Mainz secure winning start, Schalke held to a draw

Berlin, Aug 12 (IANS) Mainz midfielder Nicolai Mueller scored a brace to secure a 3-2 win over Stuttgart while Schalke and Hamburg shared points to close the first round of the German Bundesliga football season.

Stuttgart started the match Sunday brightly, but as the match progressed the hosts gained a foothold in the match. Nicolai Mueller broke the deadlock for Mainz 14 minutes into the game with a strike from 13 metres out, reports Xinhua.

Stuttgart responded two minutes later through Vedad Ibisevic, who restored parity with a fine volley.

Mainz took the lead again in the 65th minute when former Stuttgart striker Shinji Okazaki utilised a cross by Zdenek Pospech.

The hosts extended the lead as Nicolai Mueller danced through the defence to make it 3-1 with 78 minutes played.

Stuttgart's Martin Harnik kept the match alive when he poked home a fumble by keeper Mueller to reduce the lead to 3-2 eight minutes before final whistle.

Elsewhere, Schalke's new signing Adam Szalai scored the equaliser to ensure his side a 3-3 draw with Hamburg.

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