Quick-fire strikes from Eugen Polanski and Roberto Firmino were not enough for the hosts as Maxim Choupo-Moting, Benedikt Saller and a Shinji Okazaki brace helped Mainz to a sensational comeback with Hoffenheim conceding four for the second week running.
Hoffenheim had the chance to take an early lead when Kevin Volland earned his side a penalty after being fouled by Nikolce Noveski. However, Sejad Salihovic, usually so reliable from the spot, sent his shot wide of the target, ensuring a goalless scoreline after 45 minutes in the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena for the first time this season,
Six goals in one half
Whenever Hoffenheim are involved, though, goals are always just around the corner and two arrived in just three minutes early in the second half. Polanski netted against his former club with an unstoppable volley before Firmino hooked a first-time shot past Loris Karius from the edge of the area.
Mainz bettered that with three goals in eight minutes to turn the game on its head. Choupo-Moting turned in Nicolai Müller's cross to give Thomas Tuchel's men hope before Saller scored when the ball looped in off his thigh after Niklas Süle attempted to clear his lines. Okazaki then headed in a third from Choupo-Moting's cross before adding a fourth with the final touch of the game, lifting Mainz into the top five and on course for a place in Europe next season.
Line-ups and statistics