Karim Onisiwo was all smiles - and packed the ball as a souvenir of this very special football afternoon for him.
"I don't know that I've ever managed that. That's why it feels all the nicer," said the 30-year-old Austrian after his gala performance with three goals in his FSV Mainz 05's 5-2 (3-0) win over the VfL Bochum. The reward was not only the ball, but also great praise.
"He was excellent. He led the way and carried everyone else along. He couldn't be stopped," said sports director Martin Schmidt after the sense of achievement that Rheinhessen had before the important game in the DFB Cup against FC Bayern on Wednesday (8:45 p.m /Sky) could hardly have come at a better time. "Of course I'm euphoric now. Let's see how it is after sleeping," said Onisiwo.
Difficult enemy awaits
However, Bayern are a different category. "It's going to be a completely different game. We just have to see that we can put our performance on the pitch today and even more that we even have a chance of passing," said Onisiwo. Mainz had won the last two competitive games in their own stadium against the record champions.
The first two Bundesliga games of the year, on the other hand, did not go particularly well for either FSV or Onisiwo. Coach Bo Svensson still relied on the almost 1.90 meter tall striker. "I tried to step on the gas after the criticism. I did it. I hope that was the can opener. I want to continue to perform for the team," said Onisiwo.
Against Bochum, the match winner benefited in particular from new signing Ludovic Ajorque. The 1.97 meter strike partner tied the balls and distributed them cleverly, so that Onisiwo could sprint into the interfaces in a different role. "I feel good when I can move freely in the rooms as a free spirit and don't play so statically. I hope it continues like this," said the Austrian.
Opening goal right after kick-off
Jae-Sung Lee gave Mainz the lead almost immediately after kick-off in front of 23,100 spectators. Silvan Widmer (18th minute) and the outstanding triple goal scorer Onisiwo (28th/57th/87th) scored the other goals for the hosts, who now have 23 points in their table account. It was the first win for FSV since October. Ex-Mainzer Pierre Kunde Malong (70th) and Erhan Masovic (72nd) scored for the guests.
Especially in the first half, the Bochumers lacked almost everything that is important in football - for example access in every part of the team. VfL, threatened with relegation, did not manage to put on an orderly game and made too many mistakes. "We missed everything. We showed no passion and no willingness to win the duels. Mainz just ate us up," said captain Anthony Losilla.
In the second half, the guests showed a reaction after a quadruple change, but overall it was not enough. Even the brief uncertainty of Mainz after the two goals within two minutes, Bochum could not use. "The game is simply summed up. We didn't accept the game the way we should have done it. We also gave away the goals. Then it will be difficult to take anything with us," said Bochum coach Thomas Letsch.