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Hertha gain vital points with 3-0 win over Leverkusen

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Berlin, March 22 (IANS) Hertha Berlin took a much-needed win and moved out of the bottom three as first-half goals from Deyovaisio Zeefuik, Matheus Cunha and Jhon Cordoba shocked Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

Hertha made a bright start on home soil as Dodi Lukebakio collected a loose ball following a parry from Leverkusen goalkeeper Lennart Grill before setting up for Zeefuik, who drilled the ball into the top left corner with just four minutes played on Sunday, Xinhua news reports.

Leverkusen responded with frenetic attacks but despite dominating possession and Patrik Schick’s header on target with 11 minutes gone, there wasn’t a lot to do for Hertha’s defense.

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Hertha defended well, keeping the visitors at bay and focussing on counter attacks. The hosts doubled their advantage on 26 minutes as Leverkusen’s Charles Aranguiz was dispossessed in midfield before Lukebakio squared to Cunha, who beat Grill with a well-placed low shot into the bottom corner.

Things went from bad to worse only moments later, as Cordoba danced through Leverkusen’s defence before overcoming Grill with a turn shot to make it three in the 33rd minute.

After the restart, the hosts picked up where they left off as Grill had his hands full after Cordoba and Cunha came close in quick succession in the 50th minute.

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Pal Dardai’s men thought they had extended the lead to 4-0 but Lukebakio’s goal was disallowed due to a handball by Cordoba.

Leverkusen lacked in penetration but tested custodian Rune Jarstein through Schick in the 55th minute, while Grill was very busy denying Cunha and Lukebakio in the closing stages.

With the result, Hertha Berlin climb off a relegation spot and into 14th position, while Leverkusen stay in sixth place despite suffering its second straight defeat.

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Elsewhere, Mainz also move out of the drop zone after beating Hoffenheim 2-1 courtesy of Dominik Kohr’s winner, and Freiburg downed Augsburg 2-0.

–IANS

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