A hard-fought draw against Union


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Mainz had to settle for a goalless draw in their first home game of the season against FC Union on Sunday afternoon. It was a cagey affair in the first half and both sides failed to create anything clear-cut. However, the break seemed to breathe new life into the game and both teams went up a gear. Although the Zerofivers created the better chances, it was a still well-earned point in the soaring summer heat.

Bo Svensson made two changes from the side that faced VfL Bochum last weekend, with captain Silvan Widmer coming in for Edimilson Fernandes and Marcus Ingvartsen coming in for Angelo Fulgini.

Little action in the first half

It was a cagey first half in front of the 25,000 fans at the MEWA ARENA. Both sides kept things tight, didn’t allow any runs from deep and cancelled each other out in midfield.  This meant that neither goalkeeper had much to do during the opening exchanges. Widmer had a half-chance for Mainz from a Stach corner, but his header was put wide of the goal (13’). Just 60 seconds later, Lee’s mishit cross from the halfway caught Frederik Rönnow by surprise, but the Union goalkeeper managed to tip the ball over the bar (14’). The guests had a couple of half chances inside the first half an hour but neither Niko Gießelmann’s header, nor Theoson Siebatcheu’s effort really threatened the Mainz goal.

More chances in the second half

Both teams came out unchanged for the second half but the tempo of the game increased dramatically. FC Union were quicker out the blocks and had two good chances through Niko Gießelmann, whose effort hit the side-netting (51’) and Julian Ryerson, whose shot went just wide of the post (53’). It didn’t take FSV long to create chances of their own, however. Onisiwo couldn’t quite hit the target with a header (54’) and Stach tested Rönnow with a powerful shot from the edge of the area (58’). Onisiwo had another opportunity less than a minute later, when he tested the Union keeper with an effort from 30 yards (58’). Svensson made his first changes just after the hour mark, when he brought on Leo Barreiro and Angelo Fulgini for Stach and Lee (65’). The Frenchman had an instant impact on the game and was presented with a good opportunity in the 69th minute when he was picked out by Stefan Bell (who was making his 251st appearance for the club) from deep (69’). The 25-year-old, however, didn’t quite get the desired connection and the chance went begging.

Marlon Mustapha came on for Marcus Ingvartsen for the final 20 minutes, and the 21-year-old made an instant impact in his first game at the MEWA ARENA. His powerful shot on the edge of the area was deflected just wide (76’) and he had a good opportunity just four minutes later, after weaving his way through the Union defence (80’). The Austrian, however, couldn’t quite find the finish. Mainz looked to push for the winner in the final 10 minutes and they managed to forge a couple of late chances. After Fulgini’s shot was blocked, Barreiro found Burgzorg in a promising position, but his effort was deflected for a corner (89’). This proved to be the final opportunity of the match and Svensson’s side had to settle for a draw. The Zerofivers have picked up an impressive four points from their first two games, and will be looking to add to their tally next Saturday, when they travel to FC Augsburg (15:30).

Mainz 05 0-0 Union Berlin

Mainz 05: Zentner – Widmer, Bell, Hack, Leitsch, Aarón – Kohr, Stach (65‘ Barreiro), Lee (65‘ Fulgini) – Ingvartsen (75‘ Mustapha), Onisiwo (85‘ Burgzorg)

Union: Rönnow – Ryerson, Jaeckel, Knoche, Diogo Leite, Gießelmann – Khedira, Haberer, Haraguchi – Becker, Siebatcheu

Attendance: 25,000

Referee: Daniel Schlager

A hard-fought draw against Union

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