Ten-man Darmstadt safe after victory in Berlin
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: 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