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Mehdi Mahdavikia

AFC - AFC Player of the Year Mehdi Mahdavikia was in inspired form as he scored a goal in Hamburg's 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, lifting his side to eighth in the Bundesliga and into position to challenge for a spot in the UEFA Cup.

Mahdavikia could have given his side the lead after just six minutes but the Iranian international winger's shot was well saved by Leverkusen goalkeeper Jorg Butt. However, Hamburg deservedly went ahead on ten minutes as Nico-Jan Hoogma scored after a goalmouth scramble.

Mahdavikia then earned his side a penalty in the 18th minute as he was fouled by Diego Placente as he looked to follow up on an effort by Bernardo Romeo that had hit the post. The Iranian took the spot kick himself and gave Butt no chance as he tucked it into the lower left-hand corner of the net.

The 26-year-old also had a hand in Hamburg's third as he beat Placante before sending in a cross to Romeo to score from close range.

Bernd Schneider got a consolation goal for Hamburg in the 39th minute but it was not enough to prevent the north German side from claiming their eighth win of the season.