Schwarz: Penalty played into our hands

1. FSV Mainz 05 manager Sandro Schwarz says the controversial penalty awarded to his side in their 2-0 defeat of SC Freiburg on Monday ‘played things into our hands’.

Both teams had already made their way down the tunnel following the half-time whistle but were called back to the pitch by referee Guido Winkmann after reviewing a late incident.

With the use of the video assistant referee (VAR), the official awarded a spot-kick for handball by Marc-Oliver Kempf, that Pablo de Blasis converted for a 1-0 lead.

De Blasis added a second from open play on 78 minutes to hand Mainz a massive three points in their battle for survival.

After the game, Schwarz told the club’s official website: “We found it hard to get going and lost the ball too many times. We weren’t quite putting what we had planned into practice and we were only really creating a threat from set pieces. We had a lot of possession but were lacking that cutting edge.

“Then we got the penalty, which played things into our hands. After the break, we had about a 15 or 20 minute period which was our best of the game. But when you don’t score off the back of a period like that, you have to be careful.

“Pablo’s second blew things wide open, but we still had to be on our toes. I’m really happy with the boys’ performance today and I think that we deserved to win when all was said and done.”

Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier added on Eurosport: “It leaves a bitter taste.

“We were under the impression that when the referee blows for half-time that’s it.”

The result saw Mainz move above Freiburg on goal difference, some eight points clear of automatic relegation with Freiburg in the relegation play-off spot in 16th.