Sun, Feb 08, 2009 - Page 18 News List

BUNDES LIGA: Hertha thwarted by Wichniarek

AFP , BERLIN

Hertha Berlin’s Patrick Ebert, left, vies for the ball with Arminia Bielefeld’s Thorben Marx during their Bundesliga match in Bielefeld, Germany, on Friday.

PHOTO: AFP

Poland striker Artur Wichniarek leveled for Arminia Bielefeld as Hertha Berlin’s hopes of taking over at the top of the German Bundesliga were thwarted by a 1-1 draw on Friday.

Former Liverpool striker Andrei Voronin had fired Hertha into an early lead and three points would have put them top, above Hoffenheim.

But Wichniarek struck just before halftime with his 12th goal of the season.

After shocking Werder Bremen 2-1 last Sunday, Bielefeld are now up to 14th in the table having picked up another precious point, while Hertha stay second.

“We must accept the result,” Berlin coach Lucien Favre said. “I am not dissatisfied, because Bielefeld are not a bad team. After taking the lead, we could have made it 2-0, but they had us under all kinds of pressure in the second half.”

Opposite number Michael Frontzeck was happy to have picked up a point.

“I am happy with the result,” Frontzeck said. “Berlin started well and had two or three good chances, but we had the better of the second half and it was a fair result.”

Before kick-off, Berlin lost captain Arne Friedrich with a back injury that will also keep him out of Wednesday’s Germany friendly against Norway in Dusseldorf.

Hertha took the lead after just 13 minutes when Voronin latched onto a free-kick from goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny and drilled his shot into the top corner with pin-point accuracy.

The Ukrainian forward hit the crossbar a few minutes later.

But Bielefeld showed plenty of fighting spirit when Wichniarek, who hit the winner against Bremen, leveled five minutes before the interval, heading home a cross from Czech Republic defender Radim Kucera.

Bielefeld had by far the better of the second half, as Brazilian Raffael went close on several occasions.

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