Niederlechner goal seals crucial Augsburg victory at Mainz


Florian Niederlechner’s goal after just 44 seconds secured Augsburg an invaluable win in their quest for Bundesliga survival.

After 857 minutes without a Bundesliga goal, Niederlechner ensured it wouldn’t be a minute more on Sunday afternoon. The German forward latched onto a looping ball over the Mainz defence to acrobatically volley into the ground, over Florian Müller and into the net.

The home side dominated possession as they looked for a route back into the contest. Taiwo Awoniyi headed just wide before colliding heads with an Augsburg defender, forcing the on-loan Liverpool striker off on a stretcher as fan applause echoed over the tannoys at the Opel Arena.

Ruben Vargas’ had the opportunity to double Augsburg’s lead on a quick counter but the Swiss international could only drag his shot wide, Marco Richter and Niederlechner both aired their frustrations at his decision to shoot rather than pass.

Mainz had chances before the half was out, Jean-Phillipe Mateta first rounding Andreas Luthe but failing to convert, before the Frenchman was again denied when forcing Augsburg’s ‘keeper into a smart stop from a corner in added time.

Vargas had a great chance early on the second half, but his effort forced Müller into a superb save.

Despite Mainz dominance with the ball, the next big chance again fell to Augsburg and to the feet of Vargas, but the 21-year-old winger could only slide Noah Sarensen Bazee’s ball just wide of the left-hand post.

To loud boos initiated by the person controlling Mainz‘s speakers, full-back Raphael Framberger avoided a quick second yellow card for a tackle on Karim Onisiwo. The German defender was promptly substituted before he could find himself in any further trouble.

The 05ers were running out of time to find the equaliser and despite being camped in the opposition half, Achim Beierlorzer’s side were failing to create the clear-cut opportunity they craved.

Time eventually did expire for Mainz, the players and staff were visibly distraught at the result, which could now drag them back into relegation trouble.

But it’s a crucial win for Heiko Herrlich’s men. The result has moved the Fuggerstädter into 13th place and seven points above the relegation play-off places, most likely securing their Bundesliga status for next season.



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