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Ibisevic hands Hertha first win of year at Cologne

Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer and Hertha Berlin's Vedad Ibisevic in action REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer and Hertha Berlin's Vedad Ibisevic in action REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - Hertha Berlin snatched their first Bundesliga victory of 2016 on Friday, edging past Cologne 1-0 thanks to a Vedad Ibisevic goal as the visitors tightened their grip on third place.

The Berlin club enjoyed a good first half of the season but have suffered a dip in form since the winter break with their last league win coming on Dec. 20.

A 43rd-minute strike by Ibisevic, his seventh of the campaign in the Bundesliga, gave Hertha 39 points from 23 matches, four clear of fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

More aggressive at the start, Hertha scored when Cologne lost possession in midfield and Ibisevic capped a swift move by converting a Salomon Kalou pass.

The roles were almost reversed in the 72nd minute as the Bosnian striker headed on a corner and Ivorian Kalou narrowly failed to connect in front of goal.

Cologne, who hit the woodwork through Anthony Modeste in the 82nd minute, suffered a second straight defeat to stay in ninth position on 29 points.

Bayern Munich, eight points clear at the top, travel to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday while second-placed Borussia Dortmund host Hoffenheim a day later.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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