Mainz top Freiburg after VAR drama

Mainz top Freiburg after VAR drama

The players of Mainz 05 and Freiburg were ordered back onto the pitch having gone to the changing room at halftime because the video assistant referee (VAR) awarded a penalty for a handball in an eventful Bundesliga game on Monday.

Shortly before half-time there were muted appeals for a penalty decision, but they were turned down by referee Guido Winkmann.

Winkmann watched the incident again on the pitchside screen and evidently decided Freiburg's Marc Oliver Kempf had deliberately put his hand to the ball.

The Freiburg team eventually emerged back onto the pitch, where Winkmann explained to a bemused Streich that it was a penalty for the home side.

And so, after a lengthy delay, the players returned and Pablo de Blasis opened the scoring for the hosts.

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"It leaves a bitter taste, but we have to accept it with a heavy heart", Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier told Eurosport at half-time.

De Blasis followed the penalty, officially recorded in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time, with a second goal in the 78th minute to seal the win.

Supporters also forced the game to be paused by throwing rolls of toilet paper on to the pitch as a protest against the Bundesliga's introduction of matches on Monday nights.

Before the game began, both sets of fans waved signs reading "against Monday games" and a cocophony of whistles and vuvuzelas provided a constant soundtrack throughout the 90 minutes.

Mainz climbed to 15th on goal difference above Freiburg who fell to 16th, the relegation playoff spot.

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