Mario Gotze Header Sends Eintracht Frankfurt Past Mainz

Mario Goetze of Eintracht Frankfurt scores their sides first goal past Robin Zentner of 1.FSV Mainz 05 during the Bundesliga match between Eintracht Frankfurt and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Deutsche Bank Park on January 26, 2024 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

A second-half header from Mario Goetze lifted Eintracht Frankfurt to a 1-0 win over derby rivals Mainz on Friday, keeping the home side in touch with the European placings. 

Germany's World Cup hero from 2014 put Frankfurt in front with just over a quarter of an hour remaining, heading in the rebound from his own shot. Goetze appeared to be offside but his first goal of the season survived a lengthy VAR review, with images showing a deflection off a Mainz player. 

Goetze last scored a header almost two years ago, telling DAZN "it's not really my speciality. With my height, I don't score that many, but I'll take it."

Goetze toasted the career of former mentor Jurgen Klopp, who announced Friday he would step down as Liverpool coach at season's end. 

Goetze, who played under Klopp at Dortmund, described the coach as "consistently incredible."

"I know him well and had an excellent time with him."
Frankfurt had the better of a dour first-half, Eric Junior Dina Embibe and Ansgar Knauff failing to convert half-chances. 

Goetze was however on the spot to give Frankfurt the lead, the 1.76-metre tall midfielder scoring a rare header to keep his side's unbeaten record in 2024 intact.
"It worked out with the win," Frankfurt captain Kevin Trapp told DAZN. 

"But I don't know whether it was a good match. It was a very tough game with hardly any chances to score."

"There were times when we didn't win games like that."

"It's really frustrating," Mainz's Dominik Kohr said, "that a shot which actually wasn't that dangerous fell at the feet of Mario Goetze, who could bang the thing in."
The victory consolidated Frankfurt's grip on sixth place, two points and one spot behind fifth-placed Borussia Dortmund, who face Bochum at home on Sunday. 

Despite the win, it was an unhappy night for Manchester United loanee Donny van de Beek, who was pulled off at half-time after a largely anonymous outing.

The loss continued 16th-placed Mainz's poor season. Mainz have won just one of 18 games this season and could finish the round in last place should results go against them. 

On Saturday, injury-hit Bayern Munich travel to Bavarian neighbours Augsburg, hoping to keep pace with league leaders Bayer Leverkusen. 

Leverkusen, who are still unbeaten this season and sit four points clear of Bayern, are in action at home against Borussia Moenchengladbach in Saturday's evening's match.

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