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Hertha Berlin

Hertha end winless streak despite new coach Magath missing with Covid

Berlin (AFP) – Hertha Berlin earned their first win of 2022 on Saturday to climb out of the Bundesliga bottom two with a 3-0 home victory over Hoffenheim despite new coach Felix Magath being sidelined by Covid.

At the top of the table, leaders Bayern Munich will later look to bounce back from consecutive draws when they host Union Berlin.

Hertha ended their eight-match winless streak in the league by brushing aside Champions League-chasing Hoffenheim despite Magath’s absence in Berlin.

Magath, 68, is Hertha’s third coach this season, having been brought in last Sunday after Toryan Korkut was sacked.

Defender Niklas Stark put hosts Hertha ahead just before half-time at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.

Algeria striker Ishak Belfodil doubled the lead with an hour gone by tapping in a free-kick.

Hoffenheim’s luck in Berlin was summed up when defender David Raum watched in horror as the ball bounced off his thigh and into the net for an own goal.

The win lifts Hertha into 16th place, the relegation play-off spot, with seven games left, while Hoffenheim stay sixth.

Freiburg continued their challenge for a first Champions League qualification by climbing to fourth with a goalless draw at bottom side Greuther Fuerth.

There were curious scenes at Mainz where three different penalty takers converted spot-kicks within 14 minutes for the hosts in their 4-0 trouncing of Arminia Bielefeld.

Mainz were ahead after less than 30 seconds when Jonathan Burkardt beat the defence and fired home.

Austrian defender Manuel Prietl came off the bench and had a 45 minutes to forget.

He gave away two penalties while Bielefeld team-mate Andres Andrade also committed a foul to concede a spot-kick.

Mainz defender Moussa Niakhate, Burkardt, then Danish striker Marcus Ingvartsen converted the penalties.

Stuttgart pulled away from the bottom three with their second win in three games as late goals by Tiago Tomas and Omar Marmoush capped their 3-2 comeback win at home to Augsburg.

On Friday, Bochum were 2-0 down at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach when the referee abandoned the match after his assistant official was struck on the head by a full beer cup.

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