Sun, Aug 28, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Hertha Berlin slot late goal to edge past VfB Stuttgart

Reuters, BERLIN

Promoted Hertha BSC Berlin struck four minutes from time through Raffael to beat VfB Stuttgart 1-0 on Friday and notch their first win of the Bundesliga season.

Raffael wrong-footed goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, heading in a cross from Patrick Ebert after a defensive error by the visitors.

Hertha coach Markus Babbel was the central figure before the game, taking on his former club where he won the 2007 Bundesliga title as a player and then stayed on to start his coaching career.

After a fast pace early on, the unusually warm and humid weather in the German capital took its toll on the players with Stuttgart having to wait until the half hour mark to threaten.

Japan’s Shinji Okazaki rattled the bar with a powerful header and a minute later unmarked Cacau failed to score from close range.

Hertha upped the tempo in the second half and Adrian Ramos’ glancing header flew just wide as Stuttgart repeatedly lost possession in midfield allowing the hosts to pour forward.

The visitors paid the price for their mistakes when they again lost possession outside the box. Ebert crossed from the right to the far post and 26-year-old Brazilian Raffael headed in the winner to lift Hertha to five points from four games.

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