“Time to process what happened”
Frustrations were running high amongst the Zerofivers aften an unlucky 1-0 defeat to Wolfsburg, in which Sandro Schwarz was also sent off
It was almost too much to handle: an opponent that scored off their only corner of the game, and a Mainz team that failed to capitalise on their chances. To top it all off, Sandro Schwarz was shown a red card and became the first Bundesliga coach to be sent off this season. “The result is what I’m concerned about at this moment,” said Rouven Schröder after a 1-0 defeat against VfL Wolfsburg in front of 24,303 fans at home in the Opel Arena. “It’s tough to accept that we weren’t able to take any points from this match.”
Wolfsburg did not generate many opportunities on offence after taking the lead, choosing instead to sit back and defend, especially during the second half. After the match, Wolfsburg head coach Oliver Glasner said that he was proud of how his team played. In particular, the visitors owed a round of thanks to Marcel Tisserand. The centre-back beat Jeremiah St. Juste and headed home Wolfsburg’s lone corner kick of the match to make it 1-0 in the 9th minute. “We were at a slight height disadvantage, but our strongest aerial player was not marking Tisserand closely enough,” said the Zerofiver head coach.
Tisserand with a goalline clearance
Tisserand also helped secure the win for his side, with a goalline clearance to deny Ádám Szalai in the final minutes of the match. The Zerofiver striker had a chance to score in both halfs, but was unable to capitalise on his opportunities. Meanwhile, Jean-Paul Boëtius was unable to put a header past the VfL goalkeeper, after a cross from Daniel Brosinski. A shot from 16 metres out from Alex Maxim ended up hitting the crossbar. “We have to use our chances against an opponent like that, if we want to take something from the game. We didn’t do that, which wasn’t good,” said Schröder. “After going 1-0 down, you could feel that we weren’t able to put it behind us, as Robin Zentner had to make a quick save immediately afterwards. However, we’re still a solid unit, as was evident during the second half. You can’t say that we weren’t ready, but what was missing was that final touch to score.”
Schwarz lamented the performance in the first half. “After we went behind we didn’t control the ball very well and struggled to get back possession, but we still had chances to equalise.” The Zerofiver head coach switched to a 4-3-3 during the break, which had an immediate impact. “We had a lot more energy in the game after we did that, as well as more crosses, corners and more opportunities to score.” In total, Mainz played 19 crosses from open play. “We had 10 corners and didn’t score, and they took the lead with their first corner. Wolfsburg had four shots on target, we had 15, but we didn’t score once. It was extremely frustrating. What is now very clear is that we need to get three points on Saturday at Paderborn.”
Not enough added time
However, the Zerofivers will be without Schwarz next week after the coach was sent off by referee Felix Brych and is now suspended for the next game. According to Schröder, Schwarz’s emotional reaction at the end of the game was due largely to the referee. “If the opponent delays throw-ins, free kicks and interruptions for fouls, that’s fine. We stayed calm because we were sure that that time would be added on. We had a minute of added time at the end of the first half and only four minutes in the second. That was not enough for us. In addition, there was a certain heightened emotion in the game after some fouls were called differently. The linesman points to the right, the referee points to the left,” said Schröder. “The referee’s decisions did not disadvantage us. But, it’s not always easy to see it that way in the heat of the moment.” The coach got a little too heated. In that scenario, the referee should give him a yellow card, and leave it at that. “It’s so harsh. We just need time to process what has happened,” explained Schröder.
Afterwards, in all of the excitement, Schwarz was not entirely sure of what he had done. “I definitely did not insult him,” said the 40-year-old. He had falsely assumed the referee had blown for full-time, so he stepped onto the pitch. He later spoke with Brych in private. “We had a very respectful conversation and have cleared the air,” said Schwarz. The head coach will now have to wait and see what arises from that, and deal with it as it comes.