Coach Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side failed to overcome a 1-1 (0-1) draw with relegation-threatened FSV Mainz 05 and recorded just one win in six matches at the Sinsheim Stadium in the first half of the season. Interim coach Jan Siewert scored his fifth point in the third game for the visitors and recommended himself for the permanent job. Rheinhessen is still waiting for its second victory of the season.

In front of 22,000 spectators, Marco Richter (39th minute) took the lead with his first goal for FSV. Robert Skov (49th place) equalized for Kraichgauer. TSG goalkeeper Oliver Baumann saved at least one point for the home team, saving a penalty from Aimen Barkok (69).

Loud music came from the Hoffenheim team bus as it entered the stadium – the TSG professionals around former Mainz player Anton Stach and DFB newcomer Grisha Premel had a long time to find their rhythm on the pitch. A cleverly stunned Mainz side kept their penalty area clear until the speedy Maximilian Bayer moved into shooting position for the first time in a good 20 minutes, only to miss from a tight angle and also a corner soon after.

Unimaginative game of the hosts

Otherwise, too many errors of play had crept into the home team’s largely unimaginative performance to jeopardize the zero-fives. Suddenly Mainz’s first goal came when Edimilson Fernandez split the TSG defense with a long pass from the left and Richter rushed up and sideways to fire past Oliver Baumann. Soon after, the Hoffenheim goalkeeper prevented a 0-2 score against Barkock.

In a crazy scene just before the break, Hoffenheim missed chances to equalize five times, including Marius Bülter’s header hitting the post. The Mainz team, whose personnel had been greatly reduced, was at least able to call up their captain Silvan Widmer for the first time after five months of inactivity. Much-missed forward Jonathan Burkardt returned as a substitute after a year out due to injury due to bone marrow edema in his knee and two surgeries.

With three substitutions, Matarazzo revived the home team. Joker Pavel Kaderabek crossed to the remaining one Skov, who scored a goal and made the score 1:1. After that everything went happily back and forth. According to video footage, referee Deniz Aytekin awarded the penalty after Jae Sujong Lee was hit in the penalty area. But Baumann dived into the right corner for Barkock’s shot. The TSG captain was extremely lucky when Richter hit the crossbar with two free kicks in the final phase and thus conceded the winning goal for an otherwise more active Mainz team.
© dpa

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