After a entertaining first half, Hoffenheim’s Roberto Firmino made the most of a fortunate ricochet to play in Kevin Volland for the first goal, before Eugen Polanski’s bullet header condemned Martin Schmidt to his first defeat as Mainz head coach.
The two sides had shared an uneventful goalless draw back on Matchday 6, but chances came thick and fast from almost the first minute in Sinsheim. Shinji Okazaki was a constant menace for the visitors, setting up Yunus Malli and Christian Clemens to narrowly miss the target, while Loris Karius saved well from an Andreas Beck header and Sejad Salihovic’s rising drive.
Clemens spurned a great opportunity to open the scoring just after the break, and it proved a costly miss as the home side seized the initiative. Firmino seized on a loose ball to power through and set up Volland, before a powerful header from Polanski against his former club made sure of the points.
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