In a thrilling Bundesliga encounter, Mainz emerged victorious with a 2-0 win over relegation rivals Freiburg on Monday. However, despite the crucial victory, Nigeria defender Leon Balogun has warned his Mainz teammates not to let their guard down, urging them to remain focused on the task ahead.
The win propelled Mainz out of the relegation zone, albeit only on goal difference. Balogun, who marked his 75th Bundesliga appearance for the club, emphasized the importance of enjoying the victory while remaining vigilant.
The match took an unexpected turn when, just before half-time, referee Guido Winkmann called both sides back onto the pitch after consulting the video assistant referee (VAR) system. The decision resulted in a penalty awarded to Mainz, as Freiburg was penalized for handball. Pablo De Blasis confidently stepped up to take the spot-kick, beating Alexander Schwolow in the seventh minute of stoppage time to open the scoring for Mainz. De Blasis later sealed the win, securing Mainz’s first victory in seven games.
Reflecting on the triumph, Balogun took to Twitter, acknowledging the team’s effort and the incredible support from the fans. He wrote, “When that Monday feeling hits you, well done lads, great fight from the whole team and amazing support from the fans. Let’s enjoy the moment and take a small breather before we get back to work again. Nothing gained yet – it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
Mainz currently occupies 15th place in the German Bundesliga, edging above Freiburg on goal difference. Furthermore, they are now eight points clear of the automatic relegation spot. This victory serves as a significant boost for Mainz’s survival hopes, but Balogun’s cautionary words highlight the need for continued dedication and hard work in the remaining fixtures.
As Mainz basks in the glory of their well-deserved win, the team and its fans remain aware that the battle for survival is far from over. The players must maintain their focus and determination as they strive to secure their place in the Bundesliga for another season.