Kenan Karaman rescues Fortuna Düsseldorf in relegation six-pointer with Mainz
Fortuna Düsseldorf were left frustrated on Matchday 25 after dominating for much of the game away to Mainz, but needing a last-gasp Kenan Karaman strike to secure a 1-1 draw in a fiercely contested relegation battle.
Mainz 1-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 1-0 Öztunali (62'), 1-1 Karaman (85')
Red cards: Mateta (77')
Fortuna were by far the better side in the first half, eager to build on their recent good performances under new coach Uwe Rösler and aware that only a win would do against their fellow relegation contenders. It was largely one-way traffic towards the Mainz goal as a result, with Markus Suttner, Erik Thommy and Kenan Karaman all going close in the opening minutes. The best chance of the half fell to Suttner, but his close-range shot cannoned off goalkeeper Robin Zentner's head and was cleared to safety. Indeed, so dominant were the visitors that Mainz did not have a single shot on goal in the first half, and could count themselves fortunate to be on level terms at the interval.
The home team reacted by bringing on Levin Öztunali for the second half in a bid to exert more pressure in the final third, but Düsseldorf remained on top and almost took the lead when Thommy held off two defenders before seeing his shot well saved by Florian Müller, who had come on for the injured Zentner. And yet for all Fortuna's superiority, it was Mainz who took the lead with their first meaningful attack of the game. Robin Quaison surged forward in midfield and threaded a pass to Jean-Philippe Mateta, whose cross-come-shot was nodded in from close range by Öztunali. Mateta's sending off for a second bookable offence swung momentum back Fortuna's way, however, and after Valon Berisha and Nico Gießelmann both went close, Karaman snatched a priceless - and deserved - draw by capitalising on a mix-up between Müller and Jeffrey Bruma.
- For the first time in Bundesliga history, Mainz did not have a single shot at goal in the first half of a home fixture.
- They scored with their very first effort on goal in the match in the 62nd minute.
- Düsseldorf's 11-goal top scorer Rouwen Hennings was on the bench for the first time since Matchday 5.
- Öztunali did not score at all in 2017/18 or 2018/19, but now has four this season.
- 18-year-old Kelvin Ofori made his Bundesliga debut for Fortuna.
- Karaman now has four goals this season, a personal best for him in the Bundesliga. He scored with Düsseldorf's 18th shot of the game.
Watch: Bruma: "It's a good result"
Mainz: Zentner (Müller 46') - Pierre-Gabriel (Öztunali 46'), Bruma, Niakhate - Baku, Latza (c), Barreiro (Fernandes 90'), Mwene - Quaison, Mateta, Onisiwo
Unused subs: Aaron, Boetius, Ji, Kunde, Brosinski, Szalai
Out: Bell (ankle)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer
Düsseldorf: Kastenmeier - Ayhan, Hoffmann, Suttner (Hennings 72') - Zimmermann, Bodzek (c) (Sobottka 74'), Gießelmann - Stöger, Berisha (Ofori 79') - Thommy, Karaman
Unused subs: Rensing, Morales, Fink, Jorgensen, Skrzybski, Zimmer
Out: Kownacki (knee), Steffen (knee)
Coach: Uwe Rösler
Watch: Suttner: "Not the worst result"
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