Okazaki finds net against Stuttgart

Kyodo

Japan striker Shinji Okazaki put one over on his former club again as Bundesliga action resumed on Saturday, scoring his ninth goal of the season as Mainz edged Stuttgart 2-1 away.

Stuttgart went in front on 11 minutes through Mohammed Abdellaoue but Okazaki, who also scored in Mainz’ season-opening 3-2 win over Stuttgart in August, capitalized on a defensive mix-up involving Japan teammate Gotoku Sakai to level six minutes before halftime.

Christoph Moritz intercepted Sakai’s misplaced pass and his ball over the top picked out Okazaki, who headed past onrushing goalkeeper Sven Ulreich before slotting into an empty net. Benedikt Saller sealed victory for Mainz in the 87th minute.

“It didn’t feel that nice warming up at the stadium because I didn’t do that well here,” said Okazaki, who left Stuttgart in the summer having only scored one goal in 25 appearances last season.