Mainz beats Frankfurt 2-1 amid protests against Monday games
BERLIN (AP) — Mainz defeated local rival Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in a derby game delayed by flares and marked by more protests against the unpopular Monday night games in the Bundesliga.
Frankfurt’s Dominik Kohr was sent off before the break and Mainz came back with two second-half goals to give new coach Achim Beierlorzer his second win from two games.
Kickoff was delayed after flares from the Frankfurt fans’ end landed on the pitch, sending plumes of smoke billowing through the stadium and prompting referee Manuel Gräfe to lead the players back off the pitch. Frankfurt captain Sebastian Rode and teammate Filip Kostic approached the team’s fans to ask if they were done, but another flare landed on the pitch once they left.
Gräfe finally started the game 11 minutes late, but the atmosphere remained uncharacteristically quiet for the first 15 minutes and 30 seconds with fans staying silent to show their ongoing disapproval of Monday night games.
Every Monday night game in the Bundesliga has been marked by protests this season.
A giant banner in front of Mainz fans said: “Saturday, three thirty: football, bratwurst, beer.”
The stadium announcer warned fans to be careful because the protective net behind the goal had to be removed due to damage from the pyrotechnics.
Martin Hinteregger broke the deadlock in the 34th after Mainz failed to clear a corner, but Frankfurt lost Kohr 10 minutes later for bringing down Leven Öztunali when the midfielder was through on goal.
An own goal from Hinteregger drew the home side level in the 50th, when he defected Jeremiah St. Juste’s wayward shot inside the left post.
Karim Onisiwo thought he’d scored Mainz’s second goal three minute later, but it was chalked off through VAR as the ball went out of play in the buildup.
Mainz kept pushing, however, and Adam Szalai scored what proved to the winner in the 69th.
Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP