Hertha Berlin beats Stuttgart 3-2 in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) — Salomon Kalou scored twice as Hertha Berlin came from behind to beat visiting Stuttgart 3-2 in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Kalou cancelled out Moritz Leitner’s fifth-minute opener with a coolly taken penalty in the 22nd, and the former Chelsea and Lille striker displayed a good piece of skill before claiming his second in the 64th.
The penalty decision was contentious, however. Valentin Stocker tried reaching the rebound after Stuttgart goalkeeper Thorsten Kirschbaum saved his shot, and fell when challenging Carlos Gruezo from behind for the ball.
The home side dominated most of the half but Stuttgart emerged invigorated after the break, when Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft did well to deny Timo Werner’s header.
“I think the first half was our best half (of the season) so far,” Hertha coach Jos Luhukay said. “Stuttgart came back very strongly in the second half. But sometimes you just need that last bit of luck.”
Kalou scored his second against the run of play, surging forward onto Stocker’s pass, eluding Daniel Schwaab with a change of feet and then prodding the ball past Kirschbaum.
Another new signing, Roy Beerens, sealed the result ten minutes later, when Anis Ben-Hatira’s trick on the left wing preceded a great cross for the in-flying Dutchman to volley past the Stuttgart ’keeper.
Hertha substitute Sandro Wagner ensured a nervy final seven minutes when he inadvertently headed Leitner’s free kick into his own goal.
However, the visitors were unable to force an equalizer as they slumped to their fourth loss from seven games.
“Maybe we felt too confident after the first goal. We made it too easy for them. We’ve only ourselves to blame,” Leitner said.