Hoffenheim welcomed Mainz to Sinsheim this evening as the two relatively local rivals did battle. Mainz had somewhat stopped the rot since Bo Svensson’s dismissal. The visitors really took the game to the hosts, but Marco Richter’s goal would be cancelled out by Robert Skov as it finished 1-1.
|Photo: Silesia711, CC-by-SA 4.0
The breakthrough came in the 39th minute and it was Mainz who drew first blood. A long ball from Fernandes caught the Hoffenheim rearguard out and Marco Richter held his nerve to slot past Baumann. There was a frantic scene before the interval whistle where Zentner and the post came to Mainz’s rescue as they maintained their lead going into the dressing rooms.
Matarazzo made a triple substitution after the interval, and it instantly reaped rewards. Kaderabek, having just replaced Buelter, crossed in the direction of Skov who made clean contact with a first-time effort to restore parity. However, momentum swung back in favour of Siewert’s troops and all three of Barreiro, Ajorque, and Barkok spurned big chances. Mainz’s Lee even won a penalty that Barkok took but the wily Baumann wouldn’t be foiled by such a poor spot kick attempt.
Richter came agonisingly close to securing a brace twice in the final ten minutes – the German’s initial fiercely struck freekick would be parried trailing hand of Baumann. Five minutes later the crossbar would come to Hoffenheim’s aid. Mainz perhaps left wondering at full-time could they have left with greater reward for their efforts.