Hertha wanted to end the six-week-long pre-season on a high with a victory in their final friendly against Hamburger SV. From the very first minute onwards, the game wasn’t lacking any intensity but it was the home side who got off to the better start. After a cross from the right, Maximilian Mittelstädt handled the ball in his own penalty area and Aaron Hunt converted the resulting spot kick to put his side ahead (7’). Bruno Labbadia’s side then gained control of the game, with Matheus Cunha going close (9’) before Javario Dilrosun was unable to convert Deyovaisio Zeefiuk’s cross (11’). Shortly after, Hertha’s number 16 fired straight at HSV goalkeeper Heuer Fernandes (12’). Despite an enthusiastic performance, Hertha were unable to open their account for the day. The second-division side made them pay, as Khaled Narey’s cross was turned in by Lucas Hinterseer to double the home advantage to 2-0 (34’). Four minutes later, Zeefiuk had the chance to narrow the deficit as he rose the highest at a corner, but was only able to guide his header to the outside of the post.
Cunha goes close – Schwolow denies Kittel
Bruno Labbadia made one change at half time, with Mathew Leckie replacing Dodi Lukebakio. Hertha began the second half in pursuit of goals and Cunha had the chance to pull one back in the 56th minute. The Brazilian latched onto Mittelstädt’s ball but saw his effort go narrowly wide of the left-hand post. At the other end of the pitch, Alexander Schwolow was called into action as he saved a Sonny Kittel free kick (70’). In the 81st minute, the ball was finally in the Hamburg goal thanks to a Leckie header, only to be ruled out by referee Konrad Oldhafer for a foul by the Australian and the hosts held on for a 2-0 victory.
“We need to develop our cutting edge!”
“We weren’t effective enough going forward. That was the main problem and it got bigger as the game went on. The first half was okay, but in the second half our concentration was missing. We lacked precision when it came to the final ball. We need to be more dangerous in the final third and develop our cutting edge,” said Labbadia after the game. Maximilian Mittelstädt echoed the sentiments of the head coach. “We started well but were unlucky with the two goals we conceded. After that, we couldn’t find the right connections. We know what we need to work on in the coming week, and in Braunschweig we will show a completely different side to our game,” said Hertha’s number 17.
The ‘Old Lady’ will begin the 2020/21 season on Friday (11/09/20, kickoff 20:45 CEST) with the DFB-Pokal first-round tie away to Einracht Braunschweig.
Hertha BSC: Schwolow - Zeefuik, Torunarigha, Rekik, Plattenhardt - Tousart, Mittelstädt - Lukébakio (46’ Leckie), Cunha, Dilrosun (60‘ Klünter) - Redan (60‘ Ngankam)
Goals: 1-0 Hunt (7‘ penalty), 2-0 Hinterseer (34')
Referee: Konrad Oldhafer (Hamburg)