Schalke strike late to deny Mainz a point
First the Onisiwo equaliser, then the late knockout punch
A lacklustre first half, a sizzling second, but 1. FSV Mainz 05 just miss out on an away point at FC Schalke 04 in the end.
The hosts took the initiative in the first 15 minutes and saw more of the ball. However, they failed to test Robin Zentner. The first chance worth speaking of actually fell to Mainz – Kunde narrowly missed from range following a corner (20’). Schalke then also threatened from a corner as Sarif Sané headed just over (26’).
The first goal of the game was scored by a former Mainz man. Suat Serdar latched onto an Amine Harit pass to fire the Royal Blues into the lead (36’). Guido Burgstaller came close for the hosts a few minutes later but was fortunately off target. Schalke took their narrow lead into the break.
No personnel changes were made at half time but the Zerofivers looked a different side in the second half – more aggressive than ever, but still lacking the finishing touch. Sandro Schwarz then made a double substitution, which gave the team an injection of energy (Maxim and Baku on for Latza and Kunde). The two newcomers quickly combined to create a chance but Baku slipped on his way into the penalty area (60’).
Ádám Szalai was pulled back by an offside call after getting on the end of an Aarón free-kick and the boys realized that the game was far from over. A final change was made as Karim Onisiwo was brought off the bench and into the attack. It did not take long for the decision to pay off – the super sub smashed the equalising goal into the top corner after just a few minutes (75’).
Neither side was happy to take a draw. But, just when it looked as though the points would be shared, Amine Hamit scored the brutal winner for Schalke (89’).