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

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

Berlin took the reins from 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 metres 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, Ibisevic broke the deadlock in 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.

However, the hosts pressed frenetically and had another two promising opportunities to restore parity but Marcel Risse pulled over the bar from 18 metres before Anthony Modeste rattled the right post in the 83rd minute.

With the result, Berlin sealed their first three points of 2016 to jump to third place while Cologne remain at ninth.


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