Hertha Berlin stumbles in 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 23, 2017 09:17 AM
Hertha Berlin's head coach Pal Dardai comforts his players after losing the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Hertha BSC Berlin in Leverkusen, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) — Hertha Berlin missed out on a chance to go third in the Bundesliga as it slipped to a 3-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen on two goals from Hakan Calhanoglu on Sunday.
There was more than a hint of bad luck for Hertha in two of Leverkusen's goals, with Omer Toprak's opener coming after an attempted clearance hit a Hertha player.
For the second, a contentious handball decision against Hertha's Marvin Plattenhardt allowed Calhanogulu to score from the penalty spot.
Hertha pulled a goal back just before halftime through Valentin Stocker, who scored on the rebound from John Brooks' effort.
But Leverkusen held on well through the second half, and scored a third when Calhanoglu volleyed in Kevin Kampl's cross.
Hertha's loss in its first game of 2017 sees the team from the German capital stay fifth. Leverkusen, which had won one of its previous six league games, rises two places to eighth.
Cologne and Mainz played out a 0-0 draw which sees the teams remain seventh and 11th respectively.
Mainz had some chances saved in the early stages of a game often lacking in excitement, while Cologne's Yuya Osako saw a shot saved by Mainz goalkeeper Jonas Loessl late on.