'Gladbach 1-1 Mainz: Contentious penalty gives Mainz a point

Both teams headed into the final matchday seven encounter in fine form, with both enjoying a superb start to the domestic season. 'Gladbach were coming off a 2-1 away victory at newboys Paderborn, whilst the visitors were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Hoffenheim. As always Borussia Park was packed to the rafters, with both sets of fans making a great atmosphere.

Lucien Favre, who has had an inspired career at Gladbach, made several changes to his sides starting line-up. Alvaro Dominguez made way for Swedish full back, Oscar Wendt; Patrick Herrmann and Fabian Johnson also came in for Ibrahima Traore and Andre Hahn.

Mainz's very own 'Great Dane', Kasper Hjulmand also made some changes with Shinji Okazaki and Gonzalo Jara Reyes coming in for Sami Allagui and Johannes Geis.

After some neat passing from both sides, the first chance of the match fell to 'Gladbach and Raffael. After some great play by Patrick Herrmann the ball fell to the Brazilian on the edge of the box, but he could only sting Loris Karuis' palms. Mainz had their first look at goal in the 13th minute, a good run and eventual shot from Serbian Filip Djuricic, but his end product didn't trouble 'Gladbach stopper, Yann Sommer.

The deadlock was broken late in the 15th minute. After some neat play by Herrmann and Fabian Johnson the ball landed at the feet of Max Kruse, who made no mistake, volleying the ball past Karius. A great finish by the German international.

After the goal, the majority of play went through the visitors, and the away side had another effort on goal in the 23rd minute. Christoph Kramer fouled Djuricic on the edge of the box, but the resulting costless kick was tame and floated harmlessly into Sommer's hands. After this chance, the game seemed to slow down until the 30th minute when a cross from Junior Diaz struck the hand of Julian Korb. The result was a penalty to the 'O-Fives'. On second inspection, it showed that Korb was outside the area and in fact a costless kick should have been given. The resulting spot kick was expertly slotted home by on loan Jonas Hofmann, giving Sommer no chance.

The goal seemed to spark the home team into life; and it was the home team who would have the next chance. Some neat footwork from Herrmann gave the German a sight of goal. His eventual shot nearly wrong-footed Karius but the Mainz goalkeeper recovered and saved easily. The pressure looked like it would tell after Xhaka and Kramer switched the ball to Raffael inside the Mainz box. He cut inside but blazed his eventual shot into the Borussia faithful.

The first half was a mixed affair, with neither side doing enough to take the lead.

'Gladbach started the second half the better of the two and had the majority of the possession; 'Die Fohlenelf' had a few snap shots to tell for their posession but nothing that had Karius worried. But once again, as in the first half, Mainz grew into the game the longer the half went on. Summer signing Jairo did well to latch on to a long ball, but another summer signing Yann Sommer did well to deal with the danger.

Another chance came to the hosts in the 76th minute, when Max Kruse layed the ball off to Oscar Wendt who powered the ball goal-bound. Karius did well to save as at one point it looked as if he had spilled the ball.

There was a flury of action in the latter stages of the game; firstly substitute Thorgan Hazard was played through one on one but Loris Karius came out on top and denied the Belgian. The resulting aftermath led to a 'Gladbach costlesskick on the edge of the box, but Raffael could only put the ball over. It was a position former Fohlenelf favourite Juan Arango would have revelled in.

This was followed in the 88th minute by some neat work, by that man again Hazard as he squared to Raffael. He had all the goal to aim for, but could only hit the Mainz defender, Stefan Bell. Somehow 'Gladbach didn't score. Into the 3 additional minutes and once again the home side had all the pressure, but couldn't make it count.

Final score in at Borussia park was 1-1. This match ends matchday seven in the 2014/15 Bundesliga season as we go into the international break. The result sees 'Gladbach drop to 3rd, whilst Mainz climb a place to 6th.

   

  

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