Fulham went out of the UEFA Cup at the third round stage tonight after failing to overturn their first leg deficit against Hertha Berlin on a frustrating evening at Loftus Road.

The Bundesliga side, leading 2-1 from the first fixture between the sides a fortnight ago, were indebted to another inspired display from goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly as Jean Tigana’s men threw everything at them but ultimately came up short. Alain Goma rattled the crossbar with a header after just three minutes, before Luis Boa Morte struck a post from close range and the Hungarian international saved well to thwart Steve Marlet twice and Sean Davis as the Whites toiled in vain.

It means that Fulham’s marathon European journey, that began with an InterToto Cup adventure in early June, came to a unsatisfactory end after five minutes of added time in Shepherd’s Bush. The Cottagers went in search of an early goal that would have put them in the ascendancy after Marlet’s header in Berlin, but Davis – the only man to have played in all four divisions for Fulham – saw his first shot blocked before Kiraly juggled, but eventually claimed the follow-up.

Goma then climbed majestically to direct a header goalwards from a corner but his effort hit the top of the crossbar and went over. The lively Marlet then linked up with Luis Boa Morte before placing an effort too close to the goalkeeper when he had most of the goal to aim at, but the Portuguese international was far more culpable after 20 minutes – somehow clipping the outside of the post from close range after Marlet had cut the ball back from the byline.

Marlet, who has looked more more threatening in European competition than domestic matches during an underwhelming spell in west London, seemed to be Fulham’s likeliest source of a goal. The club record signing fashioned a chance all for his himself but Kiraly pulled off a brilliant block. Hertha substitute Dick van Burik appeared to handle Marlet’s ball back in from the rebound but referee Pierliugi Collina waved away the penalty appeals – pointing for a corner instead.

Hertha did look dangerous on the break themselves with Marcelinho bringing the best out of Maik Taylor before striking the base of the post direct from a corner, but it was Fulham who asked most of the questions in the second half. They were restricted to pot shots from distance as they tired, with Davis drilling one drive straight at Kiraly before Pierre Wome powered his way to the byline but the Cameroonian’s cross was somehow smothered by the Hertha goalkeeper. The Germans almost added insult to injury during added time when Michael Hartmann struck the post, but Collina’s final whistle left Fulham crestfallen.

FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Finnan, Brevett (Goldbaek 71), Goma, Melville; Djetou (Legwinski 45), Davis (Inamoto 62), Malbranque, Wome; Sava, Boa Morte. Subs (not used(: Herrera, Knight, Clark, Willock.

BOOKED: Melville, Inamoto.

HERTHA BERLIN (4-4-2): Kiraly; Friedrich, Simunic (Van Burik 8), Rehmer, Nene de Brito; Goor, Neuendorf (Schmidt 72), Hartmann, Dardai; Marcelinho, Luizao (Preetz 81). Subs (not used): Sverrisson, Fiedler, Tretschok, Marx.

BOOKED: Friedrich, Nene de Brito, Neuendorf.

REFEREE: Pierliugi Collina (Italy).