Hertha Berlin miss chance to close gap on Dortmund

Hertha Berlin missed their chance to close the gap behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga table on Saturday as their goalless draw at home to Augsburg saw them stay third.

Hertha Berlin's Salomon Kalou and FC Augsburg's Daniel Baier in action during their Bundesliga game.   -  REUTERS

Hertha Berlin missed their chance to close the gap behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga table on Saturday as their goalless draw at home to Augsburg saw them stay third.

Hertha failed to take their chances in an error-strewn clash at Berlin's Olympic Stadium in wintry conditions against mid-table Augsburg as forwards Vedad Ibisevic and Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou squandered six chances between them.

With leaders Bayern Munich having opened a 11-point lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 win at Hamburg on Friday thanks to Robert Lewandowski's two goals, second-placed Dortmund are under pressure to close the gap on Saturday night at resurgent Borussia Monchengladbach, who are fourth.

Dortmund routed Gladbach 4-0 at the start of the season, but the visitors have climbed from bottom of the table to fourth under new coach Andre Schubert and have lost just once in their last 12 league games.

At the other end of the table, veteran Portugal striker Hugo Almeida marked his debut for relegation-threatened Hanover 96 with a goal. But he was unable to prevent their 2-1 defeat at home to Darmstadt as Sandro Wagner scored both of the visitors' goals.

The defeat left Hanover bottom as ex-Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf took charge of his first game since replacing Michael Frontzeck over the winter break while Darmstadt are 12th.

Stuttgart pulled themselves away from the relegation places with a 3-1 win at Cologne to move up to 14th as Jurgen Kramny picked up his second straight win having been given the head coach role full-time.

Stuttgart finished 2015 with a shock win over Wolfsburg and backed it up by bouncing back despite Anthony Modeste converting an early penalty for Cologne, who were wearing specially-designed shirts to celebrate the carnival season in the Rhineland city.

Stuttgart, who gave a debut to Germany defender Kevin Grosskreutz after a brief, unhappy spell in Istanbul with Galatasaray, roared back with goals from Daniel Didavi, Timo Werner and Christian Gentner.

Bayer Leverkusen stay fifth after their 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim as Jiloan Hamad's goal for the hosts was cancelled out by Leverkusen captain Omer Toprak's late strike to rescue a point for the visitors as the hosts climbed off the bottom.

Ingolstadt, who are in their first season in Germany's top flight, earned a 1-0 win at home to Mainz through a Moritz Hartmann penalty to go tenth in the table.

Champions League side Wolfsburg, who have drawn Ghent in the last 16, are at Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, while Schalke are at home in the evening against strugglers Werder Bremen.

>Hannover 96 1-2 Darmstadt

>Hertha Berlin 0-0 FC Augsburg

>FC Koln 1-3 VfB Stuttgart

>Hoffenheim 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen

>Ingolstadt 1-0 Mainz