Mainz got their season off to a winning start on Sunday evening, as they beat Erzgebirge Aue 3-0 in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. Dominik Kohr gave his side the lead just before half time, before substitute Delano Burgzorg doubled Mainz’s lead after the break. Marcus Ingvartsen’s then sealed the win with a penalty in the 79th minute. It was a dominant display from the Zerofivers throughout the 90 minutes and they hardly let their opponents into the game.
Svensson deployed a 3-5-2 system and gave central-defender Maxim Leitsch his first start. There were a total of two changes from the side that faced Athletic Bilbao, with Dominik Kohr and Jae-Sung Lee coming in for Leandro Barreiro and Angelo Fulgini.
The Zerofivers get their reward just before the break
The Zerofivers got off to a quick start and created some good chances inside the first five minutes. Lee had the first opportunity with barely a minute on the clock, but he failed to hit the target with his effort from 15 yards. Karim Onisiwo then had his shot blocked by the Aue defence, before Jonny and Aarón had chances of their own. The home side were relatively slow to get going but they forged an opportunity mid-way through the first half. Marvin Stefaniak, however, hit the wall with his free kick from the edge of the penalty area. The Zerofivers continued to pile on the pressure and created another good chance, when Jonny Burkardt found Silvan Widmer in the penalty with a cross from the left hand side. The captain, however, failed to hit the target with his header.
It was a dominant first 20 minutes but the Zerofivers failed to make their pressure count. Burkardt got on the end of a Widmer cross and hit the bar and attempted an ambitious overhead kick from the rebound. His effort, however, went straight into the gloves of Aue goalkeeper Philipp Klewin. Aue broke immediately and Stefaniak found his teammate Paul Besong in the middle, but the forward failed to make the most of his chance. Mainz’s chances kept on coming and they had a golden opportunity through Jonny Burkardt, after he linked up nicely with Karim Onisiwo. The youngster, who is normally so cool in front of goal, flashed his effort wide. The hosts continued to defend valiantly against their opponents, but FSV’s pressure eventually told just before the break. Dominik Kohr tapped in from close range in the 41st minute to give his side a deserved lead.
Another dominant display in the second half
The Zerofivers went out unchanged for the second half and nearly double their lead straight away. Lee got on the end of an Onisiwo header, but was denied from close range by the Aue goalkeeper. Aue changed their system in order to try to get back into the contest but they couldn’t really find their feet against a resolute Mainz side. Onisiwo found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper in the 53rd minute but he failed to find the finish with a relatively weak chip. The Zerofivers maintained their grip on the contest and looked to kill the game.
Svensson made his first change, when he brought on Delano Burgzorg for Lee and with it came a change of system (3-4-3). Burgzorg didn’t waste any time and doubled his side’s lead in the 70th minute. Fulgini was brought on for his first appearance with a quarter of an hour left on the clock and Leandro Barreiro and Marcus Ingvartsen were also brought onto the field. The Zerofivers were given the opportunity to put the game to bed in the 79th minute, when the referee pointed to the penalty spot after Steffen Nkansah blocked an Aarón cross with his hand. Ingvartsen remained ice-cold and slotted the penalty home for his first of the season. With a few minutes left , newcomer Aymen Barkok was also brought onto the field for his first appearance. It was a satisfying afternoon for Svensson’s side, who secured their passage into the second round with relative ease.
Mainz’s Bundesliga campaign kicks off next weekend. Svensson’s side are travelling to the Ruhr to face VfL Bochum. (Saturday 6th August 15:30 CEST).