Pál Dárdai made three changes to the starting XI that ran out in the 3-1 victory over Paderborn; Deyovaisio Zeefuik came in for Michał Karbownik at left-back and Florian Niederlechner was given a chance by the boss. Marc Kempf also came in at centre-back, having missed Saturday’s fixture due to suspension.
Hertha lead after 45 through a penalty
The Old Lady’s first big chance of the game came after ten minutes, when Fabian Reese used his pace to get in behind the Mainz defence, but nobody managed to get on the end of his low cross. Just five minutes later, Mainz’s keeper Robin Zentner did well to keep out Marten Winkler's powerful shot from inside the box (16’). Long throws from Mainz caused problems for Hertha in the first half hour of the game, most notably when Leandro Barreiro was denied by the crossbar in the 29th minute following one of these throw-ins.
Haris Tabakovic had a big chance before the break, when he found himself in space inside the box, but the man between the sticks for Mainz was there again to save our number 25’s shot from a tight angle (41’). In the one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half, Florian Niederlechner managed to win a penalty, which Reese then converted with great composure to give Hertha a one-goal lead at the break.
Haris notches a second-half brace
Hertha were then awarded their second penalty of the game for a handball from Krauß. This time it was Tabakovic who stepped up to the mark and coolly put it away to double Hertha’s lead (50’). The Bundesliga 2 top goalscorer then got his second of the game just 10 minutes later, meeting Kenny’s inch-perfect cross from the right flank with a powerful header past Zentner (60’). From then on, the boys in blue and white did not allow Mainz to get back into the game, thereby booking themselves a place in round three of the DFB-Pokal.
Fabian Reese: "It was a real team performance; we both defended and attacked well as a unit and the win was well-deserved. This performance proved that we are going in the right direction with our development, especially given that we were playing against a top-flight side."
Hertha BSC: Ernst – Kenny, Leistner (C), Kempf, Zeefuik – Klemens (90'+1 Gechter), M. Dárdai (75' Bouchalakis) – Winkler (87' Christensen), Reese – Niederlechner (75' Scherhant) – Tabaković
FSV Mainz 05: Zentner – Fernandes (70' Da Costa), Krauß, Leitsch (58' van den Berg) – Barkok (58' Ajorque), Barreiro (70' Kohr), Guilavogui, Caci – Gruda, Lee (59' Richter) - Onisiwo
Goals: 1-0 Reese (45'+3, penalty), 2-0 Tabaković (50', penalty), 3-0 Tabaković (61')
Referee: Dr. Matthias Jöllenbeck
Yellow cards: Zeefuik - Ajorque