Mainz stuns Leverkusen 3-2 to stoke local carnival party
BERLIN (AP) — Patrik Schick’s 20th Bundesliga goal of the season wasn’t enough to stop Bayer Leverkusen slumping to a 3-2 loss at Mainz on Friday.
The home team – wearing a special colorful jersey for the local carnival celebrations – twice came from behind and ended Leverkusen’s high-scoring run before Marcus Ingvartsen scored the late winner.
The Danish forward was surrounded by a host of defenders when he drew the ball back with his right boot and prodded it home with his left in the 88th minute.
Leverkusen had been hoping to consolidate third place and put pressure on Borussia Dortmund in second after scoring at least four goals in each of its previous three games.
The visitors looked to be on track again when Schick scored 10 minutes before the interval with the help of a deflection off Mainz captain Moussa Niakhaté.
Only Robert Lewandowski has more goals (26) than Schick across any of Europe’s top five leagues.
An intensive first half ended with a flare-up between rival players as they left the field following heated words between Kerem Demirbay and Niakhaté.
The ill will continued after the break, when play was frequently interrupted by the referee’s whistle.
Spanish defender Aaron Martin Caricol equalized with a perfectly placed free kick in the 57th, awarded after Demirbay was penalized for an apparent foul on Dominik Kohr, though it looked like the Leverkusen midfielder got the ball.
Another free kick from Aaron led to another goal two minutes later, headed in by Karim Onisiwo, but it was ruled out through VAR.
It was a let off for Leverkusen, and the visitors took full advantage through Lucas Alario in the 74th.
Alario had the chance to seal the result but Mainz ’keeper Robin Zentner got the better of their one-on-one.
Leverkusen would rue the miss when substitute Jean-Paul Boetius equalized with a volley in the 84th and Ingvartsen went on to score the winner.
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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP