The Blue-Whites’ starting line-up had a very different look about it compared to the weekend’s game in Mainz. Lucas Tousart was the only player that head coach Sandro Schwarz called on again from the start, with many players away on international duty. Tjark Ernst was in goal, while Maximilian Mittelstädt, Deyovaisio Zeefuik, Sonny Ziemer and Julian Eitschberger made up a back-four. Vladimír Darida and captain Prince Boateng lined up alongside Tousart in midfield behind a front-three of Marco Richter, Jessic Ngankam and Myziane Maolida.
Richter opens the floodgates
Hertha took the initiative early on against their underdog opponents and began creating chances in quick succession. Maolida was denied one-on-one with the first opportunity of the game (5’), before Tousart also met his match against goalkeeper Kevin Schulz from a tight angle. Boateng also fired just a little too high after a great piece of individual brilliance (12’). It was Richter who opened the scoring with a well-placed finish in the 18th minute and then the goals kept on flowing. Maolida added a second moments after (19‘), followed by a free-kick from Richter being headed in by Ngankam (24’), who was back on the pitch for the first time since his lengthy injury spell. Maolida was initially denied a second by the woodwork, but his brace did come just three minutes later (29’). The hosts meaningfully ventured into the final third for the first time in the 36th minute, but still were unable to force a save from Ernst. Instead it was Hertha who were celebrating as Darida finished off a breakaway down the other end seconds later. The final shot of the first half did belong to 1. FC Frankfurt, though, and this time the visiting goalkeeper did have to make a save from a long-range effort.
The second half began with four changes from Hertha: Robert Kwasigroch took over for Ernst in goal, with Joel da Silva Kiala, Ivan Šunjić and Derry Scherhant also replacing Ziemer, Tousart and Ngankam. Kawsigroch was called into action early on too, but was on hand to keep the clean sheet intact (49’). The Berliners continued to press forward and were rewarded for their efforts when Eitschberger set up Darida for his second of the day (56’). The Czech midfielder completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute as well, but not before Mittelstädt had got his name on the scoresheet too (64’). Schwarz soon made another four changes and the fresh legs caused further problems for Dominik Müller, the Frankfurt goalkeeper for the second 45. He was on hand to keep out shots from Marvin Plattenhardt and Zeefuik, however. The last chance of the game fell to Darida after great work from Dong-jun Lee, but he was denied a fourth goal by the post (83’).
“We did a good job as a group, especially considering the news about Djanga earlier today,” said the head coach. “The lads who haven’t had much game time so far put in serious performances. We were incisive right from the off against compact opponents in a great atmosphere.” Schwarz’s boys are back in competitive action next weekend when TSG Hoffenheim come to visit (02.10.22, 15:30 CEST), with the Old Lady aiming to pick up their first home win of the season!
1. FC Frankfurt: Schulz – Huwe (C), Lawrenz, Guttke, Fiebig – Winkel, Karaszewski, Alexandropoulos, Georgi – Kammradt, Bechmann
Hertha BSC: Ernst (46’ Kwasigroch) – Mittelstädt, Ziemer (46’ da Silva Kiala), Zeefuik, Eitschberger (62’ Kenny) – Darida, Tousart (46’ Šunjić), Boateng (C) (62’ Plattenhardt) – Myziane (62’ Aksakal), Ngankam (46’ Scherhant), Richter (62’ Lee)
Goals: 0-1 Richter (18’), 0-2 Myziane (19’), 0-3 Ngankam (24’), 0-4 Myziane (29’), 0-5 Darida (36’), 0-6 Darida (56’), 0-7 Mittelstädt (64’), 0-8 Darida (66’)
Referee: Marcel Riemer