Mainz beats Hertha to boost chances of Bundesliga survival

BERLIN (AP) Swedish midfielder Robin Quaison scored twice as Mainz beat Hertha Berlin 2-0 for a boost in its fight against Bundesliga relegation on Friday.

Hertha had been hoping to close in on the qualification places for European football next season, but the side disappointed in front of its own fans as it slumped to its first loss in five games.

There was further bad news for Hertha with forward Vedad Ibisevic going off early with what assistant coach Rainer Widmayer said at halftime was a broken nose.

Mainz had several chances in the first half, and the visitors duly went ahead minutes before the break when Quaison eluded four Hertha defenders to score inside the left post. The ball went between two of the players’ legs.

Quaison grabbed his second midway through the second half after latching onto a simple ball over the top from Jean-Philippe Gbamin and firing through goalkeeper Rune Jarstein’s legs.

The home fans responded with whistles for their team’s lackluster performance.

Mainz remains in the relegation playoff spot ahead of the rest of the 23rd round, level on points with Werder Bremen and one behind Stuttgart and Wolfsburg.