There was to be no winning start for new Wolfsburg head coach Andries Jonker, but his charges nevertheless earned a point in a 1-1 draw away to Mainz on Saturday.
Mainz 1-1 Wolfsburg
Although Mainz looked the more dangerous side early on as they looked to take advantage of their vulnerable visitors, it was Wolfsburg who broke the deadlock. Mario Gomez managed to evade his marker at a corner from the right and was rewarded with a simple free header at the back post. Their lead was short-lived, however, as Levin Öztunali instigated an equaliser almost immediately, driving forward from midfield to tee up Jhon Cordoba for an easy tap-in.
The match remained a close-fought affair after the break, but although Mainz were more threatening when going forward they struggled to find a way through a disciplined Wolfsburg defence superbly marshalled by Jeffrey Bruma. The visitors were not as effective at the other end of the pitch, though, giving home goalkeeper Jonas Lössl a relatively trouble-free afternoon in a draw that was ultimately a fair result.
Man of the Match
Öztunali was a blur of speed all afternoon, tracking back well to help out in defence and looking menacing every time he got on the ball. His assist for Cordoba's goal was excellent and the 20-year-old really seems to be coming of age this season.
It was a decent display and encouraging start for Wolfsburg under new head coach Andries Jonker. However, they will need to start winning again soon before any relegation worries can be completely eased.
- A hip injury to Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio means Koen Casteels played for the first time since Matchday 8.Gomez scored his seventh Bundesliga goal of the season.Cordoba found the net for the fourth time this season – his first since Matchday 13.
Mainz: Lössl - Donati, Bell (c), Ramalho, Bussmann - Latza, Frei - De Blasis (Gbamin 90'), Muto (Samperio 67'), Öztunali - Cordoba (Quaison 90+2')
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Blaszczykowski, Bruma (Horn 75'), Knoche, Rodriguez - Gustavo (c), Bazoer – Didavi (Mayoral 78'), Malli, Arnold - Gomez
Coach: Andries Jonker
Watch: click play on the video below to hear what Mario Gomez made of the draw: