Monday January 17, 2022

Cologne boost European hopes with 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin

Published : 09 Jan 2022, 21:54

  By Mark Meadows, dpa

Hertha's Vladimir Darida (3rd L) scores his side's first goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Hertha BSC and 1. FC Cologne at Olympiastadion on Sunday. Photo: Andreas Gora/dpa.

Cologne moved into the Bundesliga European spots after Anthony Modeste and Ondrej Duda helped secure a 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

On a poor Olympic Stadium pitch, Hertha's Myziane Maolida missed a golden chance just before Modeste, 33, opened the scoring with his 12th of the season.

Mark Uth just avoided the offside flag and sent in a perfect cross for the resurgent Frenchman to powerfully head home on the half hour.

Former Hertha player Duda soon scored the second from the edge of the area and Jan Thielmann added another in stoppage-time as Cologne recorded their third win in a row to go sixth on goals scored.

"We want to see where this journey goes," Cologne defender Luca Kilian told DAZN, aware they host Bayern Munich next Saturday. "We are only looking game by game."

Struggling Hertha, who pulled one back for 2-1 when Vladimir Darida's free-kick into the box drifted into the net, ended 2021 on a high by beating Borussia Dortmund but the mid-season break did not come at a good time.

"We had the chance in the first half to go ahead and then straight away we conceded," Darida said. "I think we played well with the ball."

Bochum defeated Wolfsburg in 1-0 at home Sunday's final game to leave the visitors 14th, one point and one place behind Hertha and only two points clear of the relegation play-off spot amid a six-match Bundesliga losing run.

"We will continue with our plan that we developed over the winter," insisted coach Florian Kohfeldt, who is increasingly under pressure despite having only replaced Mark van Bommel in late October.

Milos Pantovic headed the only goal of a low-key contest after a careless pass from Wout Weghorst cost possession and keeper Koen Casteels was caught in no man's land.

"We definitely have to change something quickly," said Weghorst.

Bochum never looked like conceding an equalizer and the promoted side are now 11th, a relatively comfortable five points ahead of Augsburg in 16th.

"We want to keep [our feet] on the ground anyway," said Bochum coach Thomas Reis while Pantovic agreed "the first target that's important for us is survival," even with the team also five points off Cologne.

Coronavirus-hit leaders Bayern lost 2-1 at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday, with Dortmund's 3-2 comeback win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday cutting the gap at the top to six points.

Matches this weekend were generally played behind closed doors because of the pandemic with a sprinkling of fans permitted at some stadiums due to regional rules.