Head coach Sandro Schwarz called for a brave and active performance from his team in their first friendly, and that was exactly what he got in Wednesday evening’s friendly against TuS Makkabi Berlin at the Kienbaum Olympic Training Centre. Kitted out in red against the newly-promoted fifth-division side, Hertha took control of the game early on: a foul on Davie Selke inside the penalty area gave him the chance to score our first goal of the season, which he took from the spot on 12 minutes, before doubling his and Hertha’s tally with a one-on-one finish five minutes later. No more than 60 seconds later, goalscorer turned provider as Selke found the man who set his second up, Marco Richter, inside the penalty area – the number 23 found the top corner for 3-0 after 18 minutes. Julian Eitschberger then let a chance to make it four go to waste (23’). As the half went on, the agile and determined Hertha side dominated, but failed to fire many clear shots on goal. That was until eight minutes before half time, as a Marvin Plattenhardt corner found its way to Filip Uremović almost on the goalline, who hooked the ball in for 4-0 (37’). The half came to a close on that scoreline – a half in which Makkabi’s Kanto Voahariniaina played exceptionally.
The second half got underway with a full 11 changes from Sandro Schwarz’s team, the players who played the first half completing a running session with fitness coach Henrik Kuchno – the second-half team did the same after the final whistle. On the pitch, Suat Serdar hit the crossbar with a thunderous effort (53’), before Derry Scherhant and Javairô Dilrosun both missed chances for a fifth goal (53’, 59’). Dodi Lukébakio shot at Makkabi goalkeeper Samake, before Santi Ascacíbar headed just wide (65’, 67’). At long last, though, the fifth goal came thanks to Derry Scherhant’s first strike – Serdar played him in and the youngster rounded the keeper to finish on 69 minutes. That was his last action before being replaced by Luca Wollschläger. The rest of the team looked to push on, as Ascacíbar got his goal following a header from Linus Gechter (78’). Serdar then hit the woodwork again before Samake denied Dilrosun on the rebound two minutes later. The seventh goal came with four minutes on the clock, and was the pick of the bunch: a lovely bit of combination play between Vladimír Darida and Luca Wollschläger saw the veteran volley home.
It was a winning start to pre-season for Hertha, then. Following training sessions on Thursday and Friday, Sandro Schwarz’s team will travel to Potsdam to face SV Babelsberg 03 on Saturday (16:00 CEST).
Hertha BSC (1st half): Ernst – Eitschberger, Uremović, Kempf, Plattenhardt (C) – Tousart, Kesik, Mittelstädt, Maolida, Richter – Selke
Hertha BSC (2nd half): Kwasigroch – Kenny, Gechter, Torunarigha, Ullrich – Ascacíbar, Darida (C), Lukébakio, Serdar, Dilrosun – Scherhant (70‘ Wollschläger)
TuS Makkabi Berlin: Samake – Bruck (C), Conteh, M. Diop, P. Diop, Kupfer, Lenz, Pingani, Soltan, Tokgöz, Voahariniaina
Goals: 1-0 Selke (12‘), 2-0 Selke (17‘), 3-0 Richter (18‘), 4-0 Uremović (38‘), 5-0 Scherhant (69‘), 6-0 Ascacíbar (78‘), 7-0 Darida (86‘)
Referee: Philipp Vierock