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Bundesliga

Bojan Krkic enters the fray as Mainz show their mettle

Martin Schmidt's side went into this game without a victory in 2017 and only a single goal to their names since the winter break. They looked more like their old selves again as they moved back into the top half.

Mainz 2-0 Augsburg
(Öztunali 31', Jairo pen 62')

After three games without a victory following the winter break, Mainz really needed to return to winning ways against Augsburg.

Martin Schmidt's side had only managed a single goal in 180 minutes of football since returning from warm weather training in Marbella, and it was clear to see where his side need to improve.

After toothless displays against Cologne, Dortmund and the crushing defeat last weekend at Hoffenheim, Schmidt finally found space for loan signing Bojan Krkic in his starting XI. Suddenly his side possessed the kind of attacking threat they had been with Yunus Malli in the side.

Bojan showed some neat touches and clever runs and fitted nicely into the team, linking well with his teammates on a full debut he can be satisfied with. It was winger Jhon Cordoba who caused Augsburg the most problems on the night though. The visitors never got to grips with his darting runs down the left flank, and the Colombian played a key role in both goals.

Bundesliga 1. FSV Mainz 05 v FC Augsburg Jubel Öztunali (Getty Images/Bongarts/S. Hofmann)

Levin Öztunali celebrates scoring the opener for Mainz

His cushioned header for Levin Öztunali was perfectly weighted and the German under-21 player did the rest, heading in to cap a fine counter-attack. The goal was richly deserved, with Mainz making all the early running and limiting Augsburg to just a couple of half chances.

Augsburg, who have failed to beat Mainz in six attempts in the Bundesliga, started the second half positively, but that man Cordoba proved the thorn in their side once again. His strong run into the box could only be halted by a reckless challenge by goalkeeper Marwin Hinz in the box. Hinz had to be treated for a head injury but got up to face the resulting spot kick, only for Jairo to dink a cheeky penalty down the middle.

There was to be no rousing comeback for Augsburg this time, with Mainz's stubborn defence proving a sterner test than Werder Bremen last weekend.

Mainz have struggled to juggle the dual demands of the Bundesliga and Europa League this season, but with only domestic games now in the diary, Schmidt's side will be hoping this result can be the catalyst for a drive up the table.

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