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Post-match report

The rub of the green can also be earned

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92 minutes and 24 seconds had been played in Mainz when Giovanni Reyna prodded Sébastien Haller's flick-on over the line to make it 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund. Mats Hummels was the first to congratulate him, having sprinted over from the bench to join in the Black & Yellow celebrations.

Shortly afterwards, the World Cup winner ran back to the bench, pulled off his training top mid-sprint and came on for Julian Brandt, who had delivered the corner that sealed the win, before Mainz took the kick-off. He then won three (!) aerial battles in the box, before the referee's whistle finally signalled that the five minutes of stoppage time were up.

Terzic had already explained Hummels' surprising omission from the starting XI in a TV interview prior to kick-off: "Mats took a knock in the game against Augsburg. He has indicated that he's okay but we don't want to take any risks." He then turned his attentions to the late winning goal, saying: "When you see the passion with which Mainz were defending – exactly as Augsburg did at the weekend – then it gets a bit more difficult in terms of energy levels towards the end of the game. If we then bring fresh legs onto the pitch, perhaps we can take advantage of that." The coach went on to cite an example: "Karim Adeyemi performed really well in the first half, he was always accelerating, causing danger and relieving the pressure. He might not have scored a goal or contributed an assist, but he played a part in making the opponent tired and no longer able to concentrate at some point."

With exactly 91 minutes and 51 seconds on the clock, Gregor Kobel played a long ball forward. Haller flicked it on into the path of Brandt. A Mainz player could only put it out for a corner rather than a throw. And that corner led to the victory. "It doesn't always have to be beautiful," said Reyna, the scorer of the winner, afterwards. Within the space of three days, he has scored his first two goals ever as a substitute: the goals for 4-3 against Augsburg on Saturday and 2-1 in Mainz yesterday. "It was amazing. These wins give you the best feeling. When you come off the bench, you want to make the difference in a game like this." Edin Terzic echoed that sentiment: "We're the team with the most substitute goals. That's what we want: for the lads who come onto the pitch later on to be able to be decisive for us. There are people who start the game; there are people who end the game; and there are people who decide the game."
Boris Rupert