German Bundesliga: Hertha Berlin beat Cologne 1-0

Berlin, Feb 27 (IANS) Hertha Berlin wrapped up their first win in 2016 via Vedad Ibisevic’s first-half winner against Cologne in the opener of the 23rd round in German Bundesliga.

After one loss and four draws in the last games Berlin snatched a 1-0 victory on Friday against Cologne, Xinhua news agency reported.

Berlin dominated the first half and scored the opener through Vedad Ibisevic. The hosts turned up in the second half but were unable to restore parity.

Berlin took the reins from the kick-off while Cologne defended deep in their territory. Nevertheless, the hosts created the first chance through Mergim Mavraj, who missed the target in the third minute.

The visitors worked out their first chances with 19 minutes into the game when Salomon Kalou pulled wide from 13 meters before Genki Haraguchi forced Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn to tip the ball over the bar moments later.

Despite Cologne’s defensive strategy, they remained dangerous as Filip Mladenovic tested Rune Jarstein from sharp angle following Leonardo Bittencourt’s build up play in the 34th minute.

Just when 48,900 spectators at the Rhein-Energie Stadium settled for a goalless first half, Vedad Ibisevic broke the deadlock at the 43rd minute.

The striker completed a combination via Salomon Kalou to slot home into the far post corner.

After the restart, Cologne tried hard to level the scores but the hosts lacked in ideas to overcome Berlin’s well-positioned defence.

On top of that, Cologne were unlucky as referee Tobias Stieler oversaw a handball by Berlin’s Per Skjelbred inside the box in the 73rd minute.

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