BERLIN (AFP) – Hamburg moved out of the relegation zone in the Bundesliga on Sunday with a 2-1 victory against Mainz, who have now gone six games without a win.
Josef Zinnbauer’s side claimed a third consecutive home victory thanks to a first-half goal from Brazilian defender Cleber Reis and a second-half Rafael van der Vaart penalty, and move a point clear of the bottom three as a result.
Mid-table Mainz, who grabbed a late consolation through a Shinji Okazaki header, are just one point better off than the northern giants.
While his team struggles for form, 28-year-old Japan star Okazaki is now level with Schalke’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on eight Bundesliga goals for the season.
Only Alexander Meier of Eintracht Frankfurt has more after he scored twice in his side’s resounding 5-2 victory at home to struggling Werder Bremen on Sunday evening.
The game saw home coach Thomas Schaaf come up against the team where he spent four decades as a player and then as coach, notably leading them to a league and cup double in 2004.
But he and his current side showed no mercy, as Haris Seferovic, Stefan Aigner and Marc Stendera added to Meier’s goals to secure a convincing Eintracht victory and leave Bremen second from bottom.
On Saturday, Bayern Munich maintained their unbeaten record in the Bundesliga to stay seven points clear of nearest challengers Wolfsburg thanks to a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen as Franck Ribery scored his 100th goal for the Bavarian giants.