20.08.2017 09:47 h

Oh, baby! New father Leckie nets twice on Hertha debut

New-father Mathew Leckie expected to celebrate breaking his year-long Bundesliga goal-drought by changing a few nappies after scoring twice on his Hertha Berlin debut on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Socceroos star became a father a week ago when his partner gave birth to a daughter Olivia Valentina.

"I'll be going straight home to the baby," said the Australia striker when asked how he would celebrate his double against Stuttgart at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

Leckie looked sharp, sprinting onto Vedad Ibisevic's header to fire home 30 seconds after the break, then netted from close range from a corner on 62 minutes to cap a dream debut in front of 44,751 fans in Berlin.

Having set up two goals in Rostock in Hertha's German Cup first-round match last weekend, Leckie is enjoying his time in the capital: "I'm having the time of my life".

Having gone 2,178 minutes without a goal in Germany's top flight for former club Ingolstadt, who were relegated at the end of last season, Leckie is delighted to have already open his Hertha account.

"Football is a crazy, funny game. I think the fresh start in Berlin was exactly what I needed," said Leckie, whose previous Bundesliga goal was back in May 2016.

"I was frustrated at the end (in Ingolstadt), because I knew I had chances to score.

"At the end, it didn't matter what I did, because luck wasn't on my side."

Leckie insists he doesn't "want to say anything bad about Ingolstadt", but Berlin's style of play under head coach Pal Dardai clearly suits his game better.

"We'd rather have the ball, which makes things easier for the forwards," he added. "Hopefully I have broken the curse."

Dardai praised "wonderful" Leckie for how quickly he has settled into the team, but was otherwise unhappy with Hertha's second-half performance and was grateful for the two-goal cushion.

"We came out of the break well and too the lead, but you need to have some confidence," said Dardai.

"Instead, we lost our composure, which not okay."