- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2016

BERLIN (AP) - Hertha Berlin defended third place in the Bundesliga by coming from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to last-place Hannover on Friday.

The draw means Hertha will remain third no matter what happens in the remaining matches over the weekend since it is now four points ahead of Borussia Moenchengladbach, which beat Hertha 5-0 in the previous round. Third place means direct qualification for the Champions League next season.

“We were fortunate. We could have also lost,” Hertha’s coach Pal Dardai said. “We’ll take the point.”

Daniel Stendel won the point in his first match as Hannover’s third coach of the season. Hannover lost 10 of 11 matches under his predecessor Thomas Schaaf.

“We have to keep our feet on the ground,” Stendel said.

Hannover is provisionally 10 points away from safety, with five matches remaining.

Salomon Kalou scored in the 72nd to level the score after goals by Artur Sobiech and Manuel Schmiedebach had canceled out Hertha’s early opener by Vedad Ibisevic.

Sobiech and Schmiedebach were hardly used by Schaaf but returned to the starting lineup under Stendel.

Ibisevic scored from close range in the third minute off a pass from Marvin Plattenhardt for a perfect start by Hertha. But Sobiech drilled home a pass from Hiroshi Kiyotake and Schmiedebach’s shot bounced off the inside of the post for Hannover’s second following a pass from Kenan Karaman.

Kalou notched his 14th goal of the season off a pass from Julian Schieber, who had come on only a minute earlier.

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