Pablo De Blasis scored twice - once during the half-time interval - as Mainz leapfrogged Freiburg to leave the Bundesliga relegation play-off berth thanks to a 2-0 win on Monday night.
Mainz 2-0 Freiburg
Goals: 1-0 De Blasis (pen. 45+7'), 2-0 De Blasis (79')
De Blasis tried a couple of attempts on the Freiburg goal as the hosts asked all the questions in the early exchanges. Freiburg were being penned back in their own half and will have been relieved to hear referee Guido Winkmann sound his whistle twice to signal half-time. However, Video Assist alerted the referee that Marc Oliver Kempf had handled Daniel Brosinski's shot in the final seconds of the half and, after consultation, a penalty was awarded. The teams had to return to the field with De Blasis keeping his composure to give Mainz the most unusual of first-half leads, during the half-time break.
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As if that had not been enough drama, more was to follow in the second half. As Freiburg tried to find a route back into the game, goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow shot himself in the foot as he laid the ball on a plate to Robin Quaison. He squared for De Blasis, who had the whole goal gaping – but still almost missed. His shot struck the right-hand post and appeared to be coming back out before it spun across the line, much to the relief of the Mainz forward, and the home fans. Nils Petersen went close to giving Freiburg a lifeline, but Mainz held on to snap a six-game winless run and leave Freiburg now seven games without a win.
- At 5' 5 1/2", De Blasis is one of the smallest players in the Bundesliga, and yet four of his 12 goals have been headers, including last Saturday's equaliser against Cologne.Mainz have scored their last 20 penalties since May 2013 – only Bochum (between 1978 and 1982, with 24 successful spot-kicks) boast a better record in Bundesliga history.De Blasis has scored three out of three penalties, all taken at home.His brace was his third in the Bundesliga, all at home; he has scored Mainz's last three goals.Petersen is the top-scoring German in the Bundesliga this season with 13 goals. He has scored in each of his last three games against Mainz.Freiburg have lost their last four games - the first time they have lost four consecutive Bundesliga games under Streich.
Mainz: Adler – Brosinski (c), Hack, Balogun, Diallo – Serdar (De Jong 80'), Gbamin – Öztunali (Holtmann 85'), Latza de Blasis (Ujah 90+1') – Quaison
Unused subs: Müller, Maxim, Berggreen, Onisiwo
Absentees: Donati (suspended), Bungert (hamstring)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Freiburg: Schwolow – Kempf (Kleindienst 46'), Gulde, Söyüncü, Günter – Stenzel, Koch (Schuster 69'), Höfler – Haberer, Petersen (c), Höler (Kath 77')
Unused subs: Gikiewicz, Kübler, Sierro, Guede
Absentees: Niedermeier and Ignjovski (not considered), Stanko (knee) Abrashi (knee), Ravet (calf), Frantz (match fitness), Niederlechner (knee)
Coach: Christian Streich