BERLIN: Hertha Berlin coach Bruno Labbadia had to wait 5 1/2 months for his first game with supporters cheering on his side.
They didnt help.
Hertha lost at home to Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday, the first time fans were allowed to attend a soccer game in Berlins Olympiastadion since coronavirus restrictions began in March.
Labbadia was appointed coach in April, when the league was still suspended. He had to wait till May 16 for his debut. His first nine league games were all played without spectators last season, before a limited number of Werder Bremen fans were allowed see visiting Herthas 4-1 win in the new seasons first round.
Just 4,000 Hertha fans were allowed for Frankfurts visit, and they arrived full of optimism after another summer of rebuilding at the club.
But the visitors dominated from the start and took a deserved lead through Andr Silvas penalty in the 30th minute, after the Portuguese forward was fouled by Hertha captain Dedryck Boyata.
Bas Dost made it 2-0 with a header to Daichi Kamadas free kick six minutes later, and Sebastian Rode grabbed Frankfurts third with a fine strike in off the far post in the 70th.
Martin Hintereggers own goal in the 76th was too little, too late, for Hertha.
Herthas players wore jerseys with for Pauline across them in an appeal to find stem cell donors for an eight-month-old girl with leukemia.
Paulines story shows how important it is that as many people as possible register so that lives can be saved, Hertha board member Paul Keuter said.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Ciarn Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP