Pál Dárdai made two changes to the starting XI that beat 1. FSV Mainz 05 3-0 on Wednesday in the DFB-Pokal; Linus Gechter replaced the suspended Toni Leistner at centre-half and Andreas Bouchalakis was given the nod to start as a six, with Marton Dárdai moving from holding midfield into central defence.
A first half lacking chances
There were few significant chances in the 45 for either side, but one came in the 34th minute, when Jonjoe Kenny put a good cross in from the right, which was met well by Haris Tabaković. However, his headed effort missed just wide of the left post. Bouchalakis then tried his luck from outside the box just a couple of minutes later, but he didn’t get the contact on the ball that he had hoped for and his effort went wide (37’). Both sides went into their respective dressing rooms at half time having failed to get a shot on target.
Both Klemens and Reese hit the woodwork
Hertha made a strong start to the second half and their first real chance after the break came when Pascal Klemens had a pop from distance, which was denied by the right post (52’). The woodwork denied us once again ten minutes later; Fabian Reese got on the end of Marton Dárdai’s dangerous corner and his headed effort bounced back off the crossbar after 62 minutes. The Old Lady continued to pile on the pressure, with Kenny and substitute Smail Prevljak combining well which led to Kenny forcing the man between the sticks for Hansa Rostock into a good save (65’).
Ernst and Klemens with important contributions at the back
The game then swung in favour of the hosts. Tjark Ernst made a top-class save from Dennis Dressel’s shot to prevent Rostock from going a goal up (74’). Only a matter of minutes later, Pascal Klemens made an absolutely crucial last-ditch challenge to stop Juan José Perea from getting his shot off from eight yards out. Neither side gave away any chances of note at the end of the match, which ended as a draw – the first of the season for The Old Lady.
Next up for Hertha is a home fixture against our friends from Karlsruhe next Saturday (20:30 CET), which will be our final game before the international break.
Fabian Reese: “We were the better side, but we lacked the killer instinct to put the ball in the back of the net. We had enough chances and half-chances and we should have used them better. We didn’t give away many chances at the back and overall, this very young team put in a solid performance.”
F.C. Hansa Rostock: Kolke – Neidhart (64' Fröling), David, Roßbach, Rossipal – Dressel, Vasiliadis – Strauß (71' van der Werff), Ingelsson (64' Perea), C. Kinsombi – Junior Brumado
Hertha BSC: Ernst – Kenny, Gechter, M. Dárdai, Zeefuik – Klemens, Bouchalakis – Winkler (70' G. Christensen), Reese (C) (90'+4 Scherhant) – Niederlechner (50' Prevljak) – Tabaković
Referee: Martin Petersen
Yellow cards: David, Vasiliadis – Prevljak, Gechter