Bruno Labbadia made two changes from the side that lost 4-1 to Frankfurt at the weekend with Niklas Stark coming for the suspended Dedryck Boyata, and Dodi Lukebakio coming in for the injured Per Skjelbred. Florian Baak and Omar Rekik also sat on the bench, with the latter making the first team squad for the first time in the Bundesliga. Christian Streich had faith in his side that got a 2-2 draw in Wolfsburg at the weekend, making no changes,
It was a very quiet first half in Freiburg with neither side causing too many problems for the other. Roland Sallai had a half chance for the home side on five minutes but couldn’t convert, before Hertha produced a few moments themselves going forward. Vedad Ibisevic couldn’t put home an overhead kick, nor could Vladimir Darida tuck home his chance (8’, 11’). The most dangerous chance fo the first half for the visitors came when Dodi Lukebakio strode forward at the Freiburg defence before squaring to Ibisevic, but his shot was blocked at the last second (14’). Freiburg produced a flurry of chances after 20 minutes, but all of them flew inches wide of the goal - Robin Koch, Nicolas Höfler and Sallai all going close. After that there wasn’t much to report as both sides failed to threaten the opposition goal, with the half coming to a goalless conclusion.
Entertaining second half with a bitter end
The second period began with a double chance for the home side, but twice Rune Jarstein was culled upon and twice he answered the call (48’). At the other end though, it was Lukebakio prodding the real fireworks after he converted a 30 yard screamer, only for the spectacular effort to be ruled out for a foul in the build up by Vladimir Darida (53’). A short time after, it was Freiburg who were celebrating as Vincenzo Grifo caught out Rune Jarstein with a smart, quickly-taken free-kick to put the hosts a goal in front (61’). The half continued to entertain as not long after, Peter Pekarik was brought down in the box with the referee pointing to the spot. Vedad Ibisevic stepped up and fired home past Schwolow to put Hertha on level terms (65’). Just a few minutes later though, it was a nightmare for Hertha as they surrendered the tie after a mix up between Darida and Jarstein gave Nils Petersen the chance to put Freiburg ahead once again - which he duly took (71’). Labbadia tried to react in the closing stages bringing on Matheus Cunha and Alexander Esswein but the Hertha boys simply couldn’t find a way through the Freiburg defence, although Cunha nearly provided one with a header in the final minutes. And so that’s how the game ended, a harsh 2-1 loss in Freiburg.
Conclusion and Outlook
Despite a decent away performance, where a draw would have been more than merited, Hertha BSC have to come away from Freiburg having lost 2-1. After this narrow defeat, Hertha sit in 11th place on 38 points. The capital side come back home at the weekend as they play host to Bayer Leverkusen at the Olympiastadion on Saturday (20/06/20, 15:30 CEST).