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Heerenveen leave Hertha hurting

Hertha BSC Berlin 0-1 SC Heerenveen
A first-half strike byArgentinian midfielder Hernán Losada gave Heerenveen's hopes of progress from Group D a major lift.

Hertha's Patrick Ebert tangles with Goran Popov of Heerenveen
Hertha's Patrick Ebert tangles with Goran Popov of Heerenveen ©Getty Images

SC Heerenveen gave their hopes of reaching the round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League a welcome shot in the arm with a 1-0 win at Hertha BSC Berlin.

Maiden win
Both sides had picked up a solitary point from their opening two Group D matches, but Jan de Jonge's men registered a morale-boosting triumph courtesy of Hernán Losada's 36th-minute strike. Hertha were unable to find a way through despite the visitors' Daryl Janmaat being sent off on 76 minutes, and were reduced to ten men themselves with Patrick Ebert's dismissal in added time. Victory left the Dutch side second in the section on four points, five behind leaders Sporting Clube de Portugal, but two clear of FK Ventspils and three ahead of Hertha.

Cutting edge
Hertha belied their troubling domestic form with a confident start, Adrián Ramos curling an early shot just wide of the target. Heerenveen, though, eased their way into the game and finally found a cutting edge to their neat approach play after the half-hour mark. A magnificent cross-field ball found the visitors' captain Michel Breuer forging down the right and his cutback picked out Losada, who fired low past Sascha Burchert.

Reflex stop
Hertha could have been level before half-time, but Cícero sent a vicious drive dipping narrowly over the bar before the Brazilian saw Brian Vandenbussche produce a wonderful reflex stop to preserve Heerenveen's advantage. The Dutch side almost had extra breathing space ten minutes after the break when Michal Papadopulos swivelled and thudded a shot against Burchert's left-hand post, but it was the hosts who looked the most likely to alter the scoreline.

Late challenge
Fabian Lustenberger sent a drive fizzing just wide while a volley from substitute Raffael brought another fine save from Vandenbussche. Janmaat, who had been on the pitch just three minutes, was then dismissed for a late challenge on Nemanja Pejčinović. However, Hertha were to endure a frustrating night, which was complete when Ebert was also red-carded to leave them bottom of the section ahead of their Matchday 4 trip to the Netherlands.