The team celebrate their winning goal.
First team | April 5, 2024, 08:26 PM

Hertha snatch late win at Paderborn

Hertha head coach Pál Dárdai made three changes to the side which drew against Nürnberg last time out. Hertha lined up with an unchanged defence, while in midfield, Aymen Barkok and Florian Niederlechner came in for Jeremy Dudiak and Ibrahim Maza. The suspended Marten Winkler was replaced by Palkó Dárdai on the right flank.

A frantic start with two early goals

The hosts – and Sirlord Conteh in particular – made a quick start, with Conteh testing Marius Gersbeck in the fifth minute, before seeing his cross turned in by Jonjoe Kenny two minutes later. Kenny’s blushes were spared after a VAR review determined that there had been an offside in the build-up. Paderborn would, however, find the net on 16 minutes, as Raphael Obermaier’s well-struck free-kick left Gersbeck with no chance. The Old Lady’s response was immediate, with Palkó Dárdai breaking free of the Paderborn defence and putting it on a plate for Aymen Barkok to even the scores. The game’s initial rapid pace petered out shortly thereafter, though Hertha could perhaps count themselves lucky to go into the break level after Visar Musliu’s header beat Gersbeck and cannoned back off the crossbar (36’).

Aymen Barkok on the ball.

Musliu puts Paderborn back in front

Paderborn again put the ball past Gersbeck at the start of the second half (47’), but Kenny did well to get back in time to snuff out the danger. On the hour mark, Musliu directed another headed effort towards goal, and this time hit the target to give his side a 2-1 lead. Pál Dárdai responded by making changes, and after a quiet period it would be one of his substitutes who made an impact, as Bilal Hussein made a darting run into the box to get on the end of Kenny’s cross and again bring Hertha level (87’). The goal was initially ruled out, with the ball adjudged to have gone out of play, but was confirmed with the help of VAR. Just three minutes later, Ibrahim Maza – another substitute – showed great pace to latch onto a through ball from Fabian Reese and squared for Haris Tabaković, who coolly slotted home to give Hertha the three points and send the travelling fans into a frenzy.

The win moves Hertha into sixth place in the 2. Bundesliga on 41 points, although several of the teams around them are yet to play this week. The Old Lady have another Friday evening game to look forward to next time out as they host Hansa Rostock at the Olympiastadion (12.04, 18:30 CEST). 

Speaking after the game, Fabian Reese said: “Of course there was a bit of luck involved today, but we can be very happy about a win that we had to work hard for. It was very difficult to come here and get the three points. Now we need to turn our attentions to our next game. It’s a matter of doing our homework and maybe getting a run going. Hopefully next week we can do exactly that against Rostock.”

SC Paderborn: Boevink – Brackelmann, Musliu, Hoffmeier – Obermair (Heuer 87’), Klefisch (Kinsombi 46’), Klaas, Zehnter – Bilbija (Brandt 67’), Kostons (Leipertz 82’), Conteh (Ansah 67’)

Hertha BSC: Gersbeck – Kenny, Gechter, M. Dárdai, Karbownik (Dudziak 78’) – Klemens (Hussein 78’), Barkok – P. Dárdai (Scherhant 70’), Niederlechner, Reese (C) – Tabaković

Goals: 1-0 Obermair (16’), 1-1 Barkok (17’), 2-1 Musliu (59’), 2-2 Hussein (87’), 2-3 Tabaković (90’)

Referee: Martin Petersen

Yellow cards: Bilbija - Maza 

Attendance: 15,000