Rotten luck against Dortmund
Mainz 05 narrowly miss out on a point against top-of-the-table BVB
Despite a strong, convincing performance with a lot of passion, Mainz 05 were beaten 2-1 by table-toppers Borussia Dortmund on Saturday afternoon. Robin Quaison (70’) was quickly able to cancel out Paco Alcacer’s opening goal for BVB (66’). A goal from Lukasz Piszcek (76’) was then enough for Dortmund to win the even-contested game in a sold-out OPEL ARENA.
Sandro Schwarz made one change to the team who were successful against Freiburg two weeks previously. Alexander Hack replaced Jean-Paul Boetius for a tactical change as the Zerofivers decided on a 3-5-2 formation to face the current Bundesliga leaders, in which Hack took his place as centre-back.
As expected, the guests initially enjoyed the majority of possession and managed to register their first chance pretty quickly. Robin Zentner reacted well to save a Dan-Axel Zagadou header from a corner (4’). However, the keeper wasn’t needed to stop a header from Reus six minutes later as the effort struck the side netting (10’). After the slow start, the hosts began to find their way into the game more and more and showed their first signs of danger in the 11th minute. Jean-Philippe Mateta got past Zagadou, but BVB keeper Roman Bürki was well-positioned to stop an effort from Quaison (11’). Around nine minutes later, the Dortmund goal came under huge pressure. Firstly, a Mateta cross almost found Quaison in the box, but Zagadou managed to get in the way. Then, only seconds later, Danny Latza set the Frenchman free down the line, but the sharp angle prevented Mateta from being able to beat Bürki with a lobbed effort. Bürki was again needed immediately afterwards to stop a long-range effort from Kunde Malong from 25 metres out. This all happened in the 20th minute of the game.
The black and yellow team continued to have the majority of possession in a now very evenly-contested match, but were unable to create regular chances, even as Axel Witsel forced Zentner into a fine save with a shot from 18 metres out (21’). The 33,305 spectators in the OPEL ARENA saw a mirror image of this moment six minutes later – this time at the other end of the pitch. Aarón Martin sidestepped his man and had a go from 20 metres out, which forced the BVB goalkeeper into a fingertip save, pushing the ball over the crossbar (27’). It was the last noteworthy chance of a gripping first 45 minutes of football and the teams headed into the break with the match still goalless.
Zerofivers miss multiple opportunities to take the lead
Mainz had the better start of the two teams when the second half got underway. A Mateta shot was deflected in the 47th minute, which likely would have found its way to the back of the net if it went undeflected. Five minutes later, Gbamin sent Latza through, whose volley hit the outside netting (52’). However, the guests also remained dangerous and had a chance to score through Jacob Bruun Larsen , whose effort went just wide of the Mainz goal. One of the defining moments of the game came in the 66th minute: firstly an Alex Hack header from a Kunde cross landed in the arms of Bürki. BVB launched a counterattack and Jadon Sancho set up Reus, who only had to square the ball to Paco Alcacer, who finished from close range to give the guests the lead.
As the Zerofivers had no intention of giving up, the black-and-yellow celebrations were short-lived. Four minutes later, Hack confidently outplayed Reus and Alcacer and was lucky that his pass was deflected down the line and Quaison played the ball through the legs of Bürki to score a much-celebrated and very-deserved equaliser. However, the scoreline was put in danger shortly after as a 20-yard banger from Mateta just missed the corner of the goalmouth. The luck which the Zerofivers didn’t enjoy in that moment was enjoyed by Piszcek in the next highlight of the match. The ball landed at the edge of the box rather fortunately for the Pole, who shot Dortmund back into the lead with the help of the underside of the crossbar, giving Dortmund a 2-1 lead. In response, Mainz threw everything forwards once again. But even a volley from Aarón from a Brosinski cross was stopped by Bürki in the 81st minute. After Zentner reacted quickly to put in another excellent save, denying a thunderbolt from Reus (89’), the hosts had the last big chance of the match. In the fourth minute of added time, substitute Alexandru Maxim sent in a cross from a tight angle across the face of goal, where Karim Onisiwo was only centimetres away from poking the ball over the line. News DetailThe Zerofivers therefore had to accept their second home defeat of the season on Matchday 12, on a day which they would have very much deserved at least a point against the current table-toppers. The next points are up for grabs on Friday against promoted side Fortuna Düsseldorf.