Terzic fuming after Dortmund suffer defeat at Mainz

13 May 2024

MAINZ: Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund deserved their 3-0 defeat at Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga as they lack the drive to achieve consistency in their performance, manager Edin Terzic said.

Lee Jae-Sung scored a brace after Leandro Barreiro had opened the scoring to hammer Dortmund 3-0.

Terzic’s side had the opportunity to sink Mainz into the relegation zone but Mainz climbed up to 15th place, two points clear of the relegation play-off spot they previously occupied.

Terzic had said he wanted his team to maintain their intensity levels after Tuesday’s 2-0 aggregate win over Paris St Germain set them up for the June 1 final of Europe’s top club competition against Real Madrid.

“Let’s let Paris be Paris and talk about last week and this week,” Terzic told reporters. “We were the team that were always late to the ball and always losing out in the tackles.

“That’s why it was a deserved defeat. Mainz fought for every inch, didn’t give us any peace in possession, whereas we did.

“We demonstrated that we could play really good and mature football, but we didn’t prove it regardless of the opponent, competition, weekday and stadium and this is what makes me angry...

“There’s so much inside of us and we can’t get it onto the pitch every time.”

Dortmund’s fifth position has secured their Champions League participation next season. They host bottom side Darmstadt 98 in their last league game next weekend.

Dortmund now sit four points behind fourth-place RB Leipzig, who drew 1-1 with Werder Bremen earlier on Saturday.

But one spot behind Dortmund in sixth, Eintracht Frankfurt are a distance adrift of Terzic’s side, and drew 1-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach in their penultimate match of the season.

At the other end of the table, Mainz’s victory leaves Union Berlin, who squandered a 2-0 lead at Cologne earlier in the day to lose 3-2, languishing in the thick of the relegation fight.

Cologne teenager Damion Downs came off the bench to score a 92nd-minute winner, keeping their hopes of a miraculous great escape alive.

Union had raced into a 2-0 lead inside 19 minutes with Robin Knoche’s thumping header and Kevin Volland’s penalty putting the Berliners in complete control.

A Florian Kainz penalty shortly before half-time gave Cologne hope but Union’s lead remained intact until the 87th minute, when Cologne staged a stunning turnaround.

Steffen Tigges scored from close range to make it 2-2 and, with Union still reeling, 19-year-old substitute Downs converted Linton Maina’s cross to raise the roof and give his side an invaluable win.

But Mainz’s victory means the best Cologne can hope for on the final day is to secure a relegation play-off place at Union’s expense.

Union, who started the season in the Champions League but are now on a miserable run of two points from their last seven games, face a tricky season finale against Freiburg — who remained in the last European spot after drawing 1-1 against Heidenheim on Saturday.

Cologne travel to Heidenheim on the last day needing to muster another victory and hope that Freiburg win in Berlin.

Goal difference and goals scored would also come into play in this scenario, with Cologne needing a four-goal swing to finish above Union.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2024

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