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April 9 (Reuters) - Hertha Berlin boosted their hopes of playing in European competition next season as John Anthony Brooks and Valentin Stocker scored first-half goals in their 2-0 victory at home to relegation-threatened Augsburg on Sunday.
Hertha dominated the early stages with Brooks heading them into the lead from close range in the 12th minute as the visitors' unconvincing defence failed to clear their lines following a corner.
Pal Dardai's side, who had lost their previous three matches, then extended their advantage in the 37th minute, Stocker tapping home after excellent interplay between captain Vedad Ibisevic and Salomon Kalou.
The win takes Hertha above Freiburg and FC Cologne into fifth on 43 points with six games to play, although they remain seven points behind Borussia Dortmund in the fourth Champions League qualifying position.
Augsburg suffered an injury blow shortly before kick off when Raul Bobadilla tweaked his calf and was replaced in the starting lineup by Alfred Finnbogason.
Lacking any real offensive threat, they remain in a relegation playoff spot on 29 points.
Ingolstadt have the chance of moving one point behind Augsburg if they defeat Darmstadt in the clash between the league's bottom two clubs later on Sunday. (Reporting by Ed Dove; Editing by Ian Chadband)