Sporting director Arne Friedrich wanted to see “more football” from his Hertha. The Berliners managed to do it especially in the second round.
Berlin (dpa) – New recruit Jurgen Ekkelenkamp has given Hertha BSC the long-awaited second consecutive victory in their debut.
87 seconds after being substituted, the 21-year-old from Ajax Amsterdam equalized against SpVgg Greuther Fürth (61st minute). Before that, at the start of the 5th day of the Bundesliga match, Branimir Hrgota (57th) had the guests in the lead on Friday with a converted penalty.
Then the Dutchman Ekkelenkamp played a key role in the winning goal by pressing Fürth Maximilian Bauer after Marco Richter, also substituted, and the latter maneuvered the ball into his own goal (79th). In the second half, Hertha played better, more determined and more aggressive in front of 21,372 spectators – and won all three points thanks to the appropriate change from coach Pal Dardai. Fürth is still waiting for the first victory of the season in the league, remains at the bottom of the table with only one point. The advancing Hertha climbed to ninth place with six points.
More duels than playful brilliance
Sporting director Arne Friedrich wanted to see “more football” from his Hertha, after the team claimed their first victory (3-1) at VfL Bochum, especially with lots of fighting and compact defense. But the floodlights of the Olympic stadium in Berlin showed early on that, as Dardai had predicted, there would be no “miracle kick”. Both teams fought hard for possession, especially in midfield. The tête-à-tête was the trump card, not the playful glow.
Ex-Schalke Suat Serdar, who scored two of only five goals for Berlin in the first four games, gave the first signal for the home side. After a great individual performance, his shot from 16 meters narrowly missed the far post. The guests, however, were by no means limited to consistently defending themselves, as coach Stefan Leitl had demanded. They continued to move through the Berlin half, and Jeremy Dudziak, who was called into the starting XI for the first time, has fitted in well. But Fürth couldn’t develop a goal danger early on.
Hertha couldn’t get rid of the fuss
After 25 minutes, Dardai, who had already changed his starting XI to five positions, had to switch to defense. As in Bochum, Linus Gechter, 17, moved to the headquarters of Belgian defense chief Dedryck Boyata, injured in the thigh. Despite veteran Kevin-Prince Boateng as the midfield organizer, Hertha couldn’t shake the hustle and bustle.
Fast players rarely had their chance. When Deyovaisio Zeefuik crossed the ball, Serdar and Myziane Maolida slid right next to the ball. The newcomer from Nice was allowed to take the start for the first time and indicated his skills a few times, especially in dribbling. In the 68th minute, however, Maolida had to leave the pitch with a left thigh injury, and Marco Richter came in to replace him.
After the break, both teams gave up their reluctance to goal. Only Hrgota converted a penalty after Zeefuik hit the agile Dudziak in the penalty area with his foot. Then Hertha newcomer Ekkelenkamp fired back. The Dutchman directed a corner from defender Marton Dardai to bring the score to 1-1. And Ekkelenkamp also played a key role in the second goal. After a cross from the substitute judge, Bauer wanted to clarify in front of Ekkelenkamp and unfortunately recovered the ball in his leg, from where he rolled into his own goal.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210917-99-261551 / 2
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