Tayfun Korkut made three changes to his side for the near-1100km round trip to Fürth. Missing out after testing positive for Covid-19, Marc Oliver Kempf was replaced by 17-year-old Linus Gechter in the centre of defence, with Lucas Tousart and Suat Serdar coming in for Santiago Ascacíbar and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp.
Behind in less than 30 seconds
Hertha took to the pitch and suffered the worst possible start, as Fürth captain Branimir Hrgota found the net after 27 seconds. He latched onto a pass by Paul Seguin and fired low into the far corner past Alexander Schwolow. The Blue-Whites, kitted out in red this afternoon, had to fight back from this setback and quickly grew into the game, Ishak Belfodil and Stevan Jovetić having the first chances (9’, 10’). The first big chance game shortly after, as Belfodil dribbled through the Fürth defence and unleashed a shot from a tight angle which debutant goalkeeper Andreas Linde was equal to (13’). At the other end, Schwolow was saved by a Gechter goalline clearance and Jeremy Dudziak fired over from the angle (18’, 23’). The half then settled down into an even affair, Hertha having more of the ball but the hosts having the better chances. Max Christiansen and Jamie Leweling both had shots blocked by Tousart and Mittelstädt respectively in a goalmouth scramble on 34 minutes. With Schwolow denying Hrgota his second from a free-kick, the half time whistle blew with Hertha having work to do after the break.
Jovetić hits post – Hrgota penalty sinks Hertha
The second half started with a change in attack for Hertha as Korkut brought Richter in for Maolida. Hertha came out of the changing room with a point to prove, Jovetić coming close three times and hitting the outside of the post with the third on 49 minutes. Shortly after, Darida’s shot was blocked after some neat build-up play (52’), and substitute Richter found the side netting after an exchange of passes with Serdar (55’). Richter was at the heart of Hertha’s attacking action alongside Jovetić in a period of the game where Fürth really sat back into their own half. Belfodil was replaced by Davie Selke in with just over 20 minutes to go to give the Montenegrin a new strike partner. The first thing the substitute striker would see on the pitch was a Mittelstädt handball in the penalty area, which Hrgota dispatched from 12 yards for his brace (71’). At the other end, it was Selke who got his head on a cross, but Linde parried away well (73’) and Jovetić failed to get a connection on a cross flashed along the six yard line (79’). Then, Linus Gechter headed home his first Bundesliga goal from a Darida cross to halve the deficit with eight minutes to go. The Blue-Whites threw everything bar the kitchen sink at Fürth in an attempt to equalise, but did not go untroubled at the other end as Schwolow saved from Nielsen (86’). Selke, Richter and Lee all missed chances to level the score, and that meant Hertha made the long trip home to Berlin with a 2-1 defeat to show for it.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth: Linde; Meyerhöfer, Griesbeck, Viergever, Itter; Christiansen, Seguin, Tillman (83’ Pululu); Dudziak (83’ Green), Leweling (60’ Nielsen), Hrgota (C) (89’ Bauer)
Hertha BSC: Schwolow; Pekarík (68‘ Bjørkan), Stark (C), Gechter, Mittelstädt; Serdar (81‘ Lee), Darida, Tousart, Myziane (46‘ Richter); Jovetić, Belfodil (68’ Selke)
Goals: 1-0 Hrgota (1‘), 2-0 Hrgota (71‘ Pen), 2-1 Gechter (82‘)
Referee: Daniel Schlager
Yellow cards: Itter; Stark, Belfodil, Jovetić, Tousart