Randal Kolo Muani earns a hard-earned point for Frankfurt, as they propel themselves into the Champions League places. His 15th goal involvement of the season shows how he could turn out to be the most infuential transfer this season.
|Randal Kolo Muani.||Photo: Eintracht Frankfurt|
That Christmas list looked as though it may have been seeing a green tick through the improved home form box. This was after a flurry of strikes just before the ten-minute mark. Firstly, a slick one-two left Jonathan Burkhardt through on goal, but his strike was deflected behind for a corner to prevent what would have been a magnificent Mainz move. The resulting corner led to Dominik Kohr seeing his strike lick the paint on the goalpost, as his volley went narrowly wide.
However, Mainz would soon have their hearts in their mouths. Frankfurt did have the ball in the back of the net on the half-hour mark after a poor clearance from Robin Zentner. However, Eric Ebimbe was clearly offside as his ball across the face of goal was tapped into to no reward.
The lack of pressure from Frankfurt proved pivotal. As once again, it would be a Mainz corner that caused Frankfurt more problems than they could deal with. The ball was whipped in and a Jonathan Burkhardt header led to a remarkable save from Kevin Trapp. However, after a goal-mouth scramble, a header from Kevin Onisiwo found Burkhardt in front of goal. He tapped in to claim his first goal of the season and give Mainz a valuable lead going into the break.
The first half saw opportunities arise, but the final ball may be questioned by both managers as the reason for a lack of big chances. Frankfurt found themselves in desperate need of inspiration at the break, whereas, Mainz just looked more comfortable despite having lost their last three games.
The inspiration would arrive for Frankfurt just after the hour mark. The pressure was building up on the Mainz goal and they could not keep the siege out. After a tremendous display on how to keep the ball, Mario Gotze received the ball with his back to goal. His flicked pass found the run of Kolo Muani who kept cool under pressure to take the ball around Zentner to level the game. The 2014 World Cup winner showing why his spot in the German national team for this year's tournament is more than deserved.
Despite the constant Frankfurt pressure, Mainz held strong to claim a point against an in-form Frankfurt side. The hosts even had chances of their own in the second half to achieve their second home win of the season. Eintracht Frankfurt find themselves in the Champions League places before the Freiburg vs Union Berlin game where only a draw will see them fall into the Europa League spots. Mainz, however, head into the World Cup break in the middle of the Bundesliga table with everything still to play for.