WATCH: TOUSART: "IT FEELS LIKE WE LOST"
THANKS FOR TUNING IN!
That's the end of tonight's action, but don't forget to check out our match report before you go. And more importantly, join us again tomorrow for a mouthwatering slate of fixtures, including the Revierderby between Dortmund and Schalke at 3.30pm German time. Until then, tschüss!
ALL SQUARE IN MAINZ
Hertha and their former Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz will be nursing a few regrets after failing to see that one out, especially given their place in the table. The Old Lady jump to 12th, but they're only two points ahead of Leverkusen in 17th. Mainz really gave it their all in those final few minutes, and won't care that their equaliser came from an unlikely source in Caci. The 05ers remain in the top six for now, although they are sure to drop points on some of the frontrunners this weekend.
Lee hooks the ball into the six-yard box and Pekarik's headed clearance is volleyed home stylishly by Anthony Caci, as one Frenchman cancels out another. It's all over! Mainz finally have a goal this season at the MEWA Arena, and come away with a point after a late, late equaliser.
CACI SAVES A POINT!
NEARLY AN ASSIST FOR THE KEEPER!
Zentner slips it back into the area following the corner, but Ingvartsen can't steer his attempt on target.
ZENTNER UP FOR THE CORNER
Mainz are really desperate to get a point here!
FOUR MINUTES TO GO
We're into injury time. Hertha are closing on their second straight away win in the Bundesliga, a fortnight after beating Augsburg 2-0.
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 90 minutes
HERTHA HUNTING A SECOND
The visitors break down the right with Richter, who manages to find Darida inside the area, but the Czech midfielder is tackled by Barkok before he can get a shot away.
CLOSE, BUT NOT CLOSE ENOUGH
Onisiwo heads a ball into the danger zone for Ingvartsen, but again the Dane can't quite get there. You can feel how fragile Mainz's confidence is up front. Remember, they haven't scored at home in the Bundesliga since the end of last season.
PEKARIK ON FOR EJUKE
While Svensson decided to twist in attack, Schwarz bolsters his defence, bringing on right-back Pekarik for the impressive Ejuke. The visitors have gone to five at the back.
The Bundesliga's last four Friday fixtures have ended in 1-0 scorelines - are we heading for a fifth?
HALF-CHANCE FOR INGVARTSEN!
But the Dane doesn't get hold of his shot properly, and it's easily gathered by Christensen.
TWO MORE CHANGES FOR MAINZ
Svensson has decided to take a few risks, bringing on Barkok for the more defensive Bell, and replacing Mustapha with Ingvartsen, who only recently recovered from injury.
GREAT BALL FROM ONISIWO!
It trickles dangerously across the Hertha six-yard box, but nobody is there to meet it... and the flag is up for offside anyway. Mainz are really pushing for an equaliser now but the visitors are frustrating them, and frequent fouls mean there isn't much rhythm to the game.
A PHYSICAL CONTEST!
This game is a real battle at the moment, especially in midfield. Onisiwo is the latest man to be booked, he's the seventh man to get a yellow card tonight.
Should Mainz start quaking in their boots? The substitute has scored off the bench in Hertha's last two games, against Augsburg and Leverkusen.
TOUSART USING HIS HEAD!
It hasn't been the busiest night so far for the two goalkeepers...
LOW xG COUNT
A better spell from the hosts here. A dangerous ball comes in from Caci on the left, but Hertha manage to scramble it clear.
BARREIRO FORCES A SAVE
... with Mainz's first shot on target of the game. The midfielder gets his head to the ball following a corner, but it's far too tame to trouble Christensen.
MAINZ WITH WORK TO DO
The last time the 05ers overcame a half-time deficit to win a home game in the Bundesliga was on 18 February, against Bayer Leverkusen (3-2). First things first, they need to find a way to score again here at the MEWA Arena...
LUKEBAKIO BOOKED, DA COSTA ON
Hertha's Lukebakio is the latest man to get a yellow card for a late challenge on Kohr. And Da Costa is the latest man to come off the bench, replacing Fernandes for Mainz.
TOUSART ON TOP
Jae-sung Lee Lucas Tousart
More complaints from the Mainz players, who want a penalty for a Sunjic handball inside the area. The referee felt the Croatian kept his arms pinned to his side though and instead awards a corner, which comes to nothing. More changes now with Caci and Mittelstädt replacing Martin and Plattenhardt.
NO RED CARD
The referee has decided that there was no intention to cause harm, so Plattenhardt stays on the pitch. Seconds later Kanga forces a good save from Zentner, but he was offside anyway.
VAR CHECK IN PROGRESS
This could well be a red card for the Hertha captain, which will obviously change the complexion of the game.
For a nasty stamp on Fernandes' ankle. VAR may have another look at this.
Situation No red card
Decision Yellow card
A change each as the second half gets underway, with Dardai on for Kempf - who may well have picked up an ankle injury in that first half - and Mustapha replacing Fulgini, involved in a nasty clash of heads with Uremovic.
MAINZ FIRING BLANKS
3 off target
0 on target
2 off target
2 on target
CLINICAL BERLIN LEAD IN MAINZ
It hasn't been a half of football for the ages, but Hertha Berlin have carved out a slender advantage thanks to Lucas Tousart. The Frenchman was completely abandoned by the home defence before heading in a fine cross from Chidera Ejuke on the half-hour. Can Bo Svensson's side turn things around in the second half?
FERNANDES FIRES WIDE
Mainz break on the counter with Barreiro finding Fernandes on the right, but his powerful effort whizzes well wide of the post. It might have taken a deflection, actually, but no corner is given...
TWO MINUTES OF INJURY TIME
And still Mainz are waiting for their first home goal of 2022/23.
MAINZ GETTING FRUSTRATED
Kohr goes into the book for dissent, and a moment later Ejuke forces a brilliant save from Zentner. Hertha are on top at the moment, can they grab a second before the break?
MAINZ WANT A PENALTY
... as Onisiwo is bundled over in the area by Kempf. There isn't much in it though, and the referee is suitably unmoved.
SLOPPY DEFENDING FROM MAINZ
Tousart was left completely to his own devices in the build-up to the goal, with Barreiro drifting away from him and then nobody picking him up in the area. Lee eventually made a half-hearted effort to get back but by then it was too late.
TOUSART HEADS HERTHA IN FRONT!
Hertha are ahead and it stems from a defensive error by Leitsch, who mishits a ball inside his area when trying to clear. It comes out to Ejuke, who picks out a totally unmarked Lucas Tousart with a fine ball into the middle. The Frenchman simply has to nod past Zentner for 1-0.
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 30 minutes
EJUKE FLASHES ONE WIDE
A rare chance for Hertha, but the Nigerian flashes his attempt wide.
Nasty clash of heads between Uremovic and Fulgini in the Hertha area, both players need treatment.
MORE OF THE BALL FOR MAINZ, MORE PASSES FOR HERTHA
Boetius picks out the run of Lukebakio down the Hertha right, but the Belgian is a little hesitant and his shot is blocked. He might have been better shooting with his right foot there, rather than turning back onto his preferred left.
ONISIWO WELL OVER
The Mainz No.9 carves out some space for a long-range shot, but it's well over the bar. So far we've had two shots for Mainz and none for Hertha - and none on target for either side.
ONISIWO THE LONE STRIKER
Mainz are set up in a 3-4-2-1 tonight, with Lee and Fulgini providing support for Onisiwo as the lone striker. Some nice combination play from the men in red a moment ago, but they couldn't quite pick out the final pass.
10 minutes in and both sides look up for this one, it's been a lively start at the MEWA Arena.
The Hertha defender is getting some treatment on his ankle after blocking a shot from Onisiwo. It looks like he'll be OK to go on.
LUKEBAKIO GETTING INVOLVED
The Belgian gets a first sniff for Hertha with a low ball to the near post, but it's cut out by the Mainz defence. Zentner then spills a ball over the top after a minor collision with his own defender, Bell, but the visitors can't make the most of it.
GOOD PRESSURE FROM MAINZ IN MIDFIELD
The hosts are letting Hertha knock the ball around a bit in their own half, but as soon as they pass the halfway line they are swarmed by red shirts. However, Martin is penalised for going in a little too enthusiastically on Lukebakio.
MAINZ ON THE FRONT FOOT
Some good high pressing from the hosts allows Martin to whip in a cross from the left, but Hertha eventually clear their lines. It's a slightly cooler evening than we've been used to in recent weeks tonight, with the temperature around 13°C.
Hertha kick off Matchday 7 of the Bundesliga in Mainz.
END OF THE HOME DROUGHT FOR MAINZ?
Mainz have been seriously impressive on the road this season - winning at Bochum, Augsburg and Gladbach - but they haven't won at home, and have yet to even score a goal at the MEWA Arena. Can they change that tonight? We'll find out soon - kick-off is imminent.
6TH VS. 15TH
Tonight's contest pits sixth-placed Mainz against 15th-placed Hertha Berlin. With a win, the hosts would leapfrog Dortmund, Hoffenheim and Bayern to go temporarily third, although they have a worse goal difference than the teams above them. Hertha meanwhile are looking to put some space between themselves and the drop zone.
Robert Kwasigroch makes the senior Hertha squad for the first time in the Bundesliga tonight, as a substitute. The 18-year-old goalkeeper was promoted from the club's U19s to the reserves over the summer, and has already made three appearances in the Regionalliga Nordost.
HERTHA TEAM NEWS
Sandro Schwarz only makes a solitary change from his side's 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen. Suat Serdar is ill, so former Mainz man Jean-Paul Boetius slots into midfield for the visitors.
MAINZ TEAM NEWS
With defender Alexander Hack suspended, Bo Svensson has brought Edmilson Fernandes into his backline alongside Stefan Bell and Maxim Leitsch. Jae-sung Lee comes into the attack with Jonathan Burkardt still sidelined by injury.
Kwasigroch, Dardai, Pekarik, Mittelstädt, Darida, Boateng, Myziane, Richter, Jovetic
Dahmen, Barkok, Stach, Ingvartsen, Tauer, Caci, Da Costa, Mustapha, Bobzien
HERTHA STARTING XI
Christensen - Kenny, Uremovic, Kempf, Plattenhardt (c) - Tousart, Sunjic, Boetius - Lukebakio, Kanga, Ejuke
MAINZ STARTING XI
Zentner - Fernandes, Bell, Leitsch - Widmer (c), Kohr, Barreiro, Aaron - Fulgini, Lee - Onisiwo
THE MEWA ARENA IS READY
READY TO RUMBLE
TEAM NEWS AND MORE TO FOLLOW!
We'll have all the confirmed line-ups for you as soon as they drop at the MEWA Arena, then stay with us throughout the evening for live text coverage of this Matchday 7 opener, plus a match report just after the final whistle.
LAST MEETING: HERTHA 1-2 MAINZ
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING - MAINZ
Mainz boss Bo Svensson had warm words for Hertha and predecessor Schwarz in his presser on Thursday: "They’re a completely different team from the end of last season, you can see that in their attacking play. They’ve got a lot of pace and individual quality. With Sandro as their coach and the squad they’ve got, you can see a big difference, but at the same time a very good structure in all of their games."
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING - HERTHA
"They have a very settled team that plays very high energy football," said Hertha head coach Sandro Schwarz at his pre-match press conference. "They get forward very quickly forward from second balls. It will be a challenge."
Mainz have a slight historical advantage going into this fixture with 10 wins and 10 draws from the 28 prior Bundesliga meetings, with eight Hertha victories. The match-up averages 2.39 goals per game, so there should be plenty of entertainment tonight!
THE SEASON SO FAR
Mainz could climb as high as second - at least overnight - with a win. The 05ers have taken 10 points from a possible 18, and had a 100 per cent winning record on the road until last weekend's defeat to Hoffenheim, but are yet to win in two attempts at home. Hertha head to Mainz only a point clear of the automatic relegation zone, but unbeaten in two following the win over Augsburg and draw with Bayer Leverkusen.
It's derby day in the Bundesliga on Saturday, but before that there's the little matter of Mainz vs. Hertha Berlin. Will Sandro Schwarz get one over on his former club? Stay tuned to find out!