Berlin, Nov 22, 2020 (AFP) - French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta fired Bundesliga strugglers Mainz to their first win of the season on Sunday, scoring three first-half goals to inspire his side to a 3-1 victory away to Freiburg.
The 23-year-old notched up his second hat-trick of the season to take his tally to ten goals in all competitions as Mainz hauled themselves out of the bottom two for the first time since the opening weekend.
Having picked up just a single point from their first seven games, Mainz put their early-season woes behind them with a clinical first-half performance.
Mateta opened the scoring after just 61 seconds, breaking Freiburg's high line to pick up a Leandro Barreiro through ball and stroke it past former team-mate Florian Muller in the Freiburg goal.
The goal set the tone for a first half in which Mainz landed blow after blow on the counterattack and Freiburg struggled to keep tabs on Mateta.
The Frenchman doubled the lead just after the half-hour mark, pouncing on the rebound after Muller spilled a long-range effort from Robin Quaison.
He completed his hat trick a few minutes later, beating the offside trap yet again to slot the ball inside the far post from close range.
Nils Petersen pulled a goal back for Freiburg on 64 minutes, tapping in from close range after Robin Zentner palmed away a low shot from Roland Sallai.
While Mainz breathe a sigh of relief, defeat heaps pressure on Freiburg, who have not won since the opening day and now sit just one place ahead of Mainz in 14th.