Okazaki form helps get Mainz back on track

The goalscoring form of Shinji Okazaki helped FSV Mainz get their German Bundesliga campaign back on track before the midseason break.

The goalscoring form of Shinji Okazaki helped FSV Mainz get their German Bundesliga campaign back on track before the midseason break.

Mainz experienced a winless run of six matches between late August and late October – which consisted of five defeats – before Okazaki scored a double in the 2-0 home win over Eintracht Braunschweig to arrest the barren run.

They were the former Stuttgart striker’s first goals since opening day and kickstarted a positive run of form for die Nullfunfer.

The Japan international, who leads the club’s scoring charts with eight alongside Nicolai Muller, scored seven goals in eight league games before the Christmas break as Thomas Tuchel’s side managed to climb back to ninth on the table.

Okazaki netted a double in Mainz’s 3-2 win at Werder Bremen on November 24, the equalizer in the 1-1 draw at FC Nurnberg on a December 6 and another pair – including the late winner – in the 3-2 victory at Hamburg in their last outing on December 21.

He was rated in Bundesliga.com’s midseason report as Mainz’s best player of the campaign thus far after filling the strike vacancy left by Adam Szalai who departed the Coface Arena to join Schalke this past European summer.

 
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