- Mainz finish third in Group C on nine points.
- Return not enough for the 05er to go through to the knockout stages.
- Hack scores first goal for the club.
1. FSV Mainz 05 signed off from the UEFA Europa League with a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Azerbaijani side Gabala SC on Thursday evening.
Mainz went into the game knowing their Group C journey was already at an end for another season, but they began determined to give their fans at the Opel Arena something to cheer about. Martin Schmidt's men completely dominated the first half and after Fabian Frei went close to an opener, Alexander Hack broke the deadlock with a thumping finish following a corner. Pablo De Blasis gave the hosts some deserved breathing space at the break with a well-taken header at the back post.
The visitors offered greater resistance in the second half but never seriously threatened Mainz's goal. The hosts continued to attack at every opportunity but lacked the same incision they had shown before the break. It mattered little, however, on what was ultimately an impressive display in their final European match of the season.
Man of the match
Jairo Samperio was sensational in attacking midfield for Mainz, frequently tormenting Gabala with his pace, excellent passing and willingness to go one-on-one. The visitors simply could not handle the nimble-footed Spaniard here.
Mainz can take plenty of confidence from a composed performance and their return of two wins, three draws and just one defeat in six group stage matches shows they are more than capable of competing on this stage.
- Mainz finished Group C in third place with nine points.
- The shot count finished heavily in Mainz's favour: 23 to six.
- Giulio Donati had more touches than any other player (89).
Mainz: Huth – Donati, Hack, Bell (c), Bussmann – Ramalho, Gbamin (Malli 69') – Jairo, Frei, De Blasis (Holtmann 87') – Cordoba (Seydel 82')
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Gabala: Bezotosniy – Abbasov, Stankovic, Vernidub, Ricardinho – Kvekveskiri, Sadiqov (Qurbanov 46') – Mammadov, Weeks (Jamalov 86'), Ozobic – Zenjov (Huseynov 77')
Coach: Roman Grygorchuk