Soccer-Hertha beat Freiburg 3-0 to move away from relegation zone

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Hertha BSC v SC Freiburg - Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany - May 6, 2021 Hertha BSC's Krzysztof Piatek celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

BERLIN (Reuters) - Hertha Berlin struck twice in nine minutes to beat Freiburg 3-0 on Thursday and earn a key victory in their battle to avoid relegation, in their second match back following a two-week quarantine due to the coronavirus.

Krzysztof Piatek fired in from a tight angle in the 13th minute and 34-year-old veteran Peter Pekarik scored their second with a header to lift their club, unbeaten now in their last five league games, out of the relegation spots and into 14th place with a game still in hand.

Freiburg came close to a goal three minutes after the restart but Nicolas Hoefler's clever header was saved on the line by keeper Alexander Schwolow.

A superb solo effort and fine finish by Nemanja Radonjic in the 85th made sure of the three points in a tumultuous week for Hertha, who will have played three matches in six days with their clash against fellow strugglers Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday.

On Wednesday the club sacked former Germany and Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann from his role on their supervisory board after he had sent a racist message to television pundit Dennis Aogo.

Hertha, who also earned a point with a 1-1 draw at in-form Mainz 05 on Monday and still have a game in hand, are now in 14th place on 30 points, as many as Werder Bremen in 15th and Bielefeld, who sit on the relegation playoff spot in 16th.

Cologne are a point behind in 17th, while bottom-placed Schalke are already relegated.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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