SV Darmstadt 98 recorded a pivotal victory to secure their Bundesliga place next season by coming from behind to beat Hertha Berlin 2-1 away on Saturday afternoon.

Hertha Berlin 1-2 SV Darmstadt 98

Goals: 1-0 Darida (15'), 1-1 Gondorf (24'), 1-2 Wagner (83')

Red Card: Wagner (87')

With Hertha pushing for a UEFA Champions League place and Darmstadt looking to fend off relegation, the stakes were high at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. The early stages reflected that tension, but it was the hosts who settled first and went ahead through Vladimir Darida's superbly-executed volley at the back post. Yet Darmstadt are renowned for their never-say-die attitude, and pulled level when Jerome Gondorf volleyed in following an excellent run by Marcel Heller.

After the restart there was little of the urgency of the first period as the teams appeared wary of leaving themselves exposed. Hertha controlled possession but struggled to engineer any real openings, and the visitors were the more dangerous of the two on the break. Indeed, after substitute Felix Platte squandered a glorious chance for Darmstadt, Sandro Wagner showed greater composure to prod home at the back post and give the Lilies a vital victory.

Hertha's Champions League hopes suffered a blow but Darmstadt are now safe.

Man of the match

His sending off notwithstanding, Wagner is enjoying the best season of his career and the striker's goal – his 14th of the season – was arguably the most important of the lot as it helped Darmstadt take a huge stride towards safety

Talking point

Darmstadt's victory will send shockwaves at both ends of the table. The Lilies are now safe given that Eintracht Frankfurt and SV Werder Bremen play each other next week, and Hertha must now rely on them to get a result against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 34 to aid their own Champions League aspirations.

Match stats

  • Gondorf found the target for a third successive away game.
  • Darida has put Hertha 1-0 up with four of his five Bundesliga goals this season.
  • Hertha had 71 per cent of possession to Darmstadt's 29 per cent.

Line-ups

Hertha: Jarstein - Weiser, Brooks, Lustenberger (c) (Baumjohann 64'), Mittelstädt - Stark, Skjelbred – Haraguchi (Schieber 73'), Darida, Kalou – Ibisevic

Coach: Pal Dardai

Darmstadt: Mathenia - Garics, Sulu (c), Caldirola, Holland - Niemeyer, Gondorf - Heller, Rausch (Platte 77') – Vrancic (Kempe 50') - Wagner

Coach: Dirk Schuster