Mainz survive late PK scare to claim derby spoils over Darmstadt


Darmstadt forward Sandro Wagner missed a penalty with the last kick of the game as visiting Mainz won their Bundesliga derby 3-2 on Friday.

Mainz midfielder Stefan Bell opened the scoring with a header from a free kick in the 15th minute. Eight minutes later Yunus Malli made it 2-0 with his sixth goal of the season.

Marcel Heller pulled one back with an outstanding strike in the 27th. The Darmstadt forward had his back to goal, turned one way then another to evade two defenders before hitting a dipping shot into the top right corner.

Marco Sailer equalized in the 57th, only for Pablo de Blasis to claim the winner seven minutes later on the rebound after Japan striker Yoshinori Muto’s initial effort was saved.

Wagner had the chance to claim a draw for Darmstadt when Luca Caldirola went down under Gonzalo Jara’s challenge in the fourth minute of injury time, but the forward blazed the ball well over from the spot.

”We’d have gladly taken the point if it had gone in, but if we’re being honest it wasn’t really deserved,” Darmstadt coach Dirk Schuster said. TV replays showed there had been little contact for the foul and Mainz was on top for most of the game.

It was only the second defeat for Darmstadt on its return to the Bundesliga after 33 years.

”We’ll get up again, that’s our mentality,” said Sailer, who vowed not to shave off his full beard until the side had secured Bundesliga survival at least.

Mainz climbed provisionally fifth ahead of the rest of the eighth round.