Mainz, Hoffenheim share the spoils
Markus Babbel had to settle for point on his home debut as Hoffenheim coach, with Mohamed Zidan's equaliser earning Mainz a 1-1 draw in tonight's Bundesliga match at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
Mainz defender Nikolce Noveski gave the hosts the lead with a ninth-minute own-goal, but Zidan levelled 20 minutes later to earn Thomas Tuchel's side their third consecutive 1-1 draw. The result lifted Hoffenheim above Hamburg and into the top ten, while Mainz also climbed a position to replace Cologne in 12th spot.
Hoffenheim took the lead in the ninth minute when Boris Vukcevic's cross was put into his own goal by Noveski, who also put through his own net in his side's 4-0 defeat in the reverse fixture. Srdjan Lakic missed a good chance to make it two just over five minutes later, shooting wide from a tight angle.
Zidan then extended his record of having scored in every game since returning to Mainz this winter to bring Mainz level in the 29th minute. Radoslav Zabavnik sent in a cross from the left which was met by the Egyptian, who scored from close range.
Babbel sent Ryan Babel on after an hour and, within seconds of taking to the field, he sent a shot wide of the post.
Hoffenheim posed a greater threat in the final 20 minutes, but they were unable to break down a Mainz side who seemed happy to sit back and settle for another point which takes them six points clear of the relegation zone.