Hertha Berlin Fut Coins moved away from the German Bundesliga relegation zone with a 3-2 win over Stuttgart at the Olympiastadion on Friday evening, leaving the visitors on the brink of the bottom three. Salomon Kalou’s brace turned the game in the hosts’ favour after Moritz Leitner had given Stuttgart a fifth-minute lead, and Roy Beerens increased Hertha’s lead 16 minutes from time.
A late own goal from Sandro Wagner gave Armin Veh’s side hope, but they could not force an equaliser. Leitner gave the visitors a flying start when he put them in front after only five minutes, tucking in Florian Klein’s low cross from the right. It was the only moment of joy for Stuttgart in a first half otherwise dominated by the home team, however.
Midway through, Jos Luhukay’s men got their reward when Carlos Gruezo tripped Valentin Stocker in the area after the Swiss midfielder’s shot was pushed out by Thorsten Kirschbaum. Kalou stepped up to the spot and coolly converted – his second goal for the club.
Hertha continued to push forward and create chances with Anis Ben-Hatira missing a few of the best opportunities. Stuttgart almost snatched the lead again just before the break when a free-kick was played over the top towards Vedad Ibisevic, who only had goalkeeper Thomas Kraft to beat, but he managed only the slightest of touches with his head and it was not enough.
The away team were much improved at the start of the second half, with Timo Werner’s header pushed behind by Kraft, but they shot themselves in the foot in the 64th minute. Anthony Rudiger raced out of defence and was dispossessed inside the Hertha half, inviting the hosts to break quickly, which they did.
The ball was fed to Kalou, who enjoyed the rub of the green with a turn inside Daniel Schwaab before providing a composed finish past Kirschbaum. Ten minutes later, an almost identical mistake playing the ball out led to the very same punishment, this time with Ben-Hatira sending in a cross which Beerens turned in on the volley from six yards out.
Stuttgart showed their pride, getting a goal back ten minutes later when Leitner’s free-kick was flicked into his own goal by Wagner. They were unable to fully remedy their errors, though, succumbing to a defeat which could see them slip inside the bottom three this weekend.