Hertha beat Eintracht Braunschweig 4-1 in their first friendly of the 2019/20 season. In his first game in charge, new coach Ante Čović used the match to try out three different tactical systems in three 35 minute halves and to implement the results of training under match conditions. Goals from Maurice Čović, Sideney Friede, Ondrej Duda and Alexander Esswein saw Hertha run out as winners.
Both teams started the game with plenty of conviction, with Hertha creating early chances. Vedad Ibišević and Ondrej Duda went close early on, before the early pressure eventually paid off in the 12th minute when Davie Selke set up Maurice Čović to fire the ball home. Just minutes after, Ibišević hit the post from a corner with an overhead kick, with Sidney Friede on hand to tap the loose ball home and make it two. Six minutes later, it was three: Javairô Dilrosun made an unstoppable run along the left flank, finding Ondrej Duda at the far post. Braunschweig got one back just before the break through Robin Becker, but it was Hertha nonetheless who were in control.
Plenty of changes, different systems
Coach Čović switched it up in the second third, but most of the action ended up happening in the middle of the park. Duda set up Marko Grujić for a chance, but his effort went wide. The final third saw the game’s last goal, with substitute Alexander Esswein converting to make it 4-1.
Esswein’s strike saw the culmination of a successful first friendly. “I liked how the boys played against an opponent who are due to start league action again in just two weeks. We did that on purpose. We pressed well in attack and let the ball do the work. Not everything worked out, but that’s normal – the boys still need time,” said a satisfied Ante Čović. Monday and Tuesday see more double training sessions on the programme for the Old Lady, before travelling back to Berlin on Wednesday after a final training session.
1st Third: Jarstein - Klünter, Baak, Torunarigha - Leckie, Čović, Friede, Dilrosun - Duda - Ibišević, Selke
2nd Third: Smarsch - Baak, Friede, Torunarigha - Pekarík, Grujić, Albrecht, Jastrzembski - Čović, Duda - Kiprit
3rd Third: Klatte - Esswein Stark, Rekik, Plattenhardt - Grujić, Skjelbred, Darida - Dárdai, Köpke, Kalou
Goals: 1-0 Čović (12‘), 2-0 Friede (18‘), 3-0 Duda (24‘), 3-1 Becker (32‘), 4-1 Esswein (99‘)