Braunschweig captain Domi Kumbela inspired his side to victory with a brace
Braunschweig captain Domi Kumbela inspired his side to victory with a brace

Kumbela keeps Braunschweig hopes alive

Braunschweig – Eintracht Braunschweig maintained the pressure on the sides above them at the bottom with a 3-1 victory against 1. FSV Mainz 05.

Set-piece specialists

Captain Domi Kumbela was the star of the show, opening the scoring prior to Nicolai Müller’s equaliser for Mainz. After Havard Nielsen had restored Braunschweig’s advantage with his first goal for the club, Congolese striker Kumbela then made safe the points with a spectacular overhead kick in the second half.

As has so often been the case this season, Torsten Lieberknecht’s side profited greatly from set-pieces, with Kumbela nodding in his seventh of the season to break the deadlock after Mainz had failed to clear their lines. The visitors were soon level, though, as Müller slid in unmarked to convert Zdenek Pospech’s cross.

With the visitors in the hunt for the European places and Braunschweig fighting for their top-flight lives, the stakes were indeed high, and it was the hosts that went back in front on the stroke of half time as Nielsen squeezed in at the near post from another set-piece delivery.

The quality of the contest improved in the second half, resembling an encounter more befitting of the two sides' present targets, and Kumbela, Eintracht's leading scorer with eight goals, duly responded. With 13 minutes remaining, he acrobatically volleyed in Omar Eladellaoui’s cross to wrap up what could prove to be a crucial win for the hosts in the relegation dogfight and deal a blow to Mainz's hopes of a top-six finish.

Line-ups and statistics

Check out Kumbela's stunning scissor kick on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: