Hertha BSC beating FC Ingolstadt 3-1
Hertha remained three points clear of the chasing pack at the top of the second division table on Saturday afternoon, beating FC Ingolstadt 3-1 in a round 10 game played in front of 38,529 at the Olympiastadion Berlin.
Berlin coach Markus Babbel introduced two new faces to the side which crashed out of the DFB Cup in Koblenz on Tuesday night: Goalkeeper Aerts had recovered from the cruciate ligament injury which saw him miss his side’s last few games, while in midfield, Raffael’s brother Ronny replaced young Schulz. Ingolstadt boss Michael Wiesinger initially wanted to play Wohlfahrt for Hofman. But an injury to Görlitz during warm-up put paid to that plan. Manuel Hartmann lined up in central defence, while Matip reverted to right back.
As expected, the home side made the brighter side and threatened for the first time through Ramos on 3 minutes. Ingolstadt concentrated on defending, and they were rarely stretched early on. On 12 minutes though, Friend missed a half chance following good combination work involving Ronny and Ramos. The capital city side were not to be denied though and took the lead only five minutes later. Kobiashvilii found Raffael with a pass from the left wing. The Brazilian turned well before firing a shot through Pisot’s legs and into the far corner of the Ingolstadt net.
Until that moment, all the Bavarian visitors had to show was a harmless free kick by Pisot on 15 minutes, so their equaliser came literally out of the blue,as Gerber picked up a rebound on the byline, before crossing to the near post, where Hartmann beat Neumann to the ball to bundle it over the line with the sole of his boot (23.). Domovchiyski and Ramos showed attractive approach work on the half hour mark as Hertha continued to dominate the game. Aerts was forced into a save as Wohlfahrt got a shot in (32.). At the other end, the final chance of the half fell to Hertha as Ronny tested Kirschstein with a shot (40.).
Both coaches decided against any changes as they sent their teams out for the second half. On 52 minutes Kobiashvili let fly from 22 metres out. Friend involuntarily got the ball to Domovchiyski, who showed fine skill as he fired the ball into the bottom left hand corner from just inside the Ingolstadt box. 2-1 to Hertha.
The home side continued to threaten and Kirschstein saved well from first Ramos (56.) and then Ronny (58.). Ingolstadt could not hit back. In fact Hertha could have gone further ahead as Lasogga (on for Friend) was foiled by a fine Kirschstein save with almost his first touch of the ball (68.). Moments later, the former HSV second string keeper was powerless though as Pisot failed to challenge Ramos enough following a Raffael corner. The Columbia nodded the ball home from close range for what was his 4th league goal of the season (69.).
That goal signalled “game over” for the visitors, while Hertha just went through the motions from there on in. Further Berlin chances fell to Ronny, (76) and Ramos (84.). Ramos advanced alone on Kirschstein in injury time but the keeper did well to thwart him. Lasogga nailed the rebound onto a post. Hertha ran out the deserved 3-1 winners.
Hertha BSC: Aerts – Lell, Hubnik, Neumann, Kobiashvili – Niemeyer – Ronny (82. Schulz), Domovchiyski (73. Perdedaj), Raffael, Ramos – Friend (66. Lasogga)
FC Ingolstadt 04: Kirschstein – Ma. Hartmann, Pisot, Matip, Fink – Buchner, Wittek (62. Futacs), Dedola, Gerber (74. Zielinsky)– Mo. Hartmann (83. Kauffmann), Wohlfarth
Goals: 1:0 Raffael (17.), 1:1 Mo. Hartmann (23.), 2:1 Domovchiyski (51.), 3:1 Ramos (69.)
Booked: Lasogga – Wittek
Referee: Marc Seemann