BERLIN — Mainz captain Julian Baumgartlinger's first Bundesliga goal gave his side a 2-1 win over Schalke that lifted the side provisionally fifth on Friday.
"It took a while," said Baumgartlinger after his 112th Bundesliga game. "We fought to the end."
"I couldn't have dreamed it," Mainz general manager Christian Heidel said of Baumgartlinger's winner. "I don't think he can believe it either."
French defender Gaetan Bussmann, who won the ball from Sane, put Mainz ahead in the 33rd, firing inside the right post with a volley after Roman Neustaedter could only half-clear a corner.
Winter signing Younes Belhanda equalized right after the break, blasting the ball home from eight meters (yards) after Stefan Bell cleared Max Meyer's initial effort off the line. The rebound fell to Meyer, who pulled the ball back for the better-positioned Belhanda.
"We did a lot right in the second half, but we were missing that little bit of luck," Schalke midfielder Johannes Geis said after facing his former side.
Schalke missed the chance to go third and stayed fourth, ahead of Mainz on goal difference, before the rest of the 21st round was played.