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Sports

Quick start puts Wolfsburg past Freiburg, Hertha beat Braunschweig

It was David versus Goliath in the early Sunday match - only this time Goliath proved quicker of foot and of wit, as wealthy Wolfsburg handed tiny Freiburg another defeat. The final score: 3-0. Hertha Berlin also won.

For visiting Wolfsburg, this match was a chance to move up to fifth in the Bundesliga table, while hosts Freiburg were looking to collect some points in what is shaping up as a fight against relegation. Glory or survival - which would prove the more powerful incentive?

Glory, it seemed at the start. The Wolves proved impolite guests right from the get-go. Only eight minutes had elapsed when Ricardo Rodriguez and Patrick Ochs traded passes, and rising star Maxi Arnold, 19, slotted home to open the scoring.

Three minutes later, Wolfsburg strung together some more slick passes, and Ivica Olic doubled their advantage. Freiburg's defense looked a shambles and the hosts were lucky only to be down by two at the break.

They played with more intensity in the second half, but without results. Matthias Ginter had Freiburg's best chance but somehow contrived to miss from a few feet out. In the dying minutes, Sebastian Kerk also pushed feebly wide from an open position. Marcel Schäfer completed the scoreline in injury time.

The 3-0 win moves Wolfsburg past Schalke and into the top five in the table. Freiburg remain mired in the relegation zone, in 16th.

Berlin beat Braunschweig

Braunschweig and Hertha players battle for the ball

Hertha prevailed in a real dogfight



In Sunday’s late match, last-placed Eintracht Braunschweig were looking to escape the cellar while visitors Hertha Berlin had the chance to climb to seventh.

The hosts were a bundle of energy right from the start. Unfortunately, they were not a bundle of talent, and Hertha took the lead in the 20th. Much-maligned playmaker Ronny delivered a corner and Adrian Ramos scored with a diving header. Berlin took that narrow advantage into the dressing room.

After the restart, Braunschweig threw everything but the kitchen sink at their opponents but could not find a way through. One breakaway by Ronny was all Hertha needed. The Brazilian located Tolga Cigerci as he paced into the box, and he put the match beyond reach.

It did not help that Braunschweig’s Timo Perthel was sent off with a second yellow card a minute after Cigerci's goal.

The 2-0 win takes Hertha to within two points of Schalke in sixth. Braunschweig stay rock bottom with only eight points in fifteen matches.