Borussia Dortmund survived a first-half onslaught as they scored twice in the second half to beat an unfortunate FSV Mainz 05 2-0 at the Opel Arena on Tuesday.
Mainz 0 Borussia Dortmund 2
- Serdar hits crossbar for hosts
- Aubameyang shoots wide
- Papastathopoulos taps home opener
- Kagawa doubles lead late on
The hosts were all over a passive Dortmund in the first period as Suat Serdar hit the bar before Abdou Diallo went close with a header. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck wide on a rare counter but it ended 0-0 at the break.
BVB showed more cutting edge in the second 45 minutes and it paid dividends as Sokratis Papastathopoulos struck the opening goal in the 55th minute. Shinji Kagawa sealed the deal at the death with an easy finish from Aubameyang's assist.
Mainz made an aggressive start and came close to scoring in the seventh minute. When Serdar brought the ball down brilliantly, his subsequent strike left Roman Burki rooted to the spot as his ferocious effort crashed against the bar.
Despite Dortmund's dominance of possession, they were rarely threatening in the final third. As a result, Serdar was not far away again in the 13th minute. From a cross from the left, he volleyed over from relatively close range where he may have done better.
BVB seemed to be clearly lacking confidence and Diallo again went close for Mainz. Had his header from a cross on the left hit the target inside the box, Bürki seemed set to have little chance of making a save. Nonetheless, virtually out of nothing Aubameyang threatened. After being played onside by Diallo, the prolific forward stretched to get a strike away but it went wide just before the break.
After the interval, the visitors took an unlikely lead after an opening 45 minutes where they were largely passive. When Omer Toprak's header from a corner rattled off the woodwork, Papastathopoulos tapped home from close range in the 55th minute.
Peter Stoger's side were much better in the second half and Raphaël Guerreiro got on the end of Andriy Yarmolenko's lovely back-heel, but saw his strike from a tight angle well saved by Robin Zentner soon after.
Mainz were offering little in attack as Dortmund seemed more likely to grab a second. In the 80th minute, Yarmolenko again showed quality to find Kagawa, though the Japan international was denied by a superb block from point-blank range by Zentner.
However, Kagawa made it 2-0 just before the end from Aubameyang's superb assist.