Bizarre penalty helps Mainz past rel­e­ga­tion foes Freiburg

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

BER­LIN: A bizarrely awarded penalty and a goal­keep­ing howler helped Mainz to a vi­tal 2-0 vic­tory over Bun­desliga rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals Freiburg on Mon­day.

Fol­low­ing a nervy first half, Mainz took the lead in cu­ri­ous cir­cum­stances when they were given a penalty by Video As­sis­tant Ref­eree sys­tem (VAR) af­ter the ref­eree had al­ready blown for half-time.

Freiburg’s Marc-Oliver Kempf was ruled to have han­dled the ball sec­onds be­fore the whis­tle, and he and his team­mates were called back from the dress­ing room for the penalty to be taken.

Pablo De Bla­sis kept his cool from 12 yards to give Mainz the lead.

“It leaves a bit­ter taste, but we have to ac­cept it with a heavy heart,” Freiburg sport­ing di­rec­tor Jochen Saier told Eu­rosport at half-time.

“We were un­der the im­pres­sion that, when the ref­eree blows for half-time, that’s it.”

The con­fu­sion con­tin­ued af­ter the break, as fans threw toi­let rolls onto the pitch in protest against Mon­day night games, de­lay­ing the restart by sev­eral min­utes.

Mainz re­mained the stronger team in the sec­ond half, and De Bla­sis wrapped up vic­tory 11 min­utes from time af­ter an em­bar­rass­ing er­ror from Alexan­der Sch­wolow.

The Freiburg keeper gifted Mainz pos­ses­sion in­side his own penalty area, and Colin Quai­son squared the ball to pro­vide De Bla­sis with an open goal.

The win saw Mainz move out of the bot­tom three for the first time since Jan­uary, draw­ing level on points with Freiburg, who drop down into the rel­e­ga­tion play-off place.

REUTERS

Mainz’s Pablo De Bla­sis scores the team’s first goal from a penalty.

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