“I let my team down today.”

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Germany: Bundesliga

Greuther Fürth J. Dudziak (12), S. Bell (66)

Sportpark Ronhof Thomas SommerFull time2-1

Mainz 05 K. Onisiwo (90)

By Peter Vice

SpVgg Greuther Fürth trainer Stefan Leitl suddenly finds himself in the position of having good news to discuss. 

Meanwhile, FSV Mainz 05 trainer Bo Svensson was left to lament his match-ban after his Nullfünfter lost to the league’s last-placed team. 

Bo Svensson.
Bo Svensson. Photo: GEPA Pictures/Wolfgang Jannach

A squad many consider to be the worst ever to contest Germany’s top footballing division are suddenly within very faint striking distance of the relegation playoff place following just their second win of the season. The Kleeblätter of Fürth capitalized on some sluggish, sloppy, and generally unfocused play by visiting FSV Mainz 05 to grab an early lead in the form of a 12th minute Jeremy Dudziak goal.

The Bundesliga’s last-placed team had some luck on their side, but generally played much more courageously and organized than their guests. After the full-time whistle, Greuther Fürth trainer Stefan Leitl was given the exceedingly rare opportunity to reflect upon three well-deserved points. The 44-year-old coupled his remarks with a smile not seen from him all year.

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“We began the game very well and were disciplined and compact in the second-half,” Leitl noted in his post-match interview, “Overall it was a good performance against a good team. The fact that we’ve taken five points from the first three matches of the second half [of the season] feels very good.”

As absurd as it feels even typing the words, SpVgg Greuther Fürth are on a four-game-unbeaten run and undefeated in calendar year 2022. Mainz, meanwhile, have just one win from their last five and must contemplate this loss on top of the very disappointing cup exit midweek.

Bo Svensson, who was not on the sideline to coach his team following a suspension incurred last week, didn’t mince words. In point of fact, the Danish trainer reversed his nonchalant attitude toward the suspension expressed last week.

“We entered this match very poorly in terms of our attitude,” the gaffer noted afterwards, “That was a deserved defeat today. Of course, it’s not ideal when I’m not standing there, but that’s not an excuse. I also let my team down to a certain extent today. I’m extremely disappointed.”

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Greuther Fürth
(4-3-1-2)
30 Sascha Burchert
18 Marco Meyerhöfer
22 Sebastian Griesbeck
24 Nick Viergever
15 Jetro Willems ↪69
33 Paul Seguin
13 Max Christiansen
21 Timothy Tillman ↪85
28 Jeremy Dudziak ↪77
10 Branimir Hrgota (C)
40 Jamie Leweling ↪84
Bench
26 Andreas Linde
9 Afimico Pululu
11 Dickson Abiama ↩85
16 Håvard Nielsen ↩77
2 Simon Asta
4 Maximilian Bauer ↩84
23 Gideon Jung
27 Gian-Luca Itter ↩69
Mainz 05
(3-5-2)
27 Robin Zentner
4 Jeremiah St. Juste
16 Stefan Bell ↪66
19 Moussa Niakhate (C)
30 Silvan Widmer ↪80
8 Leandro Barreiro
6 Anton Stach ↪72
7 Lee Jae-Sung ↪72
3 Aarón Martín ↪66
29 Jonathan Burkardt
9 Karim Onisiwo
Bench
1 Finn Dahmen
18 Daniel Brosinski ↩80
23 Anderson-Lenda Lucoqui
34 David Nemeth
42 Alexander Hack ↩66
5 Jean-Paul Boëtius ↩66
22 Kevin Stöger ↩72
24 Merveille Papela
26 Paul Nebel ↩72

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