Berlin (AFP) – Vedad Ibisevic scored both goals before being sent off in Hertha Berlin’s 2-1 comeback win over Mainz to lift his side to third in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Both teams finished with ten men for the final quarter of an hour as Ibisevic was sent off for receiving his second yellow card.
His dismissal came after Mainz’s defensive midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin was also sent for an early shower, also for a second booking.
“We stayed calm despite conceding the early goal, got ourselves level and then created the winner, so we deserved the win,” said Hertha coach Pal Dardai.
Aaron Seydel had given Mainz the lead after 25 minutes at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, but Hertha responded when Salomon Kalou spotted Ibisevic unmarked and the Bosnia forward fired home Berlin’s equaliser on 36 minutes.
Gbamin was sent off on 62 minutes and his dismissal changed the course of the game.
Kalou and Ibisevic combined again for Hertha’s second.
Ivory Coast international Kalou headed back across goal on 67 minutes for his forward partner Ibisevic to fire home before he was sent off seven minutes later.
Hertha climb to third behind leaders RB Leipzig and second-placed Bayern Munich.
Earlier, Schalke 04 continued their rise as striker Eric Choupo-Moting atoned for a penalty miss by netting in their 3-1 comeback win against Darmstadt.
Having been bottom of the table after losing their first five games — the worst start to a season in the club’s history — the result left Schalke eighth and unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions.
“It’s the first time we have turned things around after going behind and we haven’t lost for a while now,” Choupo-Moting told Sky.
– penalty miss –
Markus Weinzierl’s side will face a stern test of their renewed form when they visit Bundesliga leaders Leipzig, who won 4-1 at Freiburg on Friday to stay three points clear of Bayern, next weekend.
Cameroon’s Choupo-Moting showed his class by redeeming himself for a missed first-half penalty.
After setting up Schalke’s equaliser in the opening period, the 27-year-old made it 2-1 midway through the second half before Alessandro Schoepf grabbed their third on 90 minutes.
Darmstadt took the lead at Schalke’s Veltins Arena when midfielder Marcel Heller poached the opening goal with just six minutes gone.
But Schalke roared back with the equaliser when Darmstadt lost the ball on the edge of their own area and Choupo-Moting fired in a cross which Bosnia defender Sead Kolasinac headed home from close range on 26 minutes.