Fabian Reese against KSC.
First team | April 21, 2024, 03:25 PM

Hertha lose 3-2 at Karlsruher SC

Pál Dárdai named an unchanged starting XI from the one which defeated Hansa Rostock last week. Aymen Barkok had struggled with illness during the week but had recovered sufficiently by Sunday afternoon to retain his starting berth, while the game came too early for Jeremy Dudziak, who has also been ill. Pascal Klemens returned to the bench after missing out on last week’s matchday squad.

Tabaković cancels out Thiede opener

Hertha made a bright start at the Wildparkstadion, with Barkok pouncing on an error by Karlsruhe’s Patrick Drewes, but the goalkeeper was able to get back in time to deny the midfielder (5’). The Old Lady continued to pressure the hosts, but it would be KSC who found the net for the game’s first goal as Thiede scored from a corner (16’). Hertha would level the scores soon afterwards with Haris Tabaković’s 20th goal of the season. A long pass from Marc Kempf found Fabian Reese, and Hertha’s skipper crossed for the in-form Tabaković to make it 1-1 (23’).

The rest of the first half was a largely quiet affair on the pitch, and became even more quiet when a medical emergency in the stands briefly put a halt to the fans’ chanting. It looked as though the teams would head into the break at 1-1, but Matanović headed his team back in front on 45 minutes.

Jonjoe Kenny challenges for the ball against Karlsruhe.

Drewes keeps his side in front

Hertha had the bulk of the chances in the second half, with a Palkó Dárdai shot going just wide courtesy of an intervention by Drewes (55’). Hertha made changes in an attempt to turn the game on its head, and those changes could well have paid off in the 72nd minute. Florian Niederlechner had a chance to make it 2-2, but his effort was uncharacteristically tame.

In an almost carbon copy of the first half, Hertha’s continued pressure amounted to nothing as KSC scored again, this time through a powerful Marvin Wanitzek strike which left goalkeeper Tjark Ernst with no chance (77’). Tabaković gave Hertha hope with a late spot-kick, but the hosts held on to hand the Old Lady their first defeat in five games. The capital club’s next outing will see them host Hannover 96 at the Olympiastadion next Friday (18:30 CEST).

Speaking after the game, goalscorer Tabaković said this: "What the fans did at this game was great. Kudos to both sides. But we couldn't afford to be friends on the pitch, it was all about getting three points and the win. We didn't get that, so we have to be disappointed. We dominated at times in the first half, but we got complacent."

Karlsruher SC: Drewes – Thiede, M. Franke, Beifus, Heise (Brosinski 78‘) – Burnić (Schleusener 66‘), Jensen (Rapp 66‘), Gondorf, Wanitzek – Nebel (Kobald 90+1‘), Matanović (Stindl 78‘)

Hertha BSC: Ernst – Kenny, Kempf, M. Dárdai, Karbownik – Zeefuik (Bouchalakis 83‘), Barkok (Niederlechner 69‘) – Winkler (Maza 60‘), P. Dárdai (Scherhant 69‘), Reese (C) – Tabaković

Goals: 1-0 Thiede (16‘), 1-1 Tabaković (23‘), 2-1 Matanović, 3-1 Wanitzek (77‘), 3-2 Tabaković (87‘, P)

Referee: Bastian Dankert

Yellow cards: Jensen, Burnić, Drewes

Attendance: 33,000