Mainz, Hanover share Bundesliga spoils

Mainz and Hanover 96 both remain unbeaten in the Bundesliga after playing out a scoreless draw on Sunday.

AFP| Last Updated: Aug 31, 2014, 22:00 PM IST
Mainz, Hanover share Bundesliga spoils

Berlin: Mainz and Hanover 96 both remain unbeaten in the Bundesliga after playing out a scoreless draw on Sunday.

Mainz had more of the game in the first half but Hanover striker Joselu went closest to scoring before Hiroshi Kiyotake had a shot cleared off the line for the visitors in the second half.

Ja-Cheol Koo, who scored an injury-time penalty in Mainz`s draw at Paderborn on the opening day, had a decent appeal for another spot-kick turned down on 13 minutes after a challenge from Leonardo Bittencourt.

Two minutes later the South Korean midfielder sent in a fantastic left-wing cross that was headed dangerously across goal by Christoph Moritz.

Shinji Okazaki fired wide from a tight angle inside the box and the Japanese striker then had his own appeal for a penalty waved away by referee Sascha Stegemann after going to ground under Hanover defender Marcelo.

Mainz`s top scorer from last season was a constant menace and his cross from the right on 34 minutes was perfectly weighted for the onrushing Julian Baumgartlinger.

The Austrian midfielder was unable to provide what would have been a spectactular finish, however, as he sidefooted his volley from just inside the penalty area went well wide of goal.

Hanover, who beat Schalke last weekend, almost broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half after a botched clearance from Stefan Bell fell to Kiyotake.

The Japanese midfielder showed good footwork to create some space before drilling a shot towards the corner - Mainz thankful that Moritz was on the line to clear.

Joselu had a chance to win it with 13 minutes left but, after Artur Sobiech picked him out in the area, he couldn`t direct the ball beyond Karius.

Moritz curled over the bar as Mainz finished strongly but both sides had to settle for a point.

On Saturday evening, Xabi Alonso made his Bayern Munich debut and Robert Lewandowski scored his first goal for the club as the defending champions drew 1-1 at Schalke 04.

The result means that Bayer Leverkusen sit top of the fledgling table following their 4-2 home win over Hertha Berlin.

On Friday, Borussia Dortmund held off a late comeback to beat Augsburg 3-2 in what was their first league win of the new campaign.