Penalties from Daniel Brosinski and Jean-Philippe Mateta were not enough to earn Mainz their first win of the season against fellow strugglers Schalke, who twice came from behind to take a point back to Gelsenkirchen.
Mainz had scored three goals in their last two games without picking up a point and made sure of that scoring run continuing after just six minutes. Matija Nastasic was adjudged to have blocked Jonathan Burkhardt in the penalty area and Brosinski stepped up to slot home his side’s first penalty of the season. Schalke responded well to going behind, though, with Mark Uth's deflected shot almost being put home by Ozan Kabak, before Bastian Oczipka saw a shot superbly blocked by Jeremiah St. Juste. The best chance of Schalke's bright early spell fell to Uth after 20 minutes as he was found in front of goal by Goncalo Paciencia, but the Schalke forward missed the ball with his attempted left-footed strike from eight yards out. Uth made up for his early miss by curling a fantastic free-kick into the top corner from the edge of the Mainz box with just one step in his run-up. Paciencia almost had his side ahead before the break but his shot from close-range was well-saved by Robin Zentner, who was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers in the opening 45 minutes, but it was Mainz who took the lead before the break once again from the penalty spot. Mateta was brought down by Kabak on the run into the Schalke box, and the Frenchman stepped up to send Frederik Rönnow the wrong way in added time.
Brosinski came off for Leven Öztunali at the break as Jan-Moritz Lichte changed tactics for the second half, but it was Schalke on the front foot once more and Kabak thought he had levelled the scores after five minutes. His tap home from Uth's corner being ruled out, however, as he was judged to have handled the ball before putting it over the line. Burkardt had a huge chance to double Mainz's lead after 56 minutes but he couldn't beat Rönnow when one-on-one. Schalke kept coming in search of an equaliser, with Uth going close once more with a low shot going wide across Zentner's goal and Paciencia heading wide of the mark from 10 yards out. Mateta had the next chance for Mainz to seal the points with 10 minutes to play, but his shot drifted wide of goal having been played in one-on-one with Rönnow. And the home side were left kicking themselves as St. Juste diverted Paciencia's cross into his own goal after 82 minutes to bring the scores level.
- Mainz have scored each of their 29 penalties in the Bundesliga since May 2013, with Brosinski and Mateta's spot-kicks against Schalke extending their record further.
- Mateta is Mainz's leading scorer in 2020/21 with four Bundesliga goals.
- The draw earned Mainz their first point of the season.
- Schalke are on the second longest winless run in Bundesliga history with 23 games, after Tasmania Berlin, who went 31 games without a win in 1965/66, and have made their worst start to a season in 53 years.
- Uth's equaliser for Schalke was the Royal Blues' first goal away from home in the Bundesliga this season.
- Schalke's No.7 has also scored two of his side's four goals so far this season.
Watch: Paciencia: "We showed today that we have quality"
Mainz: Zentner - St. Juste, Kilian, Niakhate, Brosinski (Öztunali 46')- Barreiro (Kunde 79'), Latza (c) - Burkardt (Onisiwo 66'), Fernandes, Boetius (Quaison 84') - Mateta (Ji 79')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Stöger, Mwene, Hack
Coach: Jan-Moritz Lichte
Schalke: Rönnow - Kabak (Ibisevic 81'), Sane, Nastasic - Mascarell (c) - Ludewig (Skrzybski 71'), Schöpf (Bozdogan 63'), Harit (Raman 71'), Oczipka - Paciencia, Uth
Unused subs: Fährmann, Bentaleb, Matondo, Stambouli, Thiaw
Out: Serdar (thigh)
Coach: Manuel Baum
Watch: Mascarell: “We’re getting better and better”