Jonjoe Kenny in action.
First team | May 19, 2024, 05:28 PM

Final-day defeat in Osnabrück

In his last match as Hertha head coach, Pal Dárdai made two changes to his lineup to take on the 2. Bundesliga’s bottom side. Marc Kempf replaced Deyovaisio Zeefuik in the starting XI, with the latter missing out on the matchday squad through suspension, while Marten Winkler started in place of Ibrahim Maza in the attack. Maza will feature for the U19s on Monday as they take on Dortmund in the Junioren Bundesliga play-off semi-final.

Palko gives Hertha an early lead

Hertha made an electric start against the already-relegated VfL, with Fabian Reese trying his luck as early as the third minute. Reese would have a hand in the opening goal just two minutes later – Haris Tabaković headed his cross to Palkó Dárdai, who finished coolly from close range. Hertha continued to pile on the pressure on their Lower Saxon opponents, as Reese’s long-range effort flashed wide of the post, before Marten Winkler came even closer by crashing an effort against the upright.

Osnabrück level the scores

Despite the game being something of a dead rubber for the hosts, they were in no mood to go down without a fight. Gyamfi failed to find the net with either of two headed efforts on goal, but a header would eventually secure Osnabrück the equaliser, as Wiemann turned in a corner (44’). That would not be the only blow Hertha suffered towards the end of the half – Jeremy Dudziak was forced off through injury and had to be replaced by Bouchalakis.

Fabian Reese in action.

Hosts turn the game on its head

The start of the second half saw Peter Pekarik come on for Marton Dárdai to make his 231st and final appearance for the Old Lady. Hertha emerged for the last 45 minutes of the season with renewed vigour, and came close to hitting the front again when Winkler headed just wide in the 49th minute. Despite further efforts, the capital club would not find their second goal, and Osnabrück punished their profligacy in front of goal as Gnaase’s effort was deflected in by Kempf. Hertha pushed forward in the closing stages, but ultimately ended the season with defeat as the hosts secured their first win in six.

Fabian Reese: I’m really disappointed after this game. We had lots of chances ourselves, but allowed them far too many attacks and lost control of the game.

VfL Osnabrück: Kühn (Böggemann 84') - Ajdini, Gyamfi, Wiemann, Kleinhansl - Gnaase, Tesche - Wulff (Goiginger 84'), Kehl (Cuisance 67‘) Niemann (Makridis 68’) - Lobinger

Hertha BSC: Ernst - Kenny, Gechter, Kempf, Dudziak (Bouchalakis 43’) - M. Dárdai, Hussein (Rölke 63') - Winkler (Scherhant 63'), P. Dárdai (Niederlechner 73'), Reese (C) - Tabaković

Goals: 1-0 P. Dárdai (5'), 1-1 Wiemann (43’), 2-1 Wriedt (77’)

Referee: Patrick Alt

Yellow cards: Tesche –  Reese, Kenny, Rölke 

Attendance: 15,741

by Hertha BSC