Suat Serdar in action.
First team | July 31, 2022, 09:01 PM

Hertha knocked out of the Pokal by Braunschweig

In the first competitive game of the 2022/23 season, Sandro Schwarz’s side set up in a 4-3-3. Oliver Christensen started in goal, with new signing Jonjoe Kenny joined by Dedryck Boyata, Marc Kempf and captain Marvin Plattenhardt in defence. The midfield three was composed of Prince Boateng, Ivan Šunjić and Suat Serdar, with Dodi Lukébakio, Davie Selke and Myziane Maolida up front. New signing Chidera Ejuke took his place among the substitutes, but the game came too early for Hertha’s newest recruit Wilfried Kanga.

Selke and Myziane strikes put Hertha into a 2-0 lead at the break

Before kick off Hertha had stated that they wanted to justify their tag as favourites against the 2. Bundesliga side. Myziane had a good chance after only four minutes, while at the other end Immanuël Pherai rounded Christensen before Boyata managed to clear for a corner (5’). The highlight of an entertaining opening period was a slick piece of play from Hertha, with the ball finding its way out to Plattenhardt on the left, before he found a pinpoint cross to pick out Selke, who nodded home for 1-0 (10’). Shortly after Platte fired just over with a direct free kick from the edge of the penalty box (12’). Myziane just missed further extending the lead after another piece of attractive build-up play. Hertha largely continued to control the game, while the gegenpress worked well in reclaiming possession. But the hosts also had opportunities, with Luc Ihorst hitting the side netting (19’). Playing off the right, Lukébakio did excellently to dribble through and pick out Myziane, who could only fire straight at Braunschweig keeper Jasmin Fejzić, with the goalscorer Selke skying the rebound (28’). Even if the lead was fully earned, the Hertha defence needed to stay watchful, with Eintracht continuing to pose a threat on the counter. This was made clear as Jannis Nikolaou shot just wide of the left hand post (36’). Moments later the Old Lady found their groove again, with Lukébakio jinking through towards goal and the hosts’ keeper only managing to parry his goalbound shot into the path of Myziane, who could barely miss (42’). As the half-time whistle sounded Hertha held a comfortable lead.

Photo gallery: Eintracht Braunschweig - Hertha BSC

BTSV strike twice in 180 seconds to take the game to extra time

Despite Braunschweig’s energetic start to the second period, the first notable chance went to Hertha, with Boateng missing the target from the edge of the box after good work from Serdar (49’). At the other end Pherai hit the left post from a tight angle, as Braunschweig began to look more and more threatening (54’). Shortly after having a shot of his own saved by Fejzić when up for a corner, Boyata brought Pherai down in the box, with Brian Behrendt burying the resulting penalty (63’). The scoreline did not read 2-1 for long though, with BTSV exploiting a moment of disorganisation in the Hertha defence and substitute Lion Lauerbach tapping home. This seemed inevitable with the packed out home support creating a fiery atmosphere worthy of the cup tie. In these conditions the team had to dig in and fight. Schwarz reacted by bringing on Chidera Ejuke for his competitive debut in blue and white. Hertha’s number 40 did not need much time to acclimatise and would have put the away side back in the lead if not for the intervention of Fejzić (77’). A short time later Šunjić also saw an effort saved (80‘). Minutes before the full-time whistle the ball found itself in the Braunschweig net thanks to Stevan Jovetić, but the substitute was offside (87’).  Extra time loomed.

Braunschweig immediately take the lead before Tousart replies

Almost immediately after leaving the team huddle for extra time Hertha were on the back foot. Lauerbach tapped home in the first minute after being assisted by Pherai (91’). Hertha had to recover from this shock before finding an answer of their own. They did so through the boot of Lucas Tousart who fired home from long range via a deflection (103‘). With this, the two teams went into the final 15 minutes period level pegging.

Lukébakio chip delights before Henning comes out of nowhere to equalise

As the first half of extra time started with a bang so did the second, this time in Hertha’s favour. Stevan Jovetić played Lukébakio in, who held his nerve in front of goal to delicately chip home with his weaker foot and put the team from Berlin 4-3 in front, much to the delight of the travelling support (106’). Hertha then sought to hold on till full time, but only managed until the 118th minute. Bryan Henning struck 120 seconds before full time to send the game to penalties and cap a Pokal classic. The hosts won 6-5 on penalties, with the Old Lady being eliminated after penalty misses from Kempf and Plattenhardt.

Eintracht Braunschweig: Fejzić – Wiebe (46’ Marx), Decarli (46’ Schultz), Behrendt, Kijewski (46’ Donkor) – Henning, Nikolaou – Kaufmann, Pherai, Endo (100’ Krauße) – Ihorst (60’ Lauerbach)

Hertha BSC: Christensen – Kenny, Boyata, Kempf, Plattenhardt (C) – Boateng (64’ Tousart), Šunjić, Serdar (72’ Darida) – Lukébakio (114’ Zeefuik), Selke (82’ Jovetić), Myziane (72’ Ejuke)

Goals: 0-1 Selke (10’), 0-2 Myziane (42’), 1-2 Behrendt (63’/penalty), 2-2 Lauerbach (66’), 3-2 Pherai (91’), 3-3 Tousart (103’), 3-4 Lukébakio (106’), 4-4 Henning (118’)

Penalties: 4-5 Darida, 5-5 Pherai, 5-6 Kenny, 6-6 Marx, 7-6 Nikolaou, 7-7 Jovetić, 7-8 Ejuke, 8-8 Behrendt, 8-9 Šunjić, 9-9 Krauße, 10-9 Henning

Referee: Tobias Stieler                      

Yellow cards: Nikolaou, Henning, Pherai – Lukébakio, Tousart, Šunjić

Attendance: 14,126

by Hertha BSC