BERLIN : Cologne struck twice in three minutes to edge past Hertha Berlin 3-1 on Sunday for their third straight league win, putting them in contention for European competition next season.
Goals from Anthony Modeste and former Hertha player Ondrej Duda made sure Cologne moved up to sixth place on 28 points, three behind third-placed Hoffenheim.
At 0-0 Hertha had the best chance of the game in the 29th minute but keeper Marvin Schwaebe denied Myziane Maolida with a superb save.
A minute later Cologne scored with their top striker Modeste powering in a header from a central position for his 12th goal of the campaign.
In the 32nd minute they found themselves 2-0 up after Duda fired in a low drive from the edge of the box.
Vladimir Darida's 58th minute free kick gave Hertha hope, but the hosts' finish lacked precision as they gradually ran out of steam.
Jan Thielmann then killed off the game on the counter attack, rounding keeper Alexander Schwolow for Cologne's third goal in stoppage time.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson)