Hertha came into the game with four changes from last time out: Captain Dedryck Boyata and attacker Stevan Jovetić returned to the starting XI from injury, along with Marco Richter and Prince Boateng. The men they replaced, Jurgen Ekkelenkamp, Vladimír Darida und Santiago Ascacíbar, started on the bench, and Deyovaisio Zeefuik was not in the squad.
The game started well for the “Old Lady” with the fans behind them. Jovetić was played in early on by Suat Serdar, but was tackled well by Manuel Gulde before he could get his shot off (7’). At the other end, Alexander Schwolow held onto a header from Lukas Kübler well (10’). The Blue-Whites were hungry for goals early on, with a 25-yard free kick tipped over by Mark Flekken in the Freiburg goal after 16 minutes. Just a minute later, the visitors had the lead: Philipp Lienhart nodded home a corner. Shots from distance were the order of the day for Hertha, with Marvin Plattenhardt and Marco Richter going close after 23 and 27 minutes respectively. A clash of heads between Davie Selke and Nico Schlotterbeck resulted in our striker being bandaged up for the rest of his game. The rest of the half was quiet, bar a half-chance for Selke, and the team went in for the interval with work to do.
The second half saw two changes from our head coach: Krzysztof Piątek and Peter Pekarík replaced Selke and Márton Dárdai. The first shot after the break came from Lucas Höler, who shot well wide from a tight angle (56). Three more changes then came: Ekkelenkamp and Dennis Jastrzembski came in for Boateng and Richter (58’), before Maximilian Mittelstädt replaced Jovetić (64’). This period of the game was quite quiet, but after 70 minutes a wonderful bit of play carved the Freiburg defence open. Serdar danced through and fed Mittelstädt on the left wing, who squared it for the right man in the right place at the right time – Piątek tapped home the equaliser! Hertha were on top for a few minutes after this, with a deflected shot from Ekkelenkamp hitting the bar, and the resulting corner headed just wide by Boyata (75’). Unfortunately, the home side were once again undone by a corner just three minutes later. Substitute Nils Petersen bicycle-kicked home to give Freiburg the lead once again (78’). We almost came back into the game immediately, but Serdar’s shot from the edge of the box following some great build-up play was well over (80’). Hertha didn’t give up and kept running, with Mittelstädt’s 90th minute effort going close, but that was the last chance for either side and meant Hertha were subject to a narrow defeat.
Hertha BSC: Schwolow; Boyata (C), Stark, M. Dárdai (46’ Pekarík); Richter (58‘ Ekkelenkamp), Tousart, Prince (58’ Jastrzembski), Plattenhardt; Jovetić (64’ Mittelstädt), Serdar; Selke (46’ Piątek)
SC Freiburg: Flekken; Gulde, Lienhart, Schlotterbeck; Günter (C), Höfler, M. Eggestein (62‘ Keitel), Kübler (84‘ Haberer); Grifo (76‘ Petersen), Jeong (76‘ Sallai); Höler (76‘ Demirovic)
Goals: 0-1 Lienhart (17’), 1-1 Piątek (70‘), 1-2 Petersen (78‘)
Referee: Patrick Ittrich
Yellow Cards: Prince, Serdar