BERLIN (AP) - Hertha Berlin capitalized on its strong record at home to defeat Augsburg 2-0 on Sunday, ending its three-game losing run while leaving the visitors in the Bundesliga’s relegation zone.
With 11 wins from 14 games at home compared to seven straight defeats away, Hertha would doubtless gladly play all of its games at the Olympiastadion, though it recently announced plans for a new purpose-built stadium.
American defender John Anthony Brooks headed the home side into an early lead when he stretched to deflect Valentin Stocker’s shot past Augsburg ‘keeper Marwin Hitz.
Stocker made it 2-0 before the break thanks to good work from Vedad Ibisevic. The Hertha captain held off two defenders and played an incisive pass to Salomon Kalou, who unselfishly laid the ball off for Stocker to score.
Augsburg improved in the second half but Alfred Finnbogason put its only real chance wide, minutes before Ibisevic did likewise at the other end.
“We should have scored the third goal to be really happy. Unfortunately we missed that,” Hertha coach Pal Dardai said. “But there was never any danger of Augsburg coming back into it.”
Hertha moved fifth, seven points behind Borussia Dortmund, which holds the last spot for possible Champions League football with six games still to play.
Augsburg, winless in six games, remained in the relegation play-off spot, just behind Mainz on goal difference, and only a point ahead of improving Ingolstadt, which defeated bottom side Darmstadt 3-2 in the late game for its third straight win.
“The only thing we can do it to keep believing in ourselves and to keep working,” Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh said.
Defending champion Bayern Munich remained on course for a record-extending fifth straight title with a 4-1 win over Dortmund on Saturday, maintaining its 10-point lead over Leipzig. Bayern needs three wins from its last six games to clinch the title.
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