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Setback for Hertha Berlin in 3-0 defeat to Wolfsburg

By CIARÁN FAHEYAugust 25, 2019
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Maximilian Arnold from VfL Wolfsburg, center, and Berlin's Ondrej Duda, front, battle for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Hertha BSC Berlin in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)
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Maximilian Arnold from VfL Wolfsburg, center, and Berlin's Ondrej Duda, front, battle for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Hertha BSC Berlin in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Hertha Berlin’s hopes of a bright new dawn with a fresh coach and new investor had a setback Sunday in a 3-0 defeat at home to Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

An early penalty from Wout Weghorst, and late strikes from Josip Brekalo and Jerome Roussillon, gave Wolfsburg its second win from two league games under new coach Oliver Glasner.

Hertha, which opened its league campaign with a 2-2 draw at Bayern Munich last weekend, pinned the visiting side back for most of the game but lacked the cutting edge to really trouble Koen Casteels in the Wolfsburg goal.

Hertha’s fans were full of hope on a warm sunny evening for Ante Covic’s first home game in charge - and the first at home since investor Lars Windhorst bought a 37.5% stake in the club for 125 million euros ($140 million) in June.

They had just settled into their seats when Hertha midfielder Ondrej Duda went down after a challenge from Josuha Guilavogui and referee Guido Winkmann pointed to the penalty spot. However, Winkmann checked again after an intervention from the video assistant referee and changed his decision.

Minutes later, Winkmann awarded another penalty at the other end for a foul by Karim Rekik on Felix Klaus. This time there was no VAR intervention and Weghorst gave Wolfsburg a ninth-minute lead.

Hertha kept pushing and should have equalized in the 21st when Duda set up Marko Grujic with his heel. Casteels saved the Serbian midfielder’s first effort before his second on the rebound was deflected out.

With Wolfsburg’s defense still holding firm with a half-hour to go, Covic introduced striker Davie Selke for midfielder Vladimir Darida. He followed up some 10 minutes later by bringing on Dutch forward Daishawn Redan for his Bundesliga debut.

But instead it was Brekalo who sealed the visitors’ win in the 82nd, before Roussillon completed the scoring in injury time.

LEIPZIG CELEBRATES

Leipzig forward Timo Werner ended speculation linking him with a summer move to Bayern Munich and scored in a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Leipzig announced before the game that the 23-year-old Werner, whose contract was up next year, finally signed a new deal to 2023, ending ongoing uncertainty over his immediate future. Werner had done little to dampen speculation of a move to Bayern.

The Germany forward celebrated with the opening goal in the 10th minute against Frankfurt, turning smartly to finish after Yussuf Poulsen had headed the ball on.

Frankfurt tried hard but lacked a cutting edge and looked susceptible to the home side’s counterattacks.

Poulsen sealed Leipzig’s second win from two games under new coach Julian Nagelsmann in the 80th.

United States defender Timmy Chandler set up Goncalo Paciencia’s consolation in the 89th.

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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

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