The on-loan Nigerian saved the hosts with the equaliser after the returning Mohamed Zidan scored for the visitors early in the gameSchalke drop two points in the race for the Bundesliga title as Mohammed Zidan scored on his return to Mainz in a 1-1 draw at the Veltins Arena.
It took just 14 minutes for Zidan to score after he was found unmarked at the back post by the Slovenian Zabavnik, who provided a magnificent cross. Schalke scored the equaliser on 59 minutes when Chinedu Obasi beat Zdenek Pospech and fired the ball in at the near post.
An end to end first opening spell witnessed a penalty shout for the home side turned down by the referee, but Obasi was well tackled by Jan Kirchhoff inside the penalty area.
Schalke’s pressure proved futile as a well-worked move from Mainz lead to a goal for Zidan. The forward was finished well from Zabavnik's delivery, his 23rd goal for the club across two spells.
After the goal the game became a scrappy affair. Misplaced paces from both teams ensured chances became hard to come by, and it took 30 minutes for Schalke to get a foothold in the contest.
However, once again they failed to create any chances as a hardworking Mainz side were resilient at the back. Christian Fuchs provided a number of crosses into the box but Christian Wetklo easily caught all of them.
Schalke’s best chance of the first half came when Kyriakos Papadopoulos blazed the ball over Wetklo’s bar from 16 yards out. The Greek was off balance but he really should have done better.
Schalke took drastic action at the start of the second half by bringing on Peruvian forward Jefferson Farfan and Spaniard playmaker Jose Jurado, but it was Mainz that dominated the game after half time. A free kick from Zidan was a whisker away from hitting the back of the net.
The Mainz defence remained organised and compact, and then Klaas-Jan Huntelaar started to find his feet. A hand ball shout was turned down but replays showed that the referee had perhaps made the wrong decision.
However, the visiting defence was broken on 59 minutes when Obasi beat Pospech with a neat dummy on the right hand side of the Mainz penalty area and fired the ball past Wetklo on his near post.
Schalke were in the ascendancy and nearly took the lead as Huntelaar crossed low for Raul but Mainz captain Noveski cleared the ball over his own goal.
Farfan then shot just wide of with a well hit volley on the edge of the box, but that was as close as Huub Stevens' side came to finding that eluvise winner.
Schalke will be disappointed to have dropped two points, but Mainz were solid and tight at the back and were deserving of their draw. They still remain in the top four with 40 points, while Mainz move four points clear of the relegation zone and hope that this result will give them some much-needed momentum.