Hertha goal fest at the start of the international break
Practice game: After losing in Munich, Hertha started the week and the two-week international break with a practice game, rather than the conventional training session. Behind closed doors at the Schenckendorffplatz, Pál Dárdai’s men took on SFC Stern 1900 from the NOFV-Oberliga north. "It’s good for us to test ourselves against a historic Berlin club like this and score a few goals," said the head coach. And it went to plan, as his men put 14 past their visitors from Steglitz.
As expected, the boss had to make do without the internationals Marcel Lotka, Dedryck Boyata, Peter Pekarik and Daishawn Redan. On the other hand, he was able to welcome three debutants to the starting XI. New signings Oliver Christensen and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp both celebrated their first bit of first-team action, as did U23 player Ali Abu-Alfa, who spent last week training with the pros. Robert Kwasigroch and Tony Rölke from the U19s took their place on the bench. "Tony played well against Wolfsburg for the U19s, so we played him against SFC Stern," said the Hungarian coach, praising the Hertha academy product. Deadline day signing Myziane Maolida was not yet part of the squad, with Rune Jarstein and Krzysztof Piątek still out with long-term injuries.
Hertha were the dominant side from the very start and went into the break with an 8-0 lead, as Abu-Alfa scored three goals. “Ali has already trained with us in the first team and made a good impression in this game, we’re going to keep an eye on him,” the head coach praised the winger’s performance. The goals continued to flow in the second half, as new signings Ekkelenkamp, Ishak Belfodil, Marco Richter and Suat Serdar all got on the scoresheet.
After recovery sessions on Wednesday, the squad will have two days of double sessions on Thursday and Friday before head coach Pál Dárdal gives the team the weekend off. Preparations for the away game at VfL Bochum on 12th September (kick-off 17:30 CEST) will start next week.
Hertha line-up: Christensen (46’ Kwasigroch); Klünter, Stark (46’ Tousart), Torunarigha; Richter, Prince (46’ Ascacíbar), Darida, Jastrzembski (65’ Mittelstädt) ; Ekkelenkamp (46’ Serdar), Abu-Alfa (46’ Zeefuik), Belfodil (70’ Rölke)
Goals: 1-0 (own goal, 3’), 2-0 Ekkelenkamp (6’), 3-0, 4-0 Abu-Alfa (15’, 17’), 5-0, 6-0 Belfodil (20’, 21’), 7-0 Abu-Alfa (31’), 8-0 Ekkelenkamp (34’), 9-0 Belfodil (48’), 10-0 Zeefuik (51’), 11-0 Richter (71’), 12-0, 13-0 Serdar (75’ 80’), 14-0 Richter (88’)