BERLIN – Mainz suffered a blow in their fight against Bundesliga relegation when they meekly lost 2-0 at Augsburg on Sunday.
Sandro Schwarz’s side were beaten for the first time in four games to remain fourth from bottom, five points above second-bottom SV Hamburg in the automatic relegation places with three games left.
Mainz are level on points with VfL Wolfsburg and Freiburg, who occupy the relegation playoff spot on goal difference.
Wolfsburg, who next host Hamburg, lost 3-0 at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday, while Freiburg lost 1-0 at Hamburg on Saturday for their fifth straight defeat.
Bottom side Cologne, four points worse off than Hamburg, host Schalke in Sunday’s late game, but their relegation cannot be confirmed this weekend.
Mainz came into the Augsburg game on a high after Monday’s 2-0 win over Freiburg, which came in part thanks to a penalty awarded via the video assistant after the halftime whistle.
But the feel-good factor was soon lacking at mid-table Augsburg when Alfred Finnbogason fed Michael Gregoritsch on the half-hour, and the Austria forward took his time to finish with aplomb.
The second came via Iceland striker Finnbogason in stoppage time after Mainz goalkeeper Rene Adler had gone up field to try to help the attack.
Adler wandered back slowly despite Augsburg’s quick break. The hosts almost wasted their chance with no goalkeeper in place as they took their time, but Finnbogason eventually slammed home.
“The first half was simply not the performance we hoped for,” Adler told reporters. “The fact of the matter is we need to defend better. We didn’t show enough urgency today, and wasted a huge opportunity.”
Mainz offered little in attack and will need to improve if they are to take points at home to faltering RB Leipzig next Sunday.