Berlin, June 7 (IANS) Borussia Dortmund tightened their grip on second place in the Bundesliga after Emre Can’s second-half goal ended Bruno Labbadia’s unbeaten run as Hertha Berlin coach in the 30th round of matches on Saturday.
Neither Dortmund nor Hertha were able to develop much offensive momentum, meaning goalscoring chances were a rare occurrence in the first 45 minutes. The only noteworthy chance of the first half came from Achraf Hakimi, who rattled the side netting eight minutes into the game.
The second half started with promising build-up work from Hakimi, but Jadon Sancho missed the target from inside the box in the 51st minute.
Dortmund remained sloppy with their chances as Julian Brandt squandered a presentable 3-on-1 counter attack with a misplaced pass two minutes later.
Hertha almost punished the host’s wastefulness but Alexander Esswein pulled wide at the other end of the pitch with 56 minutes gone.
Dortmund eventually broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when Sancho’s cross into the box and Brandt’s lay up allowed Can to rifle the ball into the bottom right corner.
Sancho remained in the thick of things and should have added another goal to Dortmund’s lead but his shot from very close range got blocked in the closing period.
Bruno Labbadia’s men tried to respond but Dortmund protected their narrow lead to the end.
“We had a couple more chances, but I am satisfied with the 1-0 win. It is definitely a deserved win for us,” said Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre, Xinhua news agency reports.
“My team gave everything but today we lacked in luck. We have to acknowledge that Dortmund were the better team,” said Hertha’s head coach Labbadia.
With the result, second-placed Dortmund are close to sealing their UEFA Champions League berth for next season, while Hertha Berlin remain in ninth spot.