Mainz pay penalty as Augsburg claim comeback win
Augsburg stretched their unbeaten run to four matches as they came from behind to beat Mainz on Saturday thanks to a Florian Niederlechner penalty against his former team.
Augsburg 2-1 Mainz
Goals: 0-1 (Öztunali 15’), 1-1 (Richter 41’), 2-1 Niederlechner (pen. 65’)
Having taken seven points from their last three matches, the home side began brightly. Finland international Fredrik Jensen – making his first start of the season – almost had them in front, but Ruben Vargas didn’t make sufficient contact with his cross and the ball came back off the post. Marco Richter and Vargas both went close again before the former missed a glorious chance on 10 minutes. Lively Swiss attacker Vargas robbed Levin Öztunali just outside the area, and then squared for Richter. With the goal gaping, though, the 22-year-old somehow skewed the ball wide. And Augsburg were made to pay five minutes later when Öztunali made up for his error by cutting in from the right to fire home left-footed from outside the area. Both sides had openings after that, but it was the home team who continued to look more dangerous. The seemingly luckless Richter shot wide from inside the area past the half hour, before Vargas saw Mainz keeper Robin Zentner tip his long-range strike over. On 41 minutes, though, Augsburg finally got the goal that their first-half play deserved. Florian Niederlechner cut the ball across the six-yard box and this time Richter was well placed and couldn’t miss from two yards out.
Mainz sent on Daniel Brosinski and Taiwo Awoniyi at the break in an effort to turn the tide, and the second period started quietly. But 65 minutes in Augsburg got a break when Vargas went down in the area in a clash with Pierre Kunde and a penalty was awarded after a VAR review. Niederlechner stepped up hammer his spot-kick into the top corner for his seventh goal of the campaign. It was a lead that Martin Schmidt's side never looked like giving up.
- Niederlechner is Augsburg's leading goalscorer this season. The 29-year-old failed to find the net in 12 Bundesliga appearances for Mainz in the 2015/16 season.
- Augsburg had seven shots on goal – none of them on target – before the visitors went in front with their second attempt on goal and first on target. The home side had 14 shots to five in the first-half alone.
- Germany U21 cap Richter finally got his third goal of the campaign with his fourth attempt of the half and first on target.
- Augsburg's run of four matches without defeat is their longest unbeaten streak under Swiss head coach Schmidt, who took charge at the start of April.
- Schmidt was head coach of Mainz from February 2015 to March 2017 (81 Bundesliga matches), and oversaw the 05ers' one and only away win in Augsburg.
- Achim Beierlorzer had been the first Mainz coach since Jürgen Klopp in 2001 to have won his first two fixtures.
Augsburg: Koubek – Lichtsteiner (Uduokhai 69'), Gouweleeuw, Jedvaj, Max – Khedira (Moravek 27'), Baier (c) – Richter, Jensen (Cordova 82'), Vargas – Niederlechner
Unused subs: Luthe, Pedersen, Gregoritsch, Sarenren Bazee, Schieber, Iago
Out: Finnbogason (shoulder), Framberger (muscular), Götze (hip), Gruezo (ankle), Hahn (suspended), Suchy (calf)
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Mainz: Zentner – St. Juste, Fernandes, Niakhate (c) – Öztunali, Kunde, Barreiro (Brosinski 46'), Martin (Szalai 80') – Boetius – Quaison, Onisiwo (Awoniyi 46')
Unused subs: Müller, Pierre-Gabriel, Maxim, Burkardt, Gürleyen, Hack
Out: Baku (suspended), Bell (ankle), Ji (knee), Mateta (knee)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer
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