The Eagles took away a point from the 'Rheinhessen derby' away to Mainz 05 (0-0). It was a pretty even match and quite a challenge for Eintracht who remian 5th in the standings.
Eintracht manager Armin Veh made three changes to last week’s starting line-up: Sebastian Jung returned after his match ban, Alex Meier started and also Constant Djakpa. Carlos Zambrano (10th booking), Bastian Oczipka and Karim Matmour were left out. Jung played alongside Rode in defensive midfield while Celozzi moved to the right defender position, Meier was the lone striker in front of Agner, Stendera and Inui.
34,000 in the sold-out Coface Arena saw an even start with both teams allowing little in front of their goals. A Stendera corner came right at the Mainz goal but goalkeeper Wetklo was at the end of it (5’). It took the hosts nearly half an hour until they recorded their first chance, Müller was through on goal but missed it with a close chip (24’).
The first half was dominated by tactical play on either side, SGE stood deeper than usual waiting to move forward on the break. They recorded various set-pieces including seven corners but little came out of it. Caligiuri had a go from long range but his attempt was wide (42’), little later it was Rode who set up Meier who volleyed the perfect cross, Wetklo did well to keep the ball out of his goal (43’). The score line remained level at the break.
In the second half Mainz also recorded slightly more ball possession but to no major effect. The Eagles defended well and focused mainly on keeping the clean sheet alive than opening up too much in favour of their own attack. The first chance fell to the hosts when Nikolov had a great save denying Pospech’s header (53’).
Veh made a double substitution with around half an hour to go - Olivier Occéan and Srdjan Lakic replaced Takashi Inui and Stefan Aigner (64’). Occean headed a Jung cross towards the goal but Wetklo had little problems to control it (67’). At the other end Ede came close with a shot after a low corner cross but Russ did well to block the attempt (72’).
Occean made another headed attempt from a Celozzi cross which was caught by Wetklo (74‘). Then Lakic intercepted the Mainz build-up and set up Rode in the box who fired away – again Wetklo did well to save the volley (82‘). Noveski had another go for Mainz with a header after a corner which went wide though (84’).
Another two half chances at either end fell to Mainz and Eintracht each but that was it –a close and tactical game ended with a deserved draw. The Eagles now moved up to spot 5 in the standings, keeping the dream of Europe alive. Coming up is the home match against Fortuna Düsseldorf next Saturday at 15.30h CET.