Bundesliga: Malli inspires Mainz to win.
Mainz secured their third win of the season as Yunus Malli became the third player in the club's history to score a hat-trick in the Bundesliga. With one point from five, Hoffenheim still can't shake off their poor form.
Mainz 3-1 Hoffenheim
(Malli 18′, 61′, 69′ -- Schmid 12′)
Yunus Malli scored his first Bundesliga hat-trick to inspire Mainz to a comfortable 3-1 win over Hoffenheim on Friday.
The attacking-midfielder made it five goals in five games this season as he helped his side come from behind to take all three points. Hoffenheim drew first blood after 13 minutes when former Freiburg winger Schmid broke the offside trap and finished beyond the reach of Loris Karius.
Schmid had scored in his last two games against Mainz, but hadn't experienced a win. That barren run was set to continue for the French-born player as Malli cut inside on 18 minutes to equalize with a low shot.
Volland pointed to Loris Karius' save on 24 minutes as the decisive turning point. The 22-year-old keeper, previously linked with clubs like Benfica, produced an excellent save when the German international forward weaved his way past Stefan Bell, his shot goal-bound before the intervention of Karius.
The Mainz number one made another massive contribution for the home side three minutes before half time. Schmid was bearing down on goal once more, but decided to shoot from long-range and forcing the keeper into a good save.
But the second period began to open up in favor of Mainz. On 53 minutes, Yoshinori Muto was inches away from putting the hosts ahead, but his header cannoned against the crossbar.
Seven minutes later, Malli executed a superb goal from the right-hand side of the pitch, cutting inside and bending the ball into the corner of the net. The 23-year-old attacking-midfielder has impressed in 2015 and has become a vital part of Schmidt's side.
The intelligent Malli has become the nerve-center of this team, playing between the traditional No.10 position and center-forward. He put the icing on the cake eight minutes after his second goal, finishing from close range at the second attempt as Hoffenheim failed to clear Muto's cross.
The visitors used Mark Uth and Kevin Kuranyi from the bench, but Mainz prevailed amid a late surge of pressure from Hoffenheim. "We are completely lacking self-confidence," Volland told reporters.
Asked how to inject belief into his players, Gisdol emphasized the need for 'hard-work' in training with the next opportunity to end the winless run on Wednesday at home to Borussia Dortmund.
With their fifth defeat in six games, Hoffenheim slips into the bottom-three, while the story couldn't be much different for Mainz -- the Rhineland club are in third, although before the other 16 teams are in action this weekend.
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