Gerrit Holtmann scored a superb solo goal and Sebastian Polter got another as Bochum beat Mainz 2-0 in their first Bundesliga home game for over a decade.
Bochum 2-0 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Holtmann (21’), 2-0 Polter (56’)
Over 13,000 fans packed into the Vonovia Ruhrstadion for Bochum’s first Bundesliga home game since May 2010 and they saw their team dominate. Armel Bella Kotchap put a free header wide from a free-kick before former Mainz man Holtmann scored an early Goal of the Season contender. Picking up the ball just past the halfway line on the left, he ran past at least six defenders and even more attempted tackles before popping up to the right of the six-yard box and slotting through the legs of Robin Zentner. Two more chances would fall to Simon Zoller, the Bochum forward first going for an audacious overhead kick that Zentner was able to tip over the bar. And from the ensuing corner, he reacted quickest to a bouncing ball to smash home at the near post, but a VAR check spotted he’d handled to control it. That and a sharp save by the left foot of goalkeeper Manuel Riemann to deny Niklas Tauer meant the hosts remained 1-0 up going into the break.
Last season’s Bundesliga 2 champions did get their second, though, with Zoller turning provider this time, crossing from the right into the box, where Polter outmuscled half-time substitute Jerry St. Juste to power his header home. The game lacked rhythm after that with niggly fouls from both sides preventing Mainz from building up any momentum and mounting a fightback. Bochum goalkeeper Riemann only had to make one more save of note to deny Kevin Stöger as a rocking Ruhrstadion celebrated the club’s top-flight return in the perfect way, with three points. It was also a first away defeat for Bo Svensson's Mainz since January, ending the division's current longest unbeaten run on the road and the club record at eight games.
- Holtmann’s goal was his first in the Bundesliga since 22 November 2019 when he scored in Paderborn’s 3-3 draw at Borussia Dortmund.
- The 26-year-old had previously scored only twice in 29 Bundesliga games for Mainz.
- Polter has now scored nine of his 10 Bundesliga goals at home.
- Promoted Bochum ended their 13-match wait for a Bundesliga win (D3, L10) stretching back to 13 February 2010 when they beat Hoffenheim 2-1 at home.
- This was the first time Bochum had even led a Bundesliga match since 26 March 2010, although they went on to lose that 2-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt after Lewis Holtby’s goal.
- It was also Bochum’s first Bundesliga win over Mainz at the seventh attempt, having lost the first five.
Watch: Holtmann: "I'm really happy"
Bochum: Riemann - Gamboa (Bockhorn 60’), Lampropoulos, Bella-Kotchap, Soares – Pantovic (Masovic 71’), Losilla (c), Rexhbecaj (Stafylidis 71’) - Zoller, Polter, Holtmann (Asano 81’)
Unused subs: Esser, Decarli, Chibsah, Novothny, Ganvoula
Out: Antwi-Adjei (thigh), Blum (match fitness), Hartwig (groin), Leitsch (knock), Osterhage (muscular), Tesche (suspended)
Coach: Thomas Reis
Mainz: Zentner - Niakhate (c), Bell (Stöger 67’), Hack (St. Juste 46’) - Widmer, Tauer (Kohr 46’), Barreiro, Martin - Burkardt, Lee (Szalai 62’), Nebel (Boetius 46’)
Unused subs: Dahmen, Kilian, Lucoqui, Papela
Out: Onisiwo (not included), Stach (suspended)
Coach: Bo Svensson