Mainz brought an end to their three-game losing streak and picked up three vital points in their battle to avoid the drop with a 2-0 win at Hertha Berlin on Friday night.
Hertha Berlin 0-2 Mainz
Goals: 0-1 Quaison (40'), 0-2 Quaison (65')
After a cagey opening, a searching ball from Stefan Ball gave Mainz the first chance of the game after a quarter of an hour. Emil Berggreen latched onto the pass and Rune Jarstein did not know too much about it as he somehow turned the Dane's shot onto the roof of his net. The hosts lost Vedad Ibisevic to a broken nose moments later, with Davie Selke entering the fray, but most of the action continued to happen at the other end of the field, where Robin Quaison tested Jarstein with a looping header. Mainz's persistence paid off when Quaison's low shot from just outside the area beat Jarstein into the bottom left-hand corner, giving the guests a deserved lead at the end of a half in which Hertha failed to muster a single shot on target.
Quaison and Danny Latza sent further shots in on Jarstein's goal as Mainz kept up the pressure in the second half, doubling their lead when Quaison raced clear and supplied a cool finish through Jarstein's legs. The Swedish forward had done enough as far as his coach Sandro Schwarz was concerned, with Yoshinori Muto replacing him soon after his second goal, and he had done enough to earn the 05ers all three points as Hertha failed to muster a response. Mitchell Weiser's shot on goal in the 80th minute was the first time Robin Zentner had any work to do, which goes some way to explain why the Old Lady's four-game unbeaten run came to an end on Friday night.
- Mainz won away in the Bundesliga for the first time in nearly a year.Ibisevic was making his first start since 10 December, although injury restricted the Bosnian to just 15 minutes on the field.With an average age of 28.2 years, Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai named the oldest team for a Bundesliga game since a similar-aged Stuttgart selection on Matchday 1.All five of Quaison's Bundesliga goals have come away from home; this was his first Bundesliga brace.Mainz had conceded at least two goals in each of their past 10 games – this was their first clean sheet since Matchday 12 (1-0 vs. Cologne).Dardai is the second-longest serving coach in the Bundesliga behind Freiburg’s Christian Streich. His first game as head coach of Hertha was just over three years ago, when his team won 2-0 in Mainz.
Hertha: Jarstein – Pekarik (c), Stark, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt – Skjelbred (Weiser 56'), Lustenberger - Darida, Lazaro, Kalou (Leckie 73') – Ibisevic (Selke 16')
Unused subs: Kraft, Esswein, Mittelstadt, Dardai
Absentees: Kade (ankle), Duda (calf), Rekik (individual training)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Mainz: Zentner – Hack, Balogun, Bell (c) – Donati, Gbamin, Latza, Serdar (De Blasis 84') – Quaison (Muto 68'), Berggreen (Ujah 89'), Holtmann
Unused subs: Müller, De Jong, Brosinski, Bungert
Absentees: Diallo (suspended)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Watch: Robin Quaison reflects on his match-winning brace