- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

MAINZ, Germany (AP) - Yunus Malli scored a hat trick for Mainz to move provisionally third in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim on Friday.

Jonathan Schmid put the visitors ahead on a counterattack with their first chance in the 13th minute, only for Malli to equalize inside the near post five minutes later.

Niko Bungert struck the crossbar for Mainz in the 53rd, before Malli cut inside and made it 2-1 with a classy strike to the top corner in the 61st.

The Mainz No. 10 completed his hat trick eight minutes later when the ball rebounded off defender Kim Jin-su for him to score at the second attempt.

Mainz moved three points behind Bayern Munich and leader Borussia Dortmund, ahead of the rest of the fifth round.

“We’re just taking it game by game,” said Japan striker Yoshinori Muto, who helped set up Malli’s third goal.

Hoffenheim was third from bottom after its fourth defeat from five games.

“There are moments in your career when the ball just doesn’t go in,” said Kevin Volland, who was thwarted by Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius in a one-on-one in the 23rd.

Hoffenheim appeared to lack the creative presence of Roberto Firmino, who joined Liverpool for a Bundesliga-record 41 million euros ($46.5 million) in the offseason. The Brazilian scored 38 goals and set up 28 more in 140 Bundesliga games for Hoffenheim.

“He’s gone and we have to get on without him,” Volland said.

Dortmund faces Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday, allowing Bayern the chance to claim the provisional lead against promoted Darmstadt on Saturday.

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