Personnel & tactics:
Head coach Julian Nagelsmann made three changes to the starting XI that was beaten 1-0 by Werder Bremen last time out. The back four in front of shot-stopper Oliver Baumann consisted of Nico Schulz, who returned after recovering from knee problems. He replaced Joshua Brenet, who moved over to the right flank in place of the ill Pavel Kaderabek. Captain Kevin Vogt and Ermin Bicakcic formed the central defensive partnership. Midfielders Florian Grillitsch and Kerem Demirbay were joined for the first time by Christoph Baumgartner, who played the no. 8 role alongside Andrej Kramaric. Ishak Belfodil was joined in attack by Brazil forward Joelinton, who replaced former Mainz man Adam Szalai.
Nagelsmann had to make his first change on 32 minutes, with injury forcing off Belfodil and Szalai coming on to make his 100th Bundesliga appearance in a TSG shirt. The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Christoph Baumgartner was shown a second yellow card for repeated foul play nine minutes later.
Hoffenheim then switched to a 4-4-1 formation with Szalai as the lone frontman. Once Mainz had halved the deficit from the spot in the second half, Nagelsmann withdrew Joelinton and brought on Lukas Rupp, who was making his first league appearance since tearing his cruciate ligament in May 2018.
Once Mainz had equalised at 2-2, Nagelsmann brought on Reiss Nelson for Brenet (85). Ten-man Hoffenheim threw everything forward, only for the 05ers to score twice in the 90th and 94th minutes.
Moment of the match:
The 42nd minute: on his first Bundesliga start, Christoph Baumgartner received an early booking for a foul and was subsequently sent off by referee Deniz Aytekin after committing a second foul on Mainz shot-stopper Robin Zentner. Having been reduced to 10 men, Hoffenheim were unable to withstand the mounting pressure from the home side.
Number of the game: 33
Andrej Kramaric scored his 17th goal of the season from a free-kick. It was the 50th goal that TSG Hoffenheim's record goalscorer has netted in the top flight. The Croat and Ishak Belfodil, who had earlier scored his 16th goal of the campaign, have scored 33 goals between them this term. That tally makes them the most successful strike partnership in TSG history – ahead of Vedad Ibisevic and Demba Ba, who notched a combined 32 goals (18/14) in the 2008/09 season.
That was almost the opener for Hoffenheim. Schulz fizzes a low ball into the centre and Belfodil shoots from close range, but he is denied by Zentner. Shame!
Belfodil is played in down the left. With plenty of space to run into, the striker surges into the box and curls it into the far corner. Great goal.
Ujah centres the ball from the right flank and it takes a dangerous deflection, but Baumann's quick reactions ensure the danger is thwarted.
Kramaric hits a free-kick at goal from 25 metres and it sails straight into the bottom corner of the net. Dream goal!
Double chance for TSG. Demirbay plays a great ball to Brenet, whose header is saved by Zentner. Kramaric's follow-up is blocked on the line.
Maxim has a go from over 20 metres, but his shot sails narrowly wide of the back post.
Grillitsch fouls Latza and a penalty is awarded. Baumann goes the right way, but Brosinski's spot kick is just out of reach.
A mix-up in the defence allows Böetius through on goal and his powerful strike finds the net.
Hoffenheim are completely exposed at the back and Mainz have all the time in the world in the box as Böetius puts them 3-2 ahead.
Bicakcic loses the ball and Onisiwo squares it to Mateta, who hammers home at the near post.