‘Lee Jae-Sung full-time’ as Mainz snap six-match winless streak with 1-1 draw at Dortmund

Lee Jae-Sung started and played the full game for Borussia Dortmund. Mainz is back on a winless streak.

Mainz played Borussia Dortmund to a 1-1 draw in the 16th round of the 2023-2024 Bundesliga at Zignale Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany, on Tuesday.

Mainz added a point to its record of one win, seven draws, and eight losses (10 points) to move into 15th place, tied with Darmstadt, Cologne, and Union Berlin (all on 10 points or more) and three points clear of the top three on goal difference.

With seven wins, six draws, and three losses (27 points), Dortmund remained in fifth place, ahead of sixth-place Hoffenheim and seventh-place Freiburg (24 points), but failed to close the gap on fourth-place Stuttgart (31 points).

Mainz lined up in a 3-4-2-1 formation away from home. Karim Onisibo, Marco Reuscher-Brayan Gruda, Phiriip Mwene-Isaac Lee-Tom Krause-Sylvan Wiedmer, Van den Berg-Stefan Bell-Dominic Core, and Daniel Batz started.

Dortmund countered with a 4-3-3 formation. Jamie Vyno Gittens-Niklas Fulkruk-Daniel Marlon, Marcel Xavier-Emre Can-Julian Brandt, Rami Bensebaini-Nico Schlottweck-Mats Hummels-Thomas Meunier, and Gregor Kovel.

Dortmund took the lead in the first half. Setting the tone and constantly threatening Mainz’s goal, Dortmund opened the scoring in the 29th minute when Brandt, who stepped up to take a free kick in front of the penalty box, curled a left-footed shot that split the net.

Mainz struggled. On both flanks, Mwene and Widmar got high and crossed for headers from Onyekibo, Ritzer and Gruda as they rushed into the box.

After setting the tone in the closing minutes of the first half, Mainz equalized. In the 42nd minute, on the ensuing attack after a corner, Mwene crossed again from the left and van den Bergh redirected the header. The ball crossed the goal line and the referee allowed the goal to stand.

Both teams made changes. Dortmund brought on Niklas Zuerle, Samuel Bamba, Sebastien Alle, Giovanni Reina and Marius Wolf, while Mainz introduced Jonathan Burkhardt, Mervel Papela, Dani da Costa and Aymen Barkoğlu.

The game was a back-and-forth affair with no clear outcome. Both teams knocked on each other’s doors, but the game ended with no further goals.

Lee Jae-sung started for the first time in three games. After coming on as a substitute in the previous two games, he played the full game in central midfield, acting as a link between the offense and defense.

He was active throughout the match and helped the team with his play. In the 36th minute, he tried his luck on the counterattack after breaking up a play and curling a shot from the front of the box that went just wide.

Lee finished with 61 touches, 90 percent passing accuracy, one shot on goal, and won four of nine ball battles. Soccer statistician Sofa Score gave him a rating of 7.1, the fourth-highest on the team.