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Players summoned from changing room for halftime penalty

Players summoned from changing room for halftime penalty

Mainz have benefited from a freakish penalty decision which helped to seal a controversial 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Freiburg in the Bundesliga.

In the 45th minute, Freiburg's Marc-Oliver Kempf handled a shot from Daniel Brosinski in the six-yard box.

The video assistant referee (VAR) system came under fresh scrutiny last night when a team had to be summoned back from the dressing room at half-time to face a penalty.

De Blasis scored a second on 78 minutes to secure victory, taking Mainz above Freiburg on goal difference and eight points clear of automatic relegation, while putting the visitors into the relegation play-off spot in 16th.

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Both sets of players had already left the pitch for the interval when the technology flagged up a handball at the end of the first period, reports Guardian football journalist Andy Brassell on social media. One Freiburg player could even be heard saying: "No, we're not coming back out".

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

In the second half, an error from Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow gifted Mainz a second goal when he passed the ball directly to Robin Quaison in the penalty area.

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.