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Hertha, Schalke continue Bundesliga climb

dpadpa 5 days ago

Schalke have now gone seven games without a loss as they charge up the Bundesliga table.

Vedad Ibisevic reached the 100-goal Bundesliga milestone with a brace but was then sent off in Hertha Berlin's 2-1 win over Mainz who also ended Sunday's game with 10 men.

Ibisevic's goals in the 36th and 67th reversed an early deficit from Aaron Seidel but the Bosnian then got his marching orders just as Mainz' Jean-Philippe Gbamin a few minutes earlier.

Mainz drew first blood in Berlin when Bundesliga debutant Aaron Seidel tapped hom in the 25th after Hertha failed to clear a low cross from Levin Oztunali.

But Ibisevic drilled the equalizer into the bottom right corner in the 36th and poked the winner in the 67th, set up both times by Salomon Kalou.

The Bosnian striker reached the 100-goal milestone after almost a decade in the league with now 240 games, his previous clubs being Hoffenheim and VfB Stuttgart.

But the captain got his marching orders for a tactical foul after an earlier yellow card in the 73rd, 11 minutes after Gbamin had to go.

"My team remained calm, and we deserved the win," Hertha coach Pal Dardai said.

Hertha climbed into third place with 24 points, ahead on goal difference over Eintracht Frankfurt who beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on Saturday.

Leipzig lead the way with 30 points while champions Bayern Munich are three points behind after edging Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 on Saturday.

Schalke meanwhile beat Darmstadt 3-1 in the other Sunday game to finally reach the top half of the standings after a disastrous start to the season.

Schalke are now unbeaten in seven games after losing the first five games of the campaign.

Darmstadt had a dream start when Sandro Sirigu ran across half the field and sent a defence-splitting pass to Heller who tapped a sixth-minute lead into the empty net after rounding goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann.

But Schalke slowly got into the game and were level in the 26th from Sead Kolasinac's header off Choupo-Moting's cross from the left.

Leon Goretzka headed against the bar a minute later and was brought down on the rebound but Darmstadt keeper Michael Esser saved the ensuing penalty from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Choupo-Moting eventually did better on the hour when he artistically poked home Max Meyer's low cross, and Alessandro Schoepf clinched victory in the 89th after being nicely set up by Yevhen Konoplyanka.

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