Mainz are desperate in Hoffenheim because of keeper Baumann and the crossbar

Mainz are desperate in Hoffenheim because of keeper Baumann and the crossbar

FSV Mainz 05 scored an important away point in the fight to stay in the Bundesliga, but they didn’t just miss a possible three-pointer from eleven meters. The Rheinhessen team drew 1-1 at TSG Hoffenheim at the end of the twelfth matchday and remain third from bottom.

Marco Richter (39th) scored for Mainz, who have been unbeaten in four games. Aymen Barkok’s penalty was missed by TSG goalkeeper Oliver Baumann (68′), and Richter also hit the crossbar with two free kicks in the final phase (80′, 86′).

With a win, interim coach Jan Siewert could have gathered further arguments for continued employment. Hoffenheim, who remain in sixth place, were once again unable to win in front of their own crowd after three home defeats in a row. Robert Skov’s goal (48′) didn’t change that.

Burkardt returns

“We didn’t come here to freeze like a rabbit in front of a snake,” said Siewert, who has been on the sidelines for Bo Svensson since the beginning of November, to the TV station DAZN shortly before kick-off. FSV sports director Martin Schmidt stuck to the previous Mainz terminology in the “T question”: “Jan is our coach, then we’ll see.”

Schmidt still had some good news with him: FSV striker Jonathan Burkardt was back in the squad after more than a year of suffering. The 23-year-old played his last game to date on November 13, 2022, which was followed by persistent knee problems and two operations.

The 22,000 spectators in the Sinsheim Arena saw the guests in a good mood in the first few minutes. The weakened Mainz team, who were missing the suspended Dominik Kohr and Sepp van den Berg as well as Josuha Guilavogui, Andreas Hanche-Olsen, Maxim Leitsch, Karim Onisiwo and Nelson Weiper, were the more active team.

The Hoffenheim team around former Mainz player Anton Stach lacked ideas and pace. At least the Kraichgauers brought the encounter under control as the game progressed. But the fans waited in vain for opportunities.

Richter takes the first chance

Richter took advantage of the first opportunity of the game, completing a counterattack with his first goal of the season. Two minutes later, Barkok should have extended the lead, but Baumann stood in the way. In the last seconds of the first half, Hoffenheim had the equalizer several times within a few seconds thanks to a spectacular scene in the penalty area (45th + 5th).

At the start of the second half, TSG coach Pellegrino Matarazzo brought in three new players. The measure paid off immediately. Skov equalized following work from substitute Pavel Kaderabek.

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After the goal, the game picked up speed, both teams wanted the second goal – but Mainz had the better opportunities. This was especially true for Barkok, who couldn’t get past Baumann from the point. Despite the setback, FSV continued to push for victory, and Burkardt made his comeback in the 74th minute.

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