In the sixth home game of the season, head coach Pál Dárdai made two changes and was forced into a third after the warm-up. Jurgen Ekkelenkamp and Ishak Belfodil replaced Lucas Tousart and Krysztof Piątek, before Jordan Torunarigha replaced Márton Dárdai, who developed a muscle issue just before kick-off. Prince Boateng was not named in the squad due to back trouble, and missed out along with Vladimir Darida. On-loan Herthaner Arne Maier started the game in midfield for Augsburg.
Belfodil tests Gikiewicz twice – Richter gives Hertha the lead
Hertha started the game well, confining Augsburg to their own half and creating the first chance after seven minutes. A superb pass from Suat Serdar found Ishak Belfodil, who showed good strength to hold off his marker before his effort was saved by FCA ‘keeper Rafał Gikiewicz. The Blue-Whites kept the ball and dominated the game, having around 75% possession on the quarter-hour mark. The Bavarian side announced themselves into the game with an André Hahn shot from range which did not trouble Alexander Schwolow in the Hertha goal (19’). At the other end, the home side were once again dangerous: Ekkelenkamp found Belfodil with another lovely pass, whose effort was once again denied by Gikiewicz (21’). Augsburg were dangerous on the counter at this stage, with Schwolow saving well from Iago (28’). As the half went on, the game was played more and more in midfield, with both sides relaxing their attacking efforts slightly, but, five minutes before half time, the breakthrough came. A lack of communication in the Augsburg backline between Gumny and Gikiewicz allowed Marco Richter to nip in opportunistically and pass the ball into the empty net to make it 1-0 at half time.
Torunarigha and Jovetić’s goals disallowed – late, late heartbreak
The second half started with the “Old Lady” being as motivated as ever. The lively Belfodil and Ekkelenkamp had chances once again, but could not convert them (50’, 51’). The home side kept the pressure on – Serdar’s curling effort from the edge of the box forced a fine save from Gikiewicz (61’). As the game came on, head coach Dárdai made some changes to his attack: Stevan Jovetić, Davie Selke und Dennis Jastrzembski came in for Ekkelenkamp, Maximilian Mittelstädt und Belfodil (66’, 72’). The trio were able to join in the celebrations of two goals, both of which were disallowed: The first of these was a corner headed on and finally tapped home by the returning Torunarigha, who was offside (75’). Following a well-saved double chance for the away side (77’), the ball was once again in the Augsburg net, only for the linesman’s flag to go up. This time, Richter was a hair’s breadth offside in the build-up to a classy goal from Jovetić, who took his time before firing the ball in (79’). Alas, these disallowed goals came back to bite Hertha – and in heartbreaking style. A Michael Gregoritsch header in the seventh (!) of four added minutes saw the away side earn a point at the death, and Andreas ‘Zecke’ Neuendorf sent off from the bench after the goal went in.
Hertha BSC: Schwolow, Pekarík, Stark (C), Torunarigha, Plattenhardt; Ascacíbar, Serdar; Richter (79’ Zeefuik), Ekkelenkamp (66’ Jovetić), Mittelstädt (72’ Jastrzembski); Belfodil (72’ Selke)
FC Augsburg: Gikiewicz; Caligiuri (84’ Framberger), Gummy, Winther, Iago; Vargas (66’ Córdova), Maier (78’ Gregoritsch), Dorsch, Pedersen (66’ Jensen); Hahn (C), Zeqiri (78’ Niederlechner)
Goals: 1-0 Richter (40‘), 1-1 Gregoritsch (90+7‘)
Referee: Frank Willenborg
Yellow cards: Richter, Jovetić – Vargas, Hahn, Iago
Red cards: Andreas ‚Zecke‘ Neuendorf