Frankfurt and Meier extend the improbable | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 30.09.2012
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Frankfurt and Meier extend the improbable

Six games, five wins and one draw: Frankfurt's return to the Bundesliga has been nothing short of sensational. The high-flying 'Eagles' are a clear second in the league, bolstered by a 2-1 home win over feisty Freiburg.

The Sunday afternoon game had a painfully slow start but thankfully picked up in pace.

Fans in Frankfurt had to wait almost half an hour for a shot on target. When it came, it probably should have marked the lead for the hosts. Takashi Inui raced clear of the entire defense but couldn't steer his shot around Oliver Baumann, rushing out of Freiburg's goal to meet him.

Moments later, Daniel Caligiuri spurned a one-on-one at the other end, hitting the side netting from a tight angle against Kevin Trapp.

Eintracht Frankfurt's Alexander Meier (R) celebrates with team mates after winning their German first division Bundesliga soccer match against SC Freiburg in Frankfurt September 30, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Frankfurt didn't look great early in the game, but they found their feet in time

As the game rolled around the midfield, with Eintracht Frankfurt dominating possession but failing to make real inroads, the final chance of the half fell to Alexander Meier. Meier missed by inches with an acrobatic volley a couple of minutes before the break.

Referee Felix Brych appeared to have had enough as well – he allowed about three seconds of stoppage time before blowing for the interval.

Kruse breaks deadlock

Freiburg were able to find the net shortly after the restart. After Kevin Trapp parried a close-range shot from Sebastian Freis, Max Kruse was on hand to volley home the rebound and put the guests ahead with around 40 minutes left in the game.

Kevin Trapp was called back into action to stop a powerful strike from captain Julian Schuster, a moment followed almost immediately by a solid chance at the equalizer for Christian Aigner.

Target man Meier turns tide

After a pair of disallowed goals at either end, including a delicious Takashi Inui finish from his offside position on the left, Frankfurt's greater share of the ball began to bear fruit.

Eintracht Frankfurt's Alexander Meier (2nd R) celebrates his goal during their German first division Bundesliga soccer match against SC Freiburg in Frankfurt September 30, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Whether it was improvisation or inspiration, Meier's first was surely impressive

Eintracht tied it up in the 68th minute, with Alex Meier controlling a Bastian Oczipa cross and turning to volley the ball in from the edge of the box. Whether he meant to leave the ball airborne with his first touch is an open question, but once it was there, he dealt with it expertly.

Five minutes later Sebastian Jung was unable to tame a brilliant cross-field pass in time, so a promising Frankfurt break only yielded a corner.

From that set piece, however, Meier was on hand to again show his aerial presence. Meier rose highest in the box to head home another Oczipa delivery.

Frankfurt, who returned to the Bundesliga this season after a year in the doldrums, are unbeaten in six Bundesliga games. Only perfect Bayern Munich have a better record. The side remains second in the table, ahead of reigning champions Dortmund.

Wolves at the door

Adam Szalai celebrates his goal - Mainz's second - with a clenched fist. (Photo: dpa)

Adam Szalai has three goals in six league games for Mainz this season

Wolfsburg's lackluster start continued on home soil against Mainz on Sunday evening. Mainz scored twice, somewhat against the run of play, in the opening period and managed to keep a clean sheet at their end of the pitch. Summer signing Junior Diaz headed home the first from a long free kick, and then Adam Szalai volleyed in an Andreas Ivanschitz cross about 10 minutes before the break.

Wolfsburg dominated much of the match and all of the second half - boasting 66 percent of possession to prove it - with Vierinha, Diego, Ivica Olic and even defender Naldo all spurning excellent chances.

Wolfsburg, who sink to 16th with that defeat, are yet to win at home in the league this season. The Wolves' first home game was a 4-0 defeat against Hannover, and then a 1-1 draw with lowly Greuther Fürth. Mainz, meanwhile, climb up to 11th in the table - bouncing back effectively from their 3-0 road defeat to Schalke on Tuesday evening.