Hertha Berlin

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Mainz beats Hertha to boost chances of Bundesliga survival

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BERLIN (AP) Swedish midfielder Robin Quaison scored twice as Mainz beat Hertha Berlin 2-0 for a boost in its fight against Bundesliga relegation on Friday.

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Hertha had been hoping to close in on the qualification places for European football next season, but the side disappointed in front of its own fans as it slumped to its first loss in five games.

There was further bad news for Hertha with forward Vedad Ibisevic going off early with what assistant coach Rainer Widmayer said at halftime was a broken nose.

Mainz had several chances in the first half, and the visitors duly went ahead minutes before the break when Quaison eluded four Hertha defenders to score inside the left post. The ball went between two of the players’ legs.

Quaison grabbed his second midway through the second half after latching onto a simple ball over the top from Jean-Philippe Gbamin and firing through goalkeeper Rune Jarstein’s legs.

The home fans responded with whistles for their team’s lackluster performance.

Mainz remains in the relegation playoff spot ahead of the rest of the 23rd round, level on points with Werder Bremen and one behind Stuttgart and Wolfsburg.

VIDEO: Jonathan Klinsmann saves penalty on pro debut

AP Photo/Michael Sohn
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BERLIN (AP) Jonathan Klinsmann, the son of former United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann, saved a late penalty on his Hertha Berlin debut to secure a 1-1 draw against visiting Ostersunds FK in the Europa League on Thursday.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper denied Ostersund captain Brwa Nouri from the penalty spot with three minutes remaining.

“It’s good for competition in the squad that Jonathan played so well. Under pressure, he made no mistakes,” Hertha coach Pal Dardai said.

Klinsmann produced a brilliant fingertip save to stop Sotirios Papagiannopoulos scoring in the first half, but was powerless to prevent the Greek defender from finding the net with the aid of a deflection after the interval.

Peter Pekarik replied almost straight away for Hertha, which was already certain to be eliminated after the group stage of Europe’s second-tier competition.

Ostersund finished second in Group J to become the first Swedish side since Helsingborg in 2007 to reach the knockout stages.

Klinsmann, who previously made six appearances for Hertha’s reserve side in the fourth-tier regional league, got his chance with the senior team as regular goalkeeper Rune Jarstein skips the side’s international games and his back-up Thomas Kraft was out with a cold.

“He did well,” Dardai said of Klinsmann. “He also gathered experience with the under-21 team, not always without mistakes, but he has stepped it up in training. The fitness coach has been working with him. But we don’t need to turn it into the Klinsmann show. We can talk a lot about him when the time comes.”

The 6-foot-4 Klinsmann, a goalkeeper with the United States Under-20 team, was handed his first professional contract after impressing Hertha during a trial in the offseason. He previously played for the University of California.

“I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. He’s a young player,” Dardai said.

Jonathan Klinsmann to make Hertha Berlin debut in Europe

U.S. Soccer
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BERLIN (AP) Jonathan Klinsmann, the son of former United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann, will make his Hertha Berlin and European debut in the team’s Europa League game against Swedish side Ostersunds FK on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Klinsmann made six appearances for Hertha’s under-23 side in the fourth-tier regional league. He is getting his chance with the senior team as regular goalkeeper Rune Jarstein skips Hertha’s international games and his back-up Thomas Kraft is out with a cold.

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Hertha is already out of the Europa League, so only pride is at stake against Ostersund.

Hertha coach Pal Dardai says, “Jonathan has developed well. He looks good and is much better in training, from his stability and control.”

The 1.94-meter tall Klinsmann, a goalkeeper with the United States Under-20s team, was handed his first professional contract after impressing Hertha during a trial in the offseason. He previously played for University of California.

‘Take a knee’ comes to Germany through Hertha solidarity

AP Photo/Michael Sohn

BERLIN (AP) Hertha Berlin nodded to social struggles in the United States by kneeling before its Bundesliga game at home on Saturday.

Hertha’s starting lineup linked arms and took a knee on the pitch, while coaching staff, officials and substitutes took a knee off it.

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On Twitter, the Bundesliga club says, “Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility! For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore!”

The action was intended to show solidarity with NFL players who have been demonstrating against discrimination in the U.S. by kneeling, sitting or locking arms through the anthem before games.

Last year, former quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement, which has been harshly criticized by President Donald Trump.

Bundesliga wrap: Ancelotti is gone, but Bayern still dropping points

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BERLIN (AP) Bayern Munich’s crisis deepened Sunday as it was held to a 2-2 draw at Hertha Berlin in its first Bundesliga game since firing Carlo Ancelotti as coach.

Bayern, which was mauled 3-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday, let slip a two-goal lead for the second successive German league game and now finds itself five points behind leader Borussia Dortmund after just seven rounds.

“It’s a bit annoying for us,” interim coach Willy Sagnol said. “We have to play with more concentration and discipline. We paid dearly for not doing so. Without concentration, we’re not the strongest team in Germany.”

Sagnol restored Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels to Bayern’s starting lineup following the side’s humiliation in Paris, and it was Hummels who opened the scoring in the 10th minute after a nervy start from the hosts.

Hummels was left totally free to head Boateng’s cross inside the left post.

Hertha played with more courage afterward with Vladimir Darida and Salomon Kalou both finding chances but Robert Lewandowski went closest at the other end before the break. The Poland striker scored just after it, holding off Niklas Stark’s challenge to claim his eighth goal of the season.

But Ondrej Duda replied straight away, stabbing the ball home from close range after Japan’s Genki Haraguchi eluded challenges from Boateng, Joshua Kimmich and Hummels to set him up.

Bayern’s defensive frailties were exposed again five minutes later when Kalou equalized to send the home fans wild.

“We played like it was a day that you could beat Bayern,” Hertha coach Pal Dardai said. “We showed too much respect in the first half.”

It got worse for the visitors when Ribery had to be carried off after stepping on the ball. The French winger looked in pain as medics attended to his left knee.

Anthony Modeste watched as his former side Cologne slipped to its sixth defeat in seven games in a 2-1 loss at home to Leipzig.

Modeste scored 25 goals for Cologne last season before joining Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian, and last-place Cologne has struggled since with just two goals in the league so far.

The home side had more chances in a game that swung from end to end, but Lukas Klostermann’s first-half strike and another goal late from Yussuf Poulsen were enough for Leipzig.

Yuya Osako scored Cologne’s first goal in five games in response to Poulsen’s goal, but it was too late for the home side.

“We’re not giving up,” Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn said.

Hoffenheim slumped to its first defeat at Freiberg, where Christian Streich’s side claimed a 3-2 win for its first victory of the season.

“We put the setback behind us brilliantly,” said Streich, whose side recovered from an early goal down with two in the next three minutes.