Head coach Pál Dárdai made one change following the 1-0 defeat to FC Bayern last weekend as Jordan Torunarigha came in for the suspended Karim Rekik. Both Mathew Leckie and Javairô Dilrosun returned to the bench after recovering from injuries. Captain Vedad Ibišević also rejoined the squad having served his one match suspension. The opponents also only made one change to their team with Robin Quaison coming in for Jean-Paul Boetius.
From the beginning of the game at the Olympiastadion, it was a high tempo game. Both teams came direct and pressed the ball, and it was the hosts who had the first chance of the game. A whipped Ondrej Duda corner was met by the head of Jordan Torunarigha, but his header was just off target. However, six minutes later, the visitors also had a chance as Anthony Ujah headed the ball against the post (14’). The game continued to be cagey, with few chances for both teams. The last chance before the break fell to Mainz 05’s Karim Onisiwo who also struck the crossbar with a header. Both teams went in at the break goalless.
The second half did not remain goalless for long. Less than a minute after the teams restarted, a Levin Öztunali shot cannoned off Niklas Stark’s head into the back of the net (46’). Nevertheless, the Herthaner reacted immediately and four minutes later had equalised through Marko Grujić, who tapped home a rebound (50’). This was after Davie Selke had a good header from an Ondrej Duda corner well saved. It only got better for the home side. Valentino Lazaro skinned his man before cutting the ball back to Niklas Stark, who made amends for his own goal by planting the ball home, putting Hertha in the lead (60’). It could have been 3-1 just nine minutes later, but Ondrej Duda’s long shot struck the inside of the post before rolling out for a goal-kick (69’). Mainz 05 however, did not give up and Anthony Ujah hit the woodwork for the second time and Robin Quaison also squandered a chance to equalise (75’). The game ended 2-1, a relief for the home side who claimed their first home victory of 2019.
Conclusion and outlook
After the 2-1 home victory, the capital club currently sit in 9th with 35 points. Next week, the Herthaner will play against SC Freiburg away (09/03/19, 15:30 CET).