Cologne - Home comforts came to the fore during Matchday 9's Saturday afternoon action as Hertha Berlin, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Augsburg all emerged victorious on their own patch against sides in the bottom half of the table.
Hertha Berlin 3-0 Hamburger SV
bundesliga.com rounds up the remaining results from around the grounds...
Hertha Berlin registered their third straight home win and third of the season overall thanks to a 3-0 victory over struggling Hamburger SV.
Änis Ben-Hatira was at the double with a second-half brace, while John Heitinga chipped in with his first-ever Bundesliga goal to help the dominant capital-city side to a deserved triumph at the Olympiastadion.
Ben-Hatira breaking the deadlock
Hoping to extend their unbeaten streak to three outings, Hamburg started confidently, dominating possession in the early stages, yet clear-cut goalscoring opportunities proved difficult to come by at both ends before the break. Pierre-Michel Lasogga twice came close to finding the net against his former side, steering Rafael van der Vaart's free-kick wide on two separate occasions, while at the other end Salomon Kalou saw a close-range effort denied by Jaroslav Drobny.
Hertha upped the pressure after the break, bossing both the rhythm and chances in front of goal. Marcel Ndjeng was unlucky to see his powerful effort bounce off the crossbar, but Jos Luhukay’s men saw their dominance pay dividends 59 minutes into the game when Ben-Hatira slotted the ball in after twisting and turning his way past the HSV defence, with Heitinga doubling the Berliners’ advantage only six minutes later with the simplest of tap-ins. Hertha remained the superior side as the game progressed, Ben-Hatira beating Drobny for a second time late on, all but sealing three points for the Old Lady.
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TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 1-0 SC Paderborn 07
1899 Hoffenheim were run close, but managed to preserve their unbeaten start to the season courtesy of a narrow 1-0 win over SC Paderborn 07 at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar Arena.
While an entertaining first half failed to produce a break through, with Sebastian Rudy unable to convert an early penalty, Kevin Volland’s 73rd-minute strike, his first in the current campaign, proved the difference between the two sides in an evenly-matched encounter.
As two of the Bundesliga’s entertainers, it came as no surprise that the sides got proceedings off to frantic start with Oliver Baumann tipping a Lukas Rupp effort over and Rudy’s penalty striking the post, all inside the opening five minutes. Keen to atone for the squandered opportunity, Hoffenheim remained the more ambitious outfit, but Volland and Roberto Firmino were both unable to get the better of visiting keeper Lukas Kruse, as the sides entered the dressing room with the encounter still deadlocked.
The introduction of Marvin Ducksch breathed new life into Paderborn’s performance with top goalscorer Elias Kachunga causing Hoffenheim problems. Moritz Stoppelkamp and Volland both rattled the woodwork shortly after the hour mark, but it was the hosts who grabbed the all-important opener, Volland collecting Andreas Beck’s cross to fire home at the front post. A late penalty shout was as close as Paderborn came to an equaliser, allowing Hoffenheim to see out the closing stages without issue.
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FC Augsburg 2-0 SC Freiburg
FC Augsburg bounced back from suffering consecutive defeats on foreign soil by securing a 2-0 win over SC Freiburg, who are still searching for their first win of the 2014/15 Bundesliga campaign.
Paul Verhaegh’s third goal of the season set the hosts on their way before Halil Altintop added to the scoreline in the second half, ensuring Markus Weinzierl’s charges walked away with a fully-deserved fourth victory of the current campaign.
No fight from Freiburg
Freiburg sought to make life difficult for their hosts, but having pressed with great intent and efficiency early on, saw their hard work undone when Pavel Krmas was penalised for hauling down Ragnar Klavan inside the box, allowing Verhaegh to net his third goal of the season from the spot. The hosts came within a lick of paint of extending their lead when Daniel Baier crashed an effort off the bar, but had to settle for a one-goal lead going in at the break
With Maximilian Philipp registering just 15 first-half touches, Christian Streich opted to replace the youngster with Sebastian Kerk at half-time, yet there was little change to proceedings with Freiburg unable to carve our chances and Augsburg still in complete control. The hosts duly extended their lead just past the hour mark when Altintop put the finishing touches on a clinical counter led by Alexander Esswein and, with Freiburg failing to muster up a response, home comforts enabled to hosts to put an end to their two-game losing streak.
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