A warm welcome awaited the Old lady on Saturday afternoon as they played in a quick-fire tournament to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Karlsruher SC at the Wildparkstadion. In two 45 minute games, Hertha overcame Sturm Graz 1-0 and KSC 6-4 on penalties to take home the trophy.
The opening game saw the Austrian side beat the hosts 7-6 on penalties, before Hertha then took on the victors. The Old Lady played an attacking 4-3-3, looking to beleaguer their opponents from the outset. Their first chance fell to Karim Rekik, but the defender’s header from Marvin Plattenhardt’s delivery hit the outside of the net. Salomon Kalou and Alexander Esswein went close as the Blue-Whites pushed on in search of a goal, before the deadlock was finally broken on the 25 minute mark. After Vladimir Darida hit the right-hand post, Esswein was brought down in the penalty area, with captain Kalou on hand to convert the resulting penalty. Hertha dominated proceedings after taking the lead, and had custodian Thomas Kraft on hand whenever Sturm Graz threatened. Čović’s men went on to secure a 1-0 win.
After a brief interlude, Hertha were back out on the pitch to face hosts Karlsruher SC. A slow start eventually developed into an exciting game in the 19th minute. Lukas Klünter crossed in a delightfully-weighted ball and Vedad Ibišević made the most of it, rising up to strike the ball perfectly with an exquisite overhead kick to make it 1-0. Rune Jarstein parried well from Saliou Sané in the 33rd minute, but was beaten two minutes later as the hosts equalised. The game went to penalties, with Ibišević, Darida, Florian Baak, Marko Grujić and Davie Selke all scoring, while keeper Rune Jarstein kept Marc Lorenz’s effort out. Hertha won the shootout to wrap up the win and more importantly, the tournament trophy.
Hertha’s line-ups against...
... Sturm Graz: Kraft - Pekarík, Baak, Rekik, Plattenhardt - Albrecht, Friede, Darida - Leckie, Esswein, Kalou
Goals: 1-0 Kalou (26‘, penalty)
... Karlsruhe: Jarstein - Torunarigha, Baak, Klünter - Grujić, Friede - Jastrzembski, Darida, Leckie - Ibišević, Selke
Goals: 1-0 Ibišević (19‘), 1-1 Djuricin (35‘)