As expected, Pál Dárdai made two changes to the side that played in Rostock for the game against Karlsruher SC. The recently suspended Toni Leistner and also Marc Kempf returned at centre-back, with Linus Gechter and Andreas Bouchalakis dropping to the bench. Marton Dárdai played as a six once again.
The whole of the Olympiastadion was covered in white and blue as the game started, with a brilliant atmosphere created by both sets of supporters. KSC got off to the better start, with Tjark Ernst called into action to save from Lars Stindl (8’), but he could do nothing two minutes later as Christian Eichner’s side took the lead. Deyovaisio Zeefuik, under pressure from Gondorf turned into his own net from close range (10’).
Hertha find a reply
Hertha found a response after 29 minutes, with Fabian Reese playing a pass out to Marten Winkler, who then crossed the ball back to his teammates, who powered a header home at the near post to make it 1-1! (29’). A fourth goal of the season for the wideman and a deserved equaliser. A corner from Jonjoe Kenny was kept alive in the box by Haris Tabaković, before Florian Niederlechner showed great desire to get between two defenders and nod home from close range (42’). The Blue-Whites had turned the game around and led 2-1 at the break.
As the second half began, the Ostkurve set off an impressive tifo for their fan friendship with KSC. On the pitch, there was not many clear-cut chances to speak of, with Reese going closest with a shot across goal that cannoned off the post (61’).
Hertha fail to put the game to bed
Márton Dárdai had to go off injured as the game neared its conclusion, with Florian Niederlechner also making way, with Bouchalakis and Smail Prevljak coming on in their place. The ‘Old Lady’ defended resolutely, and also missed chances to extend their lead at the other end. Tabaković volleyed narrowly wide after a neat one-two with Prevljak (78’), while the hard-working Pascal Klemens fired over the bar from the edge of the box after leading a quick counter (79’). Moments later and the guests were level. Ernst made a stunning save to keep out Matanović (80‘), but he had no chance from the resulting corner with Jensen’s shot deflecting twice right in front of him (81’). Derry Scherhant replaced Winkler for the last five minutes but he couldn’t provide a breakthrough and the game finished in a 2-2 draw.
Dárdai’s side go into the international break with 17 points. After the break, the ‘Old Lady’ travel to Hannover 96 (24.11.23, 18:00 CET).
Tjark Ernst: Really annoying, in my view we’ve dropped two points. We were still sleeping for the first 20 minutes and deservedly fell behind. Once again, we were slightly too passive, but we still had enough chances to pull the game our way and to make it 3-1. The atmosphere in the ground was absolutely fantastic from both sides, but we would still have liked to have picked up the three points.
Hertha BSC: Ernst – Kenny, Leistner (C), Kempf, Zeefuik – Klemens, M. Dárdai (70’ Bouchalakis)– Winkler (85’ Scherhant), Reese – Niederlechner (70’ Prevljak) – Tabaković
Karlsruher SC: Drewes – Brosinski (62’ Thiede), Bormuth, M. Franke, Heise (85’ Herold) – Gondorf (C), Nebel (46’ Jensen), Wanitzek (90+3’ Burnic), Stindl – Matanovic, Schleusener (62’ Zivzivadze)
Goals: 0-1 Zeefuik (10 OG‘), 1-1 Reese (29‘), 2-1 Niederlechner (42‘), 2-2 Jensen (81‘)
Referee: Michael Bacher
Yellow cards: Jensen, Heise