Hertha Berlin loses 5-2 and edges toward Bundesliga relegation
BERLIN (AP) — Hertha Berlin edged closer to Bundesliga relegation after losing at Cologne 5-2 on Friday left the capital club rooted to the bottom of the table with two games left to play.
Timo Hübers scored twice for Cologne to come from 2-1 down and move to 10th ahead of the rest of the 32nd round, while Hertha missed the chance to move ahead of Bochum on goal difference.
Hertha remained five points from safety. Depending on other results, Hertha could be relegated to the second division next weekend with a loss at home to Bochum in the penultimate round.
Hertha got off to a bad start in Cologne when Davie Selke scored against his former teammates in the eighth minute. Selke thrived at Hertha in Pál Dardái’s previous stint as coach but he was offloaded to Cologne in January.
Selke rose higher than Hertha defender Filip Uremovic to meet Eric Martel’s cross and head the ball inside the left post. Selke and Uremovic needed treatment afterward. Uremovic was unable to continue.
Lucas Tousart equalized 10 minutes later when the Cologne defense failed to clear after good work from Marco Richter.
Hertha needed goalkeeper Oliver Christensen to thwart Kingsley Schindler’s goal-bound effort before Stevan Jovetic got the visitors’ second goal in the 33rd.
But Hertha’s defense remained shaky. Hübers equalized with a header to a free kick, then Ellyes Skhiri scored Cologne’s third on a counterattack before the break.
The outstanding Christensen stopped Cologne from chalking up the goals in the second half, while the crossbar and post also came to the visitors’ rescue.
Hertha substitute Jessic Ngankam had the chance to equalize but Cologne ’keeper Marvin Schwäbe got the better of their one-on-one.
Then Hübers finally rewarded Cologne’s dominance with his heel in the 69th and Denis Huseinbasic got the home team’s fifth in the 81st.
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Ciarán Fahey, The Associated Press