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Sports

Berlin Beats Cologne in Historic Win

For the first time in 31 years, Hertha Berlin beat FC Cologne in the latter's home town, moving the capital's soccer team into fourth place in the Bundesliga ranking on Sunday.

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Berlin's Marcelinho (left) faces Cologne's Lukas Sinkiewicz

Berlin's Alexander Madlung scored the winning goal in the 52nd minute, putting Hertha behind Munich, Hamburg and Bremen and ahead of Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga's top spots.

In Sunday's second game, VfB Stuttgart won 1-0 over Kaiserlautern with a goal by Jon Dahl Tomasson.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Bayern Munich suffered their first loss in 15 games in Hamburg in their first real test of the season, putting some spice back into the Bundesliga title race. Hamburg still trail the Bavarians by one point.

Second-place Hamburg's 2-0 home win over Bayern in front of 55,800 fans and Bayer Leverkusen's 2-1 loss away to Weder Bremen, currently in third place, narrow the gap in the German top flight's first three spots to just two points.

The Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart's fourth goal of the season gave Hamburg the lead in the 10th minute and Piotr Trochowski, who Bayern sent to Hamburg in November 2003, ensured HSV's first victory over Munich since February 1996 with another goal in the 62nd minute.

"Normally I am useless with my right foot so to score against Bayern with it is very nice," van der Vaart said.

Mu n ich missed their cha n ces

Bayern set the tempo and kept control of the ball for most of the game, but had few chances on goal and couldn't capitalize in the stadium current Bayern coach Felix Magath used to call home. Before the match Magath prophesied that Hamburg would always be in contention for the championship but wouldn't be able to beat Munich.

Fußball Bundesliga 2004 Bayer Leverkusen - VfB Stuttgart 2 : 0 letzter Spieltag Stuttgarts Trainer Felix Magath

Felix Magath had plenty to tell his players

Magath (photo) probably won't be making any more predictions until he has a long chat with his side's defense, which completely collapsed on long pass that resulted in van der Vaart's being able to slip a shot past a helpless Oliver Kahn.

"We deserved to lose, HSV was the better team," Magath admitted after the game. "In the first half we couldn't find our rhythm."

Bayern's Dutch striker, Roy Makaay, couldn't get free of HSV defenders Khalid Boulahrouz and Daniel van Buyten, while returned German national team captain Michael Ballack couldn't hide that he'd been missing from practice for the past two weeks.

Celebratio n s o n the house

"I can only congratulate my team," said Hamburg trainer Thomas Doll. "We're going to enjoy this great moment."

After flirting with relegation last season, the Hamburg supporters are in dreamland this term and can toast their team's success with a beer or two on the house.

Germany's Bitburg Brewery agreed to offer 10,000 liters of free beer for the fans of the first team to beat Bayern this season so Hamburg followers can celebrate in style.

Bundesliga 7. Spieltag Werder Bremen gegen Bayer Leverkusen

Carsten Ramelow, left, stops Bremen's French midfielder Johan Micoud

Title rivals Werder Bremen capitalized on the rare slip and closed to within two points of the tabletoppers courtesy of a 2-1 triumph over Bayer Leverkusen. Croatian Ivan Klasnic netted on 77 minutes to steal the spoils after Simon Rolfes had cancelled out Miroslav Klose's opener for Bremen.

"I feel a little bad for my team," said temporary Leverkusen coach Rudi Völler. "They almost kept up with a great team, but didn't take advantage of their chances."

Schalke o n track for Europea n co n tests

Schalke 04 also made up lost ground on the Bundesliga leaders with a 2-0 win over Hanover now seeing them five points adrift of the reigning champions. Brazilian Lincoln scored his first goal of the season on 58 minutes but then had a penalty saved by Robert Enke three minutes later. The miss did not prove costly though as Kevin Kuranyi scored in the 66th minute as Schalke climbed to within five points of Bayern.

Bundesliga 7. Spieltag MSV Duisburg gegen 1. FC Nürnberg

Duisburg's Alexander Meyer struggles with Nuremberg's Stefan Kiessling, left

Toward the other end of the German table MSV Duisburg chalked up their first win of the season in a relegation duel with 1. FC Nuremburg. Markus Kurth scored what might have been the goal of the weekend in the 28th minute and put Duisburg in 14th place and Nuremburg in the league's basement.

VfL Wolfsburg were able to pull themselves into the table's top third with a 1-0 triumph over promoted Eintracht Frankfurt. The 17,121 home fans' jubilation began in the 35th minute with a goal from Diego Klimowicz and didn't slow down until long after the referee blew the final whistle. After five straight losses, Frankfurt coach Friedhelm Funkel may want to start thinking about second division clubs where he can submit his resume.

Koller leaves game i n jured

Bundesliga 7. Spieltag FSV Mainz 05 gegen Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund's Jan Koller, left, tries to reach the ball before Mainz's Antonio da Silva

Borussia Dortmund's Christoph Metzelder waited until the last minute to score the first goal of his Bundesliga career, but the point Dortmund took home from Mainz 05 in the 1-1 draw was bittersweet as Borussia's striker Jan Koller was taken out of the game after suffering a torn ligament.

"I'm very sad, that might have been my last game in Dortmund," Koller said.

Mohamed Zidan converted a penalty kick in the 64th minute to give Mainz the lead initially, only to watch it slip away in injury time.

Borussia Mönchengladbach joined Hamburg in putting an end to another Bundesliga streak -- their own run of away losses. Borussia won their first away game in 22 matched 2-0 in Bielefeld thanks to goals from Peer Kluge and Oliver Neuville as well as excellent goalkeeping from Kasey Keller.

On Sunday Cologne will host Hertha Berlin and Kaiserslautern travel to Stuttgart in the league's last week seven games.

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