FSV Mainz 05 and Union Berlin missed the chance to temporarily top the Bundesliga table. Rhenish Hesse and Capitals are unbeaten after Matchday 2’s 0-0 draw with four points apiece, but delivered a somewhat weary kick in the heat that did not deserve a winner. While Union enjoyed the best start to a season in their still-young Bundesliga history despite finishing zero, Mainz failed to start with two wins for the first time since 2013/14.
Under sunny summer weather and over 30 degrees, the 25,009 spectators experienced an intense but qualitatively manageable match from the start. Mainz captain Silvan Widmer, who returned to the starting XI after suffering a gastrointestinal infection, immediately faced Union’s Sheraldo Becker on the sidelines. A few minutes later, the Swiss Widmer (13th) headed in from a corner and narrowly missed the goal. Frederik Rönnow was able to defuse a dangerous center from Jae-sung Lee from the half of the field (15th).
Outside of set pieces and ranged attempts, there were more drinking breaks (one) than clean scoring chances (zero) in the first 45 minutes. “These are tropical temperatures, so strength will play a role,” Mainz sporting director Christian Heidel told DAZN before kick-off. Both teams struggled offensively: The absence of national player Jonathan Burkardt (muscular problems) due to injury was noticeable in Mainz, especially as Karim Onisiwo also struggled against the strong Berlin defender this time around. Union even have to do without the top scorer sold from the previous season, Taiwo Awoniyi.
Mainz have the best chances, but don’t score
More recently, successor Jordan Siebatcheu had scored two important goals to forget the migrated Awoniyi, who quickly netted the winning goal for Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Sunday. This time, Siebatcheu headed home from a corner (29th), but did not put enough pressure behind the ball. The coaches initially saw no reason to change.
The visitors scored the first goal after the change of sides: Niko Gießelmann, who had replaced captain Christopher Trimmel in the starting line-up, kicked the ball into the goal (51st). Julian Ryerson’s long-range shot moments later also just missed the goal. The game was now more respectable than before the change. The hosts also dared more: A full but imprecise shot from Onisiwo (60th) was defused by Rönnow. As the game progressed, larger gaps opened up in the two defenses, which Mainz substitute Marlon Mustapha almost used (80th).