Sandro Wagner’s last-minute penalty miss spared Mainz’s blushes as they saw off a determined Darmstadt 3-2 on Friday, despite throwing away a two-goal lead.
Mainz came into the game on the back of two straight defeats, but were rewarded for a strong start when Stefan Bell headed them in front early on.
Germany Under-21 midfielder Yunus Malli has been in sparkling form so far this term, and fired the visitors further ahead soon after with a superb curling effort.
Darmstadt were not to be outdone however, and hurled themselves level just before the hour mark through substitute Marco Sailer after the impressive Marcel Heller had reduced the deficit with a sublime strike before the interval.
But their hard work was almost immediately undone, Pablo De Blasis steering home from Yoshinori Muto’s rebounded attempt.
There was to be one final twist late on though, as Darmstadt were given the perfect opportunity to snatch a point when Luca Caldirola went down in the area, but Wagner blasted the resulting spot-kick high over the bar.