Pros 30.11.2018 — 23:19 Uhr

Mateta scores as Mainz get their second away victory of the season

The Zerofivers took the lead against the newly promoted side and won the game.

Mainz 05 were able to celebrate a hard-fought, gritty 1-0 victory over Fortuna Düsseldorf on Friday evening. Jean-Philippe Mateta scored the only goal of the game in the Merkur Spiel-Arena.

Sandro Schwarz made one change to his side that took on Borussia Dortmund last weekend, with Jean-Paul Boëtius coming in for Alexander Hack as the Zerofivers reverted back to a 4-1-2-1-2 formation.

The Zerofivers were the brighter team in the opening phases of the game and also had the first chance of the game. After a Fortuna corner, the away side broke quickly with Daniel Brosinski and Robin Quaison taking the ball into the home team’s half. However, the Swede was unable to keep the ball under control and instead laid it off to Aaron Martin who shot from outside the box. His effort however, went way over the bar (6’). The next chance of the game fell to the home team with Dodi Lukebakio taking advantage of a disorientated Stefan Bell and crossed the ball into the box, where Rouwen Hennings was waiting but Danny Latza intercepted the ball, luckily for Mainz. Seven minutes later, Lukebakio had an effort parried away by Robin Zentner (20’). As the first half went on, the home side grew into the game more and the Zerofivers were put under pressure.

Mainz were unable to test the opposition goalkeeper as Kunde Malong and Jean-Philippe Gbamin (30’, 31’) both saw their efforts from outside of the box go wide. In the 35th minute, a sloppy pass from Kunde was intercepted by Hennings, who shot as the onrushing Zentner who attempted to put the striker off. However, the ball went through the goalkeeper’s legs but Daniel Brosinski was on hand to clear the ball off the line. Mainz had the majority of the possession as chances became scarce towards the end of the first-half. Shortly before the whistle blew for half-time, Daniel Brosinski had a free-kick saved by the keeper, who pushed the ball round the post. The two teams went in at half-time goalless.

Zentner prevents own goal - Mateta hits home

There was almost an own goal just 17 seconds into the second half, after Aarón attempted to clear a cross and accidentally called upon Zentner's sharp reactions (46'). At the opposite end, Gbamin made the Zerofivers’ intentions for the second half clear as he shot just a couple metres wide of the Fortuna goal (47’). Another dangerous moment in front of the Mainz goal came from a Fortuna corner, as Marcin Kaminski’s header met Bell’s thigh and looked to be heading in, however Zentner was once again there to keep the scores level (53’). With the substitution of Levin Öztunali for Boetius after 56 minutes, Schwarz changed the formation to 4-2-3-1 with Boetius and Quaison on the wings. After that the game became much more balanced and Mateta was the focal point for attacks in both the 66th and 67th minute. At first, Quaison narrowly missed a sharp return ball from the Frenchman. However, one minute later, Quaison found Mateta with a great pass in through a gap and the U21 international used skill to create a pocket of space and smashed it in from 10 yards to grab a 1-0 lead – a score-line that could be considered against the run of play at the time.

Fortuna could have equalised not four minutes later if Zentner had not been in the right place at the right time once again during a corner from Niko Gießelmann (71‘). Although the hosts strengthened their attacking efforts after the goal, the best opportunity fell to Mainz. Bell and Mateta performed a nice one-two that left Mateta through at a tight angle, however this time the goal scorer could not find the net (78’). With another spectacular save from Zentner in the final phase of the game, the goalkeeper could definitely be credited with securing the three points. Hennings had taken down a long ball nicely and placed a low shot seemingly out of the keeper’s reach, but Zentner was able to get down very quickly and keep it out (88’). There was then five minutes of stoppage time left to deal with in order to secure the win. Here, too, the hosts remained the dominant side and pressed intensely for an equaliser. Since the next few attempts at both ends did not materialize, Mainz managed to seal the game out and claim a 1-0 win. After 13 matchdays, the Zerofivers now have 18 points, and the second away win of the season leaves the side eighth in the table – at least until Saturday afternoon. Next Sunday, Mainz host Hannover 96 in the Opel Arena.