BERLIN (Rahnuma) Jean-Philippe Mateta’s second-half winner ensured Mainz a narrow 1-0 away victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf in the opener of the 13th Bundesliga round on Friday.
Dusseldorf gained a foothold into the game and worked out their first chance with eight minutes played as Mainz defender Daniel Brosinski cleared Dodi Lukebakio’s effort inside the box.
Lukebakio remained a threat to Mainz’ defense as he forced goalkeeper Robin Zentner into action in the 20th minute.
“We have had more clear-cut chances but we still lost this game. That was absolutely unnecessary,” Dusseldorf head coach Friedhelm Funkel said.
The visitors lacked in penetration whereas Dusseldorf continued to produce goal-scoring opportunities through Lukebakio, Rouwen Hennings and Oliver Fink. Nevertheless, Zenter was on guard and helped his side manage a goalless draw into the half time.
After the restart, Dusseldorf almost grabbed the lead as Aaron Martin tested his own custodian with a clearance following Lukebakio’s cross across the goal.
Things changed in the 67th minute when Robin Quaison’s through ball allowed Mateta to beat Dusseldorf goalie Michael Rensing for the opener against the run of the game.
Dusseldorf regrouped but their efforts remained fruitless as goalkeeper Zenter defused the efforts from Benito Raman and Hennings in the closing period to put the result beyond doubt.
“The only positive thing is the result, but we did not play well today. It is a lucky victory for us,” said Mainz head coach Sandro Schwarz.
With the clinical win, Mainz jumped on the 8th place of the standings whereas Dusseldorf stay on the 17th position.
Following are fixtures for Saturday: front runners Borussia Dortmund host Freiburg, Stuttgart see Augsburg, Werder Bremen face Bayern Munich, Hannover encounter Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim clash with Schalke.