Tue, Aug 23, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Die Konigsblauen rally from two down to beat Mainz

AFP, BERLIN

FSV Mainz 05’s Elkin Soto, left, scores past Schalke 04 goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann in their Bundesliga match at the Coface Arena in Mainz, Germany, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Schalke 04 scored four second-half goals to come from 2-0 down to seal a 4-2 victory at FSV Mainz 05 on Sunday after Spanish striker Raul had earlier committed his future to the club.

Raul said he would see out his contract, which expires in June next year, ending rumors he was set to quit last season’s Champions League semi-finalists.

Schalke’s win took them to fourth in the Bundesliga table and denied Mainz both a third straight victory and top spot.

Mainz looked to have wrapped up the three points in the first half when striker Andreas Ivanschitz and midfielder Elkin Soto scored within the opening 12 minutes, but Schalke roared back with four goals in 33 second-half minutes through Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, captain Benedikt Hoewedes, Cameroon midfielder Joel Matip and Austria leftback Christian Fuchs.

“Even if it sounds stupid, we only started playing well after we did nothing in the first half an hour,” Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick said. “We were unemotional and lethargic, but the team produced a reaction and were rewarded for it.”

Mainz goalkeeper Heinz Mueller was far from amused.

“If you dominate a game and lead 2-0, then you have to win the match. There can be no excuse,” Mueller said.

Hannover 96 went second in the table behind surprise early leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach after being held 1-1 at home by Hertha BSC Berlin.

A free-kick from midfielder Sergio Pinto on 33 minutes put Hannover ahead, before Berlin teenager Pierre-Michel Lasogga equalized in the 83rd minute.

Hannover were refused a late winner after defender Christian Pander drilled a long-range free-kick that flew into the Hertha net, but referee Robert Hartmann refused to let the goal stand, even though no off-side was flagged.

’Gladbach, who hammered VfL Wolfsburg 4-1 on Friday, stay top by virtue of goal difference, while Bavarian giants Bayern Munich are third after Saturday’s 5-0 hammering of Hamburg SV.

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