Mainz held on to beat Nürnberg 2-1 Friday afternoon for their fifth win on the season. They move into 5th place in the table, while Nürnberg received their sixth loss in their last eight matches.
The hosts controlled the majority of the first half and jumped out to an early two goal lead after only twenty minutes. Nürnberg pegged one back just before halftime
Nikolai Müller broke down the right flank after receiving a pass from Bo Svenson. After no pressure was applied by the Nürnberg defense, Müller dribbled into the penalty area and ripped his shot past Peter Rakovsky for the 1-0 lead. Andreas Ivanschitz made it 2-0 after 20 minutes when he stumbled through the penalty area before beating Rakovsky with a low effort.
Nürnberg came close to pulling one back in the 35th minute, but Per Nilsson's header from Hiroshi Kiyotake's free kick was just wide of the goal. Five minutes later, the two would hook up for a goal. Kiyotake sent in another free kick, and Nilsson headed this one by Christian Wetklo to make it 2-1 at the half.
Jan Kirchhoff scored Mainz's third goal in the 68th minute, but it was called back for offside. Nürnberg played much better throughout the second half, but were unable to find their way back into the match.