Berlin ease 2-0 past Schalke in Bundesliga

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Berlin, March 12 (IANS) Goals by Vedad Ibisevic and Niklas Stahl secured Hertha Berlin the 13th win of the football season against uninspired Schalke following the opener of the 26th round in Bundesliga.

Berlin on Friday returned to winning ways after reaping their first victory against Schalke since September 2006 thanks to a dominant display on home soil, reports Xinhua.

The hosts caught a better start into the match as Vladimir Darida tested Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann with a long-range effort in the ninth minute.

Schalke gained a foothold in the game with 21 minutes into the game after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s header on target forced Rune Jarstein to make a diving save.

It were however the hosts, who opened the scoring just before the break as Ibisevic slotted home Genki Haraguchi’s build up play from inside the box in the 42nd minute.

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Andre Breitenreiter’s men piled on the pressure after the restart and had the golden chance to restore parity through Dennis Aogo, who missed the target from promising position 10 minutes into the second half.

Berlin punished Schalke’s wastefulness moments later as youngster Niklas Stahl had all time and space at the near post to head in Vladimir Darida’s corner-kick in the 65th minute.

The “Royal Blues” threw everything up front and got nearly caught flatfooted but Tolga Cigerci wasted two chances to clinch a higher victory.

With the result, Hertha Berlin consolidated their third place in the hunt for the UEFA Champions League berth.

Meanwhile fourth placed Schalke suffered the ninth loss of the season to have a four point deficit to the top three.

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“Compliments to my team. We played against a top club and worked out many opportunities. It was a perfect game for us,” Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai said.

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