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Soccer: Timo Werner matches 21-year Bundesliga hat trick feat

RB Leipzig's Timo Werner, shown on March 10, now has a career-high 24 goals this season after he scored three times against Mainz on Sunday in Mainz, Germany. File Photo by Filip Singer/EPA-EFE
RB Leipzig's Timo Werner, shown on March 10, now has a career-high 24 goals this season after he scored three times against Mainz on Sunday in Mainz, Germany. File Photo by Filip Singer/EPA-EFE

May 25 (UPI) -- RB Leipzig's Timo Werner scored three goals for his second hat trick against Mainz, becoming the first Bundesliga player in 21 years to bag two hat tricks against the same foe in the same season.

Werner scored in the 11th minute, 48th minute and 75th minute of the 5-0 victory Sunday at Opel Arena in Mainz, Germany. Bayer Leverkusen's Ulf Kirsten was the last player to accomplish the feat when he recorded two hat tricks against Borussia Monchengladbach during the 1998-1999 Bundesliga season.

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Werner's first hat trick came in an 8-0 win against Mainz on Nov. 2 in Leipzig, Germany.

"We played very well from the first minute and put pressure on the whole game," Werner said.

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The German forward scored the first goal of Sunday's affair off an assist from right back Konrad Laimer. Laimer raced down the right flank to spark that sequence. The RB Leipzig defender slapped a pass into the box and found Werner as he stood by himself about 10 yards from the net. Werner knocked a first-touch shot into the far-post netting to beat Mainz keeper Florian Muller.

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Yussuf Poulsen and Marcel Sabitzer each scored for RB Leipzig before halftime to give their sequad a 3-0 edge at the break. Midfielder Kevin Kampl then assisted Werner's second score less than three minutes into the second half. Kampl dribbled through several defenders during that play before he slid a pass to Werner while inside the box. Werner finished the play with a left-footed shot into the near-post netting.

Werner finished his hat trick with a break-away score. Poulsen chipped a beautiful pass ahead for Werner during that 75th minute sequence. Werner outran several defenders before he used his left boot to knock a shot around Muller and into the right side of the net for RB Leipzig's fifth and final score.

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Werner now has a career-high 24 goals this season.

RB Leipzig faces Hertha in another Bundesliga clash at 12:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Leipzig. Bayern Munich tops the Bundesliga standings while RB Leipzig sits in third place.

The Bundesliga season returned May 16 after it was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. No fans are allowed to attend the games due to safety guidelines.

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