Since Monday, Hertha BSC have been in the USA and on Wednesday evening, they played their first friendly of the tour as they took on Minnesota United FC. The capital club beat the team fifth place in the West Conference 1-0. Peter Pekarik scored the only goal of the game. Hertha BSC were the first international team to play in the newly opened stadium.
Pekarik scores – Baak off injured
Immediately after kick-off, you could tell that the Herthaner were not going to take the match lightly, with 18,703 fans watching on. Salomon Kalou had the first chance of the game but his effort didn’t hit the target (7’). Marko Grujić had a couple shots from distance (12’, 15’) whilst Davie Selke also tested the keeper (31’). For the American team, Kevin Molino hit the bar (37’) before Thomas Kraft denied Abu Danladi (40’). However, just before half-time, the Herthaner took the lead after Peter Pekarik poked home a rebound from an Ondrej Duda shot (43’).
In the second half, Minnesota had chances but the Blue-Whites continued to control the game. The ball was mainly contested for in the centre of the pitch as both teams found it difficult to make any real openings. From the 73rd minute onwards, Hertha had to play with a man down after Baak had to be taken off after receiving a blow to the head. This meant that it was even harder for the Herthaner to go forward and the game ended in a tight 1-0 victory to the capital club. “The game was fun, even though Minnesota didn’t make it easy for us and jetlag was having an effect,” said goal scorer Pekarik after the final whistle. “For me it was a great feeling to play here and the goal was a bonus. It’s incredible how many Hertha fans are here.” On Friday (19:00 CST / 2:00 CEST) Hertha BSC will play their second friendly of the tour against Forward Madison FC.
Hertha team: Kraft (46’ Smarsch), Plattenhardt (46‘ Mittelstädt), Rekik (64‘ Torunarigha), Stark (64‘ Baak), Pekarik - Lustenberger (46‘ Skjelbred), Grujić - Kalou (46‘ Dilrosun), Duda (64‘ Covic), Lazaro (46‘ Köpke) - Selke
Goal: 0-1 Pekarik (43‘)