- Associated Press - Sunday, February 15, 2015

BERLIN (AP) - Hertha Berlin lost 2-0 at home to Freiburg and promoted Paderborn left both sides in the Bundesliga relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Hannover on Sunday.

Alban Meha’s brilliant 79th-minute free kick ended Paderborn’s 10-game run without a win and lifted the side from second-last to 12th place, two points below Hannover and two above Freiburg in the relegation playoff place.

Hannover’s Brazilian defender Marcelo broke the deadlock in the 66th, stabbing home from close range after Joselu headed on Lars Stindl’s free kick.

The goal came one minute after Suleyman Koc came agonizingly close to scoring against the run of play for Paderborn, holding off a defender and rounding the ‘keeper only to see Miiko Albornoz clear off the line.

Srdjan Lakic equalized in the 72nd, three minutes after coming on as a substitute, heading Florian Hartherz’ deep cross inside the far post, before Meha sealed the result with a fierce strike in under the crossbar from a central position.



“The Paderborn win was not undeserved but it’s a bitter result from a very important home game for us,” Hannover sporting director Dirk Dufner said. “They showed great mentality. They really wanted to win the game and they managed it.”

In Berlin earlier, Felix Klaus put the visitors ahead in the 14th, holding off Marvin Plattenhardt to prod Karim Guede’s cross in off the post. Guede did well on the right to elude American defender John Anthony Brooks before crossing.

Maximilian Philipp made it 2-0 with a flying header to Jonathan Schmid’s corner in the 52nd.

“And he’s from Berlin. He was born here,” Freiburg coach Christian Streich said of the goalscorer. “Super goal. He really wanted it.”

Freiburg ‘keeper Roman Buerki denied Valentin Stocker an immediate response, and further thwarted Salomon Kalou from the rebound.

“Maybe Berlin thought they’d win easily because we had so many injuries,” Buerki said.

The home fans turned on their side with whistles and jeers at times throughout the second half.

Freiburg joined Hertha on 21 points but has a better goal difference. Both sides are three points ahead of bottom side Stuttgart.

League leader Bayern Munich routed Hamburger SV 8-0 on Saturday, while Wolfsburg kept pace with an injury-time winner to beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-4 away.

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