Coach Ante Covic made two changes from the draw in Bremen with Maximilian Mittelstädt, who was injured in training during the week, coming out for Marvin Plattenhardt. Dodi Lukebakio was rewarded for his great performance in Bremen with a start, replacing Javairo Dilrosun. After spells out with injury, Peter Pekarik and Mathew Leckie both returned to the squad but Niklas Stark was deemed not fit enough for the encounter. Also missing were Arne Maier, Eduard Löwen and Sidney Friede.
Hertha BSC started the game really well and were on the front foot right from the off. They had the game’s first chance in the sixth minute too as Karim Rekik broke down the left wing before squaring to Marius Wolf who was a whisker away from a tap in. It was then more bad luck for Hertha as Vedad Ibisevic could only plant a cross from Wolf on to the post. Dodi Lukebakio also put a dangerous cross in to the area, but the ball beat everyone, both friend and foe. Then the guests turned up the heat and created their first chance of the game. First it was Kaderabek who struck a free kick just past the left post before Andrej Kramaric forced Rune Jarstein to make a save. The Norwegian also did well to parry a shot from Jürgen Locadia on the half hour, but in the 34th minute, the Dutchman made no mistake. After a receiving a pass from the centre of the park, he turned well and struck past Jarstein in to the left hand corner. It wasn’t long until Hoffenheim had a chance to grab a second either, which Kramaric keenly obliged to take, nodding in a header from a corner.
After the change of ends, Hertha BSC found they had much better luck. In the 55th minute, they managed to get a well-deserved goal – and how! After Wolf flicked on a cross from Lukas Klünter, Dodi Lukebakio produced an incredible acrobatic effort which flew in to the far corner. Shortly after the hour mark, Covic’s men completed the comeback: after some beautiful build up play on the left hand side, Vladimir Darida crossed in to the box where he found an open Salomon Kalou, who struck home from all of five yards. Now Hertha had the momentum on their side and they went in search of a winner. Unfortunately, they found the opposite as Wolf just about managed to clear the ball off the line but from the resulting corner, Benjamin Hübner produced a towering header to put the visitors once again, in to the lead. In the final stages, Vladimir Darida saw red for a second bookable offence, before Adamyan hit the post shortly thereafter, missing the chance to seal the game. Unfortunately though, the scoreline stayed the same until the full time whistle.
Conclusion and Outlook
The Herthaner won’t have long to lick their wounds. On Wednesday the ‘Alte Dame’ welcome Dynamo Dresden for their DFB-Pokal second round fixture. Then next weekend it’s the huge derby game in Berlin on Saturday (02/11/19, 18:30 CET).