Schalke celebrate first win since January: Mainz secure late triumph

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Schalke's Suat Serdar (C) battles for the ball with Augsburg's Carlos Gruezo Arvoleda (L) and Felix Uduokhai during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and FC Augsburg at Veltins Arena. Photo: Bernd Thissen/dpa - IMPORTANT NOTICE: DFL and DFB regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video.
Schalke's Suat Serdar (C) battles for the ball with Augsburg's Carlos Gruezo Arvoleda (L) and Felix Uduokhai during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and FC Augsburg at Veltins Arena. Photo: Bernd Thissen/dpa - IMPORTANT NOTICE: DFL and DFB regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video.

(dpa) – An early goal by Suat Serdar on Sunday put an end to Schalke’s 12-game run of winless Bundesliga matches and secured the team their first win since January.

In the direct relegation clash, Mainz have secured a late 3-2 win at Cologne to move two points above the drop zone.

Birthday boy Serdar’s goal in the fourth minute, Schalke’s first at home in six games, was enough to secure a 1-0 triumph over Augsburg.

Schalke, however, remain bottom of the table and with a very complicated mission to avoid relegation, sitting 13 points away from safety.

“We deserved the win, I deserved the goal. We all fought and supported each other, that’s the only way to succeed,” Serdar summed up.

Augsburg are 11th, six points above the drop zone and coach Heiko Herrlich recognized the team are now “of course under more pressure.”

Earlier this season, Schalke went on a winless run of 30 games, narrowly avoiding Tasmania Berlin’s league record of 31 thanks to a 4-0 victory over Hoffenheim and a Matthew Hoppe hat-trick in January.

“We’re brutally happy that we can enjoy the feeling of victory. It’s probably a feeling like being in love for the first time,” coach Dimitrios Grammozis said after his first win with the team.

Mainz opened the scoring at Cologne after Jean-Paul Boetius scored his first goal of the season, but Ondrej Duda equalized for the hosts from the spot shortly before the break.

It was then Cologne who took the lead thanks to Ellyes Skhiri effort in the 61st minute, but celebrations didn’t last long as Karim Onisiwo levelled things up again four minutes later.

But just when it seemed like the teams would take one point each, Mainz came back on injury time to clinch the three points. Leandro Barreiro slotted it home in the 92nd minute to secure the win.

“A great game,” a happy Barreiro told broadcasters Sky.

Mainz moved up to 14th place and sit two points above the relegation zone.

Cologne dropped to 17th, in the direct relegation places, and left the play-off spot, now occupied by Bielefeld with a three-point advantage.

Coach Markus Gisdol said he was “of course disappointed” and about his possible dismissal “he’s not expecting anything, I’m trying to comfort my boys.”

On Monday, Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen close matchday 28.

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