bundesliga

Mainz finish on a high with win at Wolfsburg

Jean-Paul Boetius, Robin Quaison and Stefan Bell earned Mainz a 3-2 win at Wolfsburg on the final day of the season, with Maximilian Philipp and Joao Victor equalisers not enough for the Wolves, who had already qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season.

Wolfsburg 2-3 Mainz
Goals: 0-1 Boetius (44'), 1-1 Philipp (47'), 1-2 Quaison (54'), 2-2 Joao Victor (66'), 2-3 Bell (77')

With Wolfsburg assured of a top-four finish and Mainz's great escape complete, you might have been forgiven for thinking both sides would sit back and settle for a point, but there was no such intention on either side. After a bright start from the guests, with Karim Onisiwo setting up Boetius for a good opportunity which was scuppered by Pavao Pervan, Wolfsburg took charge with Mainz goalkeeper Finn Dahmen doing well to deny Wout Weghorst and a Kevin Mbabu header. Having started the game strongly, Mainz also ended it on a high with Quaison helping the ball on for Boetius, who had the simple task of placing it past Pervan.

Wolfsburg responded immediately in the second half, with Philipp meeting Paulo Otavio's low cross with an outstretched leg and diverting it deftly past Dahmen to bring the hosts level. Parity did not last long, though, before Boetius played a perfect pass through for Onisiwo. His effort was saved by Pervan, but Quaison scooped up the rebound and placed his shot low past the Wolfsburg keeper to restore Mainz's advantage. Wolfsburg substitute Joao Victor levelled again with his first goal of the season, and one which was well worth the wait as he lobbed Dahmen with a shot from almost 30 yards out. Mainz were still not happy settling for a draw, though, and Bell headed them in front for the third time from Edimilson Fernandes' cross. This time, it was enough for all three points with a resurgent Mainz ending the season on a high.

Match stats

  • Wout Weghorst made his 100th Bundesliga appearance. He has 53 goals in those games. For context, Robert Lewandowski netted 55 times in his first 100 league outings.
  • Boetius's second goal of the season also came away from home, the Dutchman having also scored in Cologne.
  • His 30th Bundesliga goal made him Mainz's all-time top goalscorer in the Bundesliga.
  • Philipp has scored five of his six goals this season in the second half of the season, with three in his last two games.
  • Svensson has the best points-per-game record of any Mainz coach in history (1.65).

Line-ups

Wolfsburg: Pervan - Mbabu (Joao Victor 57'), Lacroix, Brooks (Siersleben 57'), Otavio (Roussillon 83') - Schlager (Gerhardt 83'), Arnold (c) - Baku, Philipp, Brekalo (Ginczek 69') – Weghorst
Unused subs: Klinger, Kasten, Mehmedi, Guilavogui
Out: Bialek (knee), Casteels (foot), Steffen (ankle)
Coach: Oliver Glasner

Mainz: Dahmen - St. Juste, Bell, Niakhate (c) - da Costa (Mwene 81'), Barreiro (Latza 32'), Kohr, Brosinski (Fernandes 71') - Boetius (Öztunali 81') - Onisiwo, Quaison (Szalai 71')
Unused subs: Hanin, Glatzel, Hack
Out: Burkardt (thigh), Stöger (muscular), Zentner (abdominals)
Coach: Bo Svensson