Suat Serdar dribbles past Dominik Kohr.
First team | May 7, 2022, 08:29 PM

The wait goes on: Hertha lose to Mainz

The final Bundesliga home game of the 2021/22 season saw head coach Felix Magath make two changes for the game against Mainz 05. Marvin Plattenhardt and Marco Richter were not able to make the squad, so Márton Dárdai and Vladimír Darida came in at left-back and right-midfield respectively. Julian Eitschberger, Anton Kade and Luca Wollschläger, all U19s players who made appearances on Friday in their U19 championship semi-final win against Augsburg, were named on the substitutes’ bench.

A solid start: Selke misses early chance, scores late equaliser

Cheered on by a noisy 71,548 fans inside the Olympiastadion, the Blue-Whites made a positive start. After Marc Kempf headed off target from a Dárdai cross, Davie Selke was allowed through on goal from an error in the Mainz defence – his shot was powerful, but wide (4’, 5’). Hertha dominated the opening phase of the match, both on and off the ball. Dárdai chipped in a well-worked free-kick, but Finn Dahmen in the Mainz goal was able to save from Dedryck Boyata (12’). At the other end, Jonathan Burkardt came close, but Boyata dealt with him strongly (21’). Four minutes later, the ball landed in the net – Silvan Widmer played a cross-cum-shot to the near post, where Marcel Lotka made an unlucky mistake and the ball squeezed through his hands and over the goalline to give the away side the lead (25’). Prince Boateng and Suat Serdar looked to reply instantly, but their long-range efforts were both well over the bar (27’, 30’). Bo Svensson’s side looked to push on and looked to have doubled their lead through Anton Stach, but Leandro Barreiro was stood in an offside position and obstructed Lotka’s view, so the goal got chalked off (35’). That decision was not the only one to go our way in the closing stages of the half: Dedryck Boyata went down in the throng of bodies at a Dárdai corner, and referee Patrick Ittrich was sent to the VAR monitor. He judged Moussa Niakhaté to have fouled the captain, and gave the spot-kick (45+4’)! Davie Selke was ice-cool from 12 yards, and the half came to an end with the score 1-1.

Photo gallery: Hertha BSC vs. 1. FSV Mainz 05

Bell scores with 10 to go – Hertha with late chances and disallowed goal

The second half began with no personnel changes, but nearly a change to the scoreline. Karim Onisiwo hammered the ball into the roof of the net, but the Mainz striker was judged to have handled the ball in controlling it, so that goal was also ruled out (52’). The Blue-Whites worked hard to counter, with Serdar finding Darida on the run, but Niakhaté cut that attack short (64’). Magath then made a pair of changes, bringing on Maxi Mittelstädt and Ishak Belfodil for fresh legs going forward, but the team was tasked with defending. An aerial duel in the penalty area between Burkardt and Lucas Tousart saw Ittrich visit the VAR monitor, but saw no reason to award the away side a penalty (74’). 60 seconds later, Lotka made amends for his earlier error as he stuck a leg out to fantastically deny Anton Stach’s header. As the game entered the 81st minute, however, the Poland U21 goalkeeper was powerless to deny Stefan Bell as he headed into the corner to recover the Zerofivers’ lead. That left Hertha with a mountain to climb – they had a lot of opportunity to equalise, though: Luca Wollschläger came on with two minutes of normal time to play, and nearly levelled the game with his first touches – his shot cannoned off the post and away (89’). Then, a supposed equaliser! Davie Selke nodded home in added time to salvage what looked like a point for Hertha, but the referee blew his whistle (90+1’). The reason: he apparently pushed his marker in the back before heading in. The game finished as it stood, then, and Hertha ended their home campaign with a narrow 2-1 defeat on Saturday night.

Hertha BSC: Lotka; Pekarík, Boyata, Kempf, Dárdai (77’ Bjørkan); Tousart, Ascacíbar, Darida (87‘ Wollschläger), Serdar (67‘ Belfodil), Prince (67‘ Mittelstädt); Selke

1. FSV Mainz 05: Dahmen; Widmer, Bell, Hack, Niakhaté (C), Aarón; Kohr, Stach, Barreiro (63‘ Boetius); Burkardt (78‘ Ingvartsen), Onisiwo

Goals: 0-1 Widmer (25‘), 1-1 Selke (45 +5’, Pen.), 1-2 Bell (81’)

Referee: Patrick Ittrich

Yellow cards: Dárdai, Darida, Ascacíbar; Svensson, Aaron

Attendance: 71,548

by Hertha BSC