Jurgen Ekkelenkamp on Friday scored 87 seconds into his Hertha BSC debut in a 2-1 Bundesliga win over promoted SpVgg Greuther Furth.
The 21-year-old Dutch midfielder, who joined Hertha from Ajax on the last day of the summer transfer window, scored with a header from a corner in the 61st minute.
He was involved again as an own-goal from Furth’s Maximilian Bauer in the 79th minute proved to be the winner for Hertha.
“It feels great,” Ekkelenkamp said. “I’m a little bit not happy on the bench, not really, but I’m happy to come in and score... I want to fight for the team and be important with goals.”
It was Hertha’s second straight win — both against promoted teams — after starting the league with three defeats.
However, it was anything but easy as Hertha lost captain Dedryck Boyata and French forward Myziane Maolida to injuries.
Coach Pal Dardai was also booked toward the end of the game for an angry outburst at the referee.
Hertha’s sporting director Arne Friedrich had to hold Dardai back.
“I’ve apologized already,” Dardai said. “I was a tick too aggressive.”
Hertha’s fans had started the game in buoyant mood after last week’s 3-1 win over VfL Bochum, but the first half failed to live up to their expectations.
Suat Serdar provided a rare highlight when he surged through the middle and shot narrowly wide in the 18th minute.
There were whistles from some Hertha fans at the break.
Branimir Hrgota held his nerve to break the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 57th minute but Dardai brought on Ekkelenkamp in response and the Dutch midfielder needed little time to score.
Marton Dardai, the coach’s son, delivered the corner.
Ekkelenkamp was involved again as he tried to reach Marco Richter’s cross, forcing Bauer into the own-goal.
“An excellent player,” Dardai said of Ekkelenkamp. “I already said he was a super player after the first training sessions. We just waited for the right moment. You can’t throw him straight in. This was the right moment and he took it well.”
AP, REGGIO EMILIA, Italy
Marko Pjaca on Friday scored a late goal as Torino won 1-0 against US Sassuolo in Serie A.
It was Torino’s second consecutive victory after opening the season with two straight losses.
Torino now have six points, three points behind league leaders AS Roma, AC Milan and SSC Napoli, while Sassuolo remained with four.
Pjaca’s goal came with a curled shot that appeared to surprise Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.
Pjaca’s rights are owned by Juventus and Torino are the fifth different team he has played for on loan in five seasons.
In the first half, Torino hit the post twice and Sassuolo once.
Cadiz on Friday held on for a 2-1 victory against RC Celta de Vigo to end their winless streak in La Liga.
Anthony Lozano and Luis Alfonso Espino scored five minutes apart at the end of the first half to give the visitors the win in Vigo.
Santi Mina pulled Celta closer by scoring in the 64th minute, but the hosts could not find the equalizer after twice hitting the woodwork in stoppage-time at the Estadio de Balaidos.
Espino’s goal came after Salvi Sanchez missed a 43rd-minute penalty-kick for Cadiz.
Cadiz had lost two games in a row after opening with consecutive draws.
It was the third consecutive loss for Celta and fourth in their first five league matches.
They were coming off a 5-2 defeat against Real Madrid.
Celta’s only draw was against CA Osasuna in the second round.
Habib Diallo on Friday scored twice after strike partner Ludovic Ajorque netted early on as RC Strasbourg Alsace beat Metz 3-0 in Ligue 1.
Ajorque put the Alsace-based side ahead from the penalty spot in the fifth minute following a foul on Strasbourg midfielder Dimitri Lienard.
Diallo finished well with a low shot in the 25th minute thanks to good work from defender Gerzino Nyamsi and struck again in the 39th minute when he latched onto an excellent lofted pass from Ajorque.
Strasbourg moved up to 10th place ahead of the remainder of the weekend’s games.
Metz dropped to 19th place and are one of only four teams yet to win.
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