German Bundesliga report: Schmidt wins first Mainz game
Last Updated: 21/02/15 4:43pm
Mainz halted their slide towards the Bundesliga relegation zone with Martin Schmidt celebrating a 3-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in his first game in charge of the club.
Schmidt, who took over from the sacked Kasper Hjulmand earlier this week, saw his side fall behind to a Stefan Aigner goal, but Christian Clemens brought the hosts level.
Johannes Geis and Yunus Malli scored the goals early in the second half which earned Mainz a much-needed win while Frankfurt ended the game with 10 men after Carlos Zambrano took the derby rivalry too far.
Schmidt's plea for passion and determination from his side appeared to have got through to his players, who had a good early chance to take the lead with Julian Baumgartlinger's shot saved by Kevin Trapp.
They seemed at times to be a little too keen to impress, though, often playing the ball too hastily and not necessarily getting anywhere with it.
Frankfurt, on the other hand, played more defensively, until a counter-attack saw them take the lead 10 minutes before half-time.
Haris Seferovic delivered a perfectly weighted pass for Aigner, who beat Loris Karius with his shot from a tight angle.
Mainz needed only three minutes to level, though, with Shinji Okazaki bursting through before, rather than shooting, unselfishly playing the ball to Clemens who could hardly miss the open goal.
Mainz took the lead early in the second half when Geis showed how dangerous he can be from the set-piece, curling his effort into the side of the goal which the wall was meant to be covering with Trapp unable to get more than his fingers to the ball.
Three minutes later, Mainz doubled their advantage with Pablo De Blasis getting past Timothy Chandler and sending the ball in for Malli, who picked his spot in the bottom right-hand corner.
Alexander Madlung should have pulled a goal back for Frankfurt after an hour, but he headed over an open goal from Marc Stendera's cross
Frankfurt then started collecting yellow cards with Zambrano earning his second of the game in the 83rd minute, effectively ending his side's hopes of a recovery.