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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Hertha Berlin beat Mainz 2-0 on Sunday to consolidate third place in the Bundesliga ahead of the winter break and improve its chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
Vedad Ibisevic set up both goals and had one denied in a close offside call. He wasted a good late chance as he tried to score with his heel.
In the late match, Borussia Moenchengladbach rallied with 10 men to overcome Darmstadt 3-2 as the Bundesliga closed for the monthlong winter break.
Vladimir Darida drove home from the edge of the penalty area after a pass from Ibisevic in the 34th minute. Salomon Kalou secured the win in the 54th, also after a pass from Ibisevic.
With 32 points, Berlin has played its second best half of the season and has three more points more than fourth-place Moenchengladbach. Berlin was fighting against relegation last season.
Mainz lost after seven matches without a defeat.
In Moenchengladbach, the home side fell behind to a goal by Marcel Heller and then lost captain Granit Xhaka to a red card for retaliating in the 39th minute. Lars Stindl and Harvard Nordtveit scored either side of the break to turn the match around, before Sandro Wagner headed in the equalizer for Darmstadt.
But Oscar Wendt used a good through ball to score the winning goal in the 87th.
Moenchengladbach snapped a three-match losing streak across all competitions and pushed past Leverkusen into fourth place. Promoted Darmstadt dropped to 13th.
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