Hertha beat Hoffenheim to go second

BERLIN - Hertha Berlin won 1-0 at Hoffenheim with a goal from Patrick Ebert to revive their Bundesliga title hopes on Friday. They moved up to second place on 55 points and are within two points of VfL Wolfsburg, who visit second-from-bottom Energie Cottbus on Sunday, with five matches left. But it was Hoffenheim, without a victory since late January, who dominated the match and Demba Ba and Chinedu Obasi missed several good opportunities. Hertha, without suspended Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin, had to wait until the 40th minute for their first clear chance when they took the lead against the run of play. Marko Pantelic fed Ebert on the right and the midfielder slotted past goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand. Hoffenheim kept pouring forward but some sloppy passing and a solid Berlin backline, with central defender Josip Simunic in commanding form, prevented an equaliser. Substitute Boubacar Sanogo hit the bar with an explosive header in the 77th but the Bundesliga newcomers, who have now gone 11 matches without a win, left empty-handed. "This is a very important win for us," Hertha manager Dieter Hoeness told reporters. "It gives us a boost for the last five matches." Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick was left to rue his team's missed chances. "We clearly dominated the match," Rangnick said. "We did everything right and the only thing missing was the goals. Hertha scored one goal with one chance."