeper, Florian Müller and made only his fourth appearance between the sticks on Friday. The shotstopper said he is trying to make a case for himself everyday in training. “I am concentrating on my performances and trying to win every game with the rest of the team. This game was an imporant win. You can talk about the type of win it was, next game we need to play better football, because often you don’t win those sort of games,” he said. “If we stand there at full-time with three points then I don’t care too much about anything else.” Regardless of the manner in which it was won, the away win is another step in Mainz’s development. “In the last year we could have very likely not won this game.”