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Scored a magnificent goal: Stuttgart's Wataru Endo


Christian Kaspar-Bartke / Getty Images

VfB Stuttgart have taken a big step towards staying in the Bundesliga. On the penultimate matchday, VfB won 4-1 (1-1) at Mainz 05. Marcus Ingvartsen put Mainz in front (23rd minute), then Stuttgart turned the game around: Wataru Endo scored the equaliser (41st), Serhou Guirassy gave VfB the lead (64th), Chris Führich (78th) and Tanguy Coulibaly (90th+1) for the final score.

As a result, Stuttgart, penultimate in the table before kick-off, has improved to 15th place. Although VfB are level on points with Bochum in the relegation zone, the goal difference is 23 goals better than that of VfL. Schalke 04 is now second to last in the table with 31 points. On Matchday 34, Stuttgart will play at home against TSG Hoffenheim, who have already been saved, Bochum host Bayer Leverkusen, while Schalke have to travel to RB Leipzig.

For Mainz, the defeat against VfB means that the team will not play internationally next season. Before the encounter, Mainz had a theoretical chance of qualifying for the Europa League, but now the gap is four points.

The fact that there was a lot at stake for both teams almost seemed to paralyze the players, in any case it took more than 20 minutes before the first shot of the game came about. But: This premiere attempt revived the game.

Karim Oniwiso took a shot from the corner, which VfB goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow was able to deflect to the corner - and this corner then gave Mainz the lead. The pass flew to the far post, where Onisiwo headed in and hit Stuttgart's Hiroki Ito. The ball bounced off his back in the direction of Ingvartsen, who scored from close range to make it 1-0 (23rd). From VfB's point of view, the goal seemed easy to avoid, because there were several defenders around the goal scorer, but none of them went to the ball.

VfB joker Führich turns up the heat

The equaliser was also preceded by a Mainz corner. It resulted in a Stuttgart counterattack: Silas dribbled across half the pitch and, with a bit of luck, brought the ball in the direction of Endo, who took it with his left foot and shot into the goal from the air with his right winger – a technically extremely demanding goal (41st).

Goal number three also came from a corner, Guirassy came to the header from a few meters away and heaved it into the goal (64th). The first goal, which was not preceded by a set-piece, was the one that decided the game: substitute Führich curled the ball into the far corner from half-left. In injury time, he set up a counterattack for Coulibaly and gave Stuttgart an excellent starting position before the last league game.