VfB Stuttgart have moved out of the Bundesliga bottom three thanks to Borna Sosa's goal that secured a deserved 2-1 home win over Mainz.
Croatian left back Sosa fired in off the underside of the bar in the 52nd minute with Mainz keeper Robin Zentner seemingly surprised by his decision to shoot from a tight angle.
"Happiness, a bit of relief," Stuttgart goalkeeper Florian Mueller told DAZN about the win which he said came from an "okay" rather than impressive performance.
His counterpart Zentner earlier had a let off when a video review overturned a penalty given against him when he punched the ball clear from a cross.
That frustration for Stuttgart came when they were leading 1-0 thanks to defender Hiroki Ito curling his first of the season in off the far post midway through the first half.
Mainz fought back to level when Alexander Hack glanced in a header from a corner shortly before the break.
Sporting director Martin Schmidt said Mainz had "slept" through the opening period.
"Up to the box we were good, in the second half really good and dominant but only to the box, we couldn't get through.
"A great goal won the game, a draw would have been deserved."
They remain in eighth, having missed the chance to go provisionally fifth, while Stuttgart rise to 13th from the play-off place.
League leaders Bayern Munich host Arminia Bielefeld in Saturday's late game after Borussia Dortmund have the chance to go top for a few hours when they visit Wolfsburg.
Australian Associated Press