Hertha take step towards safety
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Adrian Ramos scored two goals as Hertha Berlin earned a huge victory in the fight against relegation from the Bundesliga by winning 3-1 at Mainz.

Anis Ben-Hatira made it 1-0 in the 41st minute for Hertha before Ramos doubled the advantage after 52 minutes. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting halved the deficit in the 58th minute but Ramos struck again for a 3-1 lead in the 69th minute.

Hertha had earned just one victory in their last 14 games, including last week's 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich. But after scoring just one goal in their last seven games, they netted their first three goals of 2012.

Mainz, who had five victories and two draws in their last seven home matches, remain on 30 points and are four clear of their opponents. Mainz had the first chance of the game after just three minutes but Nicolai Muller did not find the target after a pass from Choupo-Moting.

The visitors had two chances but Mainz goalkeeper Christian Wetklo stopped Ramos' shot in the 11th minute and Raffael's long-distance blast went just wide 15 minutes later. Hertha were able to grab the lead in the 41st minute as Nikita Rukavytsya raced through the Mainz back line but was stopped by Wetklo.

The ball went back to Rukavytsya laying on the ground and the Australian crossed to Ben-Hatira, who blasted home from seven yards for Hertha's first away goal in 2012. Ramos made it 2-0 as the Colombian was left too much space and struck inside the far right post.

Mainz pulled a goal back six minutes later as Radoslav Zabavnik's headed pass found Choupo-Moting who, after a long run, blasted past Hertha keeper Thomas Kraft and inside the near left post.

Hertha reclaimed their two-goal lead following a major error by Mainz defender Jan Kirchhof. He wanted to play the ball back to his keeper but watched as Ramos raced onto it and looped it over the keeper before making sure it crossed the line.