FSV Mainz 05 and Union Berlin missed the chance to temporarily leap to the top of the Bundesliga table. The Rheinhessen and the capitals are unbeaten after the 0-0 on the 2nd match day with four points each, but delivered a rather tired kick in the heat that didn’t deserve a winner. While Union had the best start to the season in its still young Bundesliga history despite the zero number, Mainz failed to start with two wins for the first time since 2013/14.
In sunny summer weather and over 30 degrees, the 25,009 spectators experienced an intense but qualitatively manageable game right from the start. Mainz captain Silvan Widmer, who returned to the starting XI after suffering a gastrointestinal infection, immediately clashed with Unions Sheraldo Becker on the sidelines. A few minutes later, the Swiss Widmer (13th) headed in from a corner and just missed the goal. Frederik Rönnow was able to defuse a dangerous cross from Jae-sung Lee from the half field (15th).
Apart from set pieces and attempts from distance, there were more drinking breaks (one) than clear chances to score (zero) in the first 45 minutes. “These are tropical temperatures, so strength will play a role,” said Mainz sports director Christian Heidel before the kick-off at DAZN. Both teams struggled offensively: the injury-related absence of national player Jonathan Burkardt (muscle problems) was noticeable in Mainz, especially since Karim Onisiwo also struggled against the strong Berlin defender this time. Union even has to do without the sold top scorer of the previous season, Taiwo Awoniyi, permanently.
Mainz has the better chances, but doesn’t score
Most recently, successor Jordan Siebatcheu had made two important goals to forget the migrated Awoniyi, who promptly scored the winning goal for Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Sunday. This time Siebatcheu headed in from a corner (29′), but didn’t get enough pressure behind the ball. It went into the dressing room without any major highlights and was goalless. The coaches initially saw no reason to change.
The visitors scored the first goal after the change of sides: Niko Gießelmann, who had replaced captain Christopher Trimmel in the starting XI, flicked the ball onto the goal net (51′). Julian Ryerson’s long-range shot a few moments later also just missed the goal. The game was now more respectable than before the change. The hosts also dared more: A full but imprecise shot by Onisiwo (60th) was defused by Rönnow. As the game progressed, larger gaps opened up in both defenses, which Mainz substitute Marlon Mustapha almost used (80′).