Lacking points and goals, Christian Streich had a mission on his hands in getting his side to winning ways. Sitting in 17th going into their clash at the Schwarzwald-Stadion, Freiburg needed to put aside their disappointing form and move forward with hope of successfully coming out the other side against Mainz.
The scene was set at the Schwarzwald-Stadion. Lining up in 3-1-4-2 with Nils Petersen and Bartosz Kapustka leading the line, Christian Streich was hoping the German and Pole could combine to become a deadly force against Mainz. Starting on the front foot immediately, Mainz opened up the shot statistics in the second minute when Levin Öztunali hit the woodwork. Full of confidence after positive start, the away side looked build on this and press on. The opening minutes of the first half suggested that Mainz were hungry to come away with three points.
Affairs started to heat up after 15 minutes when rattled off a number of shots to put Freiburg under pressure. The home side started to settle into affairs as time passed. Registering their first shot in the seventh minute, Freiburg were looking to press on and apply Streich’s tactics. Mainz, though, looked the most likely side to achieve the breakthrough. Opportunities arose from the away side when Alexander Schwolow was called into action. Despite testing Freiburg’s keeper, Mainz lacked the punishing blow to take the lead. On the other hand, the home side didn’t look great themselves. Limited to just three shots in the first half, Freiburg best chance of the half came via a Julian Schuster free kick.
Both sides went into the second half looking for the much-needed goal. Changes made at half time signalled an improvement Freiburg’s performance. Coming on for Kapustka, Liverpool loanee Ryan Kent looked to offer an attacking outlet going forward. It proved to be successful substitution by the Freiburg manager. A curled shot inside the box from Marco Terrazzino called Robin Zentner into action. A positive start to the second half from Freiburg provided the footing to make an impact on the pitch. Six minutes after intermission, the home side seized on a Mainz mistake when Nils Petersen slotted it home after alertly intercepting Danny Latza’s backpass to Zentner. It was the second goal of the season for supersub Petersen, as the 30 year-old as been pressed into a starting role with the severe injury to Florian Niederlechner.
The second half saw Freiburg make their presence known. Taking the advantage at the early stages of the half, the home side were full of confidence. The uptick in performance was noticeable. Achieving four shots in the opening five minutes of the second half, Freiburg already out performed their first half shot total of three. Limited to shots outside the box, Mainz lacked the penetration and breakthrough they needed.
The away side had to wait until the 64th minute to test Freiburg’s keeper. Mainz’s best chance of the second half when Jean-Philippe Gbamin’s attempted from the halfway line hit the wood work, with Schwolow saving Latza’s follow up header. The game was sealed in the 91st minute when recently substituted Florian Kath got his first goal of the campaign as he took a long pass and moved upfield, rounding Zentner to score. The well-taken goal from the 23 year-old proved vital, as Mainz responded with a last-minute goal from Emil Berggreen, who received a longball, pivoted and fired low to Schwolow’s left to give the 05ers a glimmer of hope.
Second Half – A rejuvenated Freiburg made their presence known in the second half. Their performance in the second half spurred them to victory against Mainz
Man of the Match
Nils Petersen (1 goal, 2 shots, 2 key passes, 7 aerials won, 2 tackles, 3 clearances, 2 dribbles)
- Freiburg: 46%
- Mainz: 54%
- Freiburg: 16
- Mainz: 17
- Freiburg: 9
- Mainz: 11
Talking Points Freiburg
- Second Half – The second half performance from Freiburg changed the game. Taking the game to Mainz, Freiburg were able to come out victorious. 13 shots, 7 chances created, 69% pass accuracy and 4 take ons in the second half spurred the home side to victory. Streich will be happy with his sides display.
- Positive – Negativity has been surrounding Freiburg with their recent performances, with pressure building on Streich fix Freiburg. Their performancegainst Mainz provided the positive performance that Freiburg have been lacking recently. Freiburg and their longtime coach will be hoping this positivity can be built upon.
- Moving Forward – Streich and Freiburg will be hoping this performance provides the opportunity to move forward. Three points against Mainz sees Freiburg move up to 16th. Another win in their upcoming game against Hamburg would see the Black Forest club climb the table
Talking Points Mainz
- Getting a late goal showed determination for the blue and white clad 05ers, even if it was too little too late. It was the first appearance of the season for goal-scorer Berggreen.
- Sandro Schwarz has done a reasonable job in his first year coaching Mainz senior squad, but his team has been unable to string consecutive wins 13 matches into the season, though with the exception of their 4-0 defeat at the Allianz Arena, Mainz have been competitive. But he needs to figure out their road shortcomings, as now they have but 2 points in six league road matches and have been outscored 11-3 away from home.
- Mainz had a slight edge in shots and possession, and had a higher passing success rate, won more aerial duels, and ten of their players had at least one shot Saturday. Finishing needs to improve for the 05ers to stay above the relegation fray.
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