KENYA BROWN - Monday, May 9, 2016
John Brooks and Hertha Berlin's chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League were vanquished as they suffered a tough loss to Darmstadt at home.
Hertha Berlin 1 - 2 Darmstadt
A goal eight minutes before the end of play ended Hertha's hopes of making it to the Champions League as they were pipped by Darmstadt at the Olympic Stadium.
Brooks made his return to the starting lineup for the capital team in the loss.
Hertha started things on the right foot and scored the first goal of the game in the 14th minute. Maximilian Mittelstädt's cross from the left found teammate Vladimír Darida in the box and the Czech international volleyed his effort past Darmstadt goalkeeper Christian Mathenia to give them the early lead.
However, Darmstadt, who also had something to play for as they try to fight against relegation, found the equalizer 10 minutes later.
Marcel Heller was somehow able to get his cross into the box as he was under heavy pressure and Jerome Gondorf was there to bury the ball into the back of the net.
The home side were pressing to find their second goal, but Darmstadt were able to withstand the pressure until their opportunity arose in the 82nd minute.
Gondorf's cross would find the long leg of Sandro Wagner who got his effort into the Hertha goal.
The win guarantees Darmstadt's status in the Bundesliga for next season while Hertha will have to win next weekend in order to qualify for the Europa League. They are currently in sixth place on 49 points and battling Mainz and Schalke for the two spots.
Tim Chandler and Christian Pulisic came on as subs for their respective teams, but it was Chandler's Eintracht Frankfurt side that came out victorious with a 1-0 win over Borussia Dortmund. Eintracht's win pulled them out of the relegation zone ahead of next weekend's final fixture.
Alfredo Morales was a second half substitute as Ingolstadt suffered a 2-1 defeat to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
Fabian Johnson did not dress due to injury, but Borussia Mönchengladbach sealed their place in the Champions League qualifying stage with a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Fabrice Picault saw 83 minutes of action as St. Pauli lost 1-0 to Nürnberg.
Shawn Barry saw 55 minutes of action as FSV Frankfurt fell 1-0 to Fortuna Düsseldorf. The team are now in danger of being relegated.
Andrew Wooten came on late in the second half as Sandhausen settled for a 2-2 tie with MSV Duisburg.
Bobby Wood saw 63 minutes of action as Union Berlin lost 2-0 to Arminia Bielefeld.