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Sports

Mainz power ahead with seventh straight Bundesliga win

Mainz remain top of the Bundesliga table after beating Hoffenheim 4-2, while Schalke, Cologne and Kaiserslautern lost their matches Saturday. Wolfsburg drew 1-1 with Moenchengladbach.

Mainz's Lewis Holtby celebrates after scoring

Mainz's Lewis Holtby impressed national coach Joachim Loew

Bundesliga leaders Mainz continue to thrill German soccer fans, as they clocked up their seventh straight win this season on Saturday, a record equalled by only two other teams, Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern.

Mainz are sitting pretty at the top of the league table with 21 points, ahead of Borussia Dortmund, who have 15 points.

Mainz took an early lead after just two minutes, when Sami Allagui converted a pass by Lewis Holtby.

Praise from Loew

"That pass alone was worth the cost of the ticket for this match," national coach Joachim Loew, who was watching from the sidelines, said after the game. Holtby is widely expected to be selected to play for the German national team.

Hoffenheim managed to equalize just before half-time, but Mainz powered ahead after the break with another goal by Adam Szalai. An own goal by Hoffenheim's Luiz Gustavo cemented Mainz's lead, although Hoffenheím managed another goal in the 64th minute.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Juri Judt

Huntelaar's goal was not enough to turn Schalke's fortunes around

But luckless Hoffenheim were down to ten men when defender Jsoip Simunic was sent off and Andre Schuerrle converted a penalty, making the final score 4-2.

No luck for Schalke

While Mainz fans are celebrating an extraordinary season, Schalke's misery continued on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat by Nuremberg, with the club now lingering in the penultimate spot on the league table.

A red card for Jermaine Jones in the second half made Schalke fall a goal behind, before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar equalized with his third goal of the season. But Andreas Wolf's header from a corner eight minutes before time ensured a 2-1 victory for Nuremberg.

Florian Dick and Eljero Elia

Hamburg secured a much-needed win over Kaiserslautern

Sigh of relief in Hamburg

In Saturday's other matches, Hamburg secured their first win since August, beating Kaiserslautern 2-1. Hamburg battled from a goal down against visitors Kaiserslautern, with Eric Choupo-Moting scoring the second goal six minutes from time.

Freiburg moved up to fourth place on the league table for the first time in the club's history, after beating luckless Cologne 3-2 in a hard-fought match.

Wolfsburg, now coached by former England manager Steve McClaren, drew 1-1 with Moenchengladbach, missing the chance to move up to fourth place.

On Friday, newly-promoted Hamburg side St.Pauli beat fellow Northeners Hanover 1-0, scuppering Hanover's chance to move up to second place in the league table.

Author: Nicole Goebel (dpa/SID/Reuters)
Editor: Sonia Phalnikar

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