Hertha BSC loses 1:2 against SC Freiburg
Hertha’s hopes of avoiding relegation to division two took a severe blow on Tuesday night. The capital city side lost 1-2 at home to SC Freiburg on matchday 29. The latest loss leaves coach Otto Rehhagel and his side rooted to second bottom place in the Bundesliga table, with only four matches left to play in the season. Hertha boss Rehhagel kept faith with the side which did so well to draw 0-0 away to Borussia Mönchengladbach last time out.
Freiburg on the other hand were without Julian Schuster (fractured cheek bone and broken nose) and Cedric Makiadi who missed the trip to the capital city through suspension, after being booked for the fifth time in his side’s 2-2 draw at home to Nürnberg last weekend. Johannes Flum and Karim Guédé respectively got the nod to start the crucial game in Berlin.The home side started brightly, but it was to be the visitors who would get the first effort in on goal, as a free kick was met by the head of Sebastian Freis, who headed the ball into the arms of Berlin keeper Thomas Kraft (1.). Despite having more of the ball, Freiburg remained dangerous and also found luck to be on their side. The 45.778 strong crowd under the floodlights at the Olympic stadium saw disaster strike early for the home side.
The game was only seven minutes old as a cross from the right rebounded from the knee of Hertha defender Roman Hubnik and into his own net. 0-1 (7.). While the Berliners were missing the telling killer pass to their front men, Freiburg in all honesty looked closer to scoring again than Hertha were to equalising. A neat one two with Freis ended with Dembélé’s shot hitting the home crossbar with Kraft a beaten man (18.). The Hertha keeper then did well to deny Jonathan Schmid with a timely save with his foot (30.). After making a nice run down the left wing, Raffael cut in and fired on goal, only to see his effort deflected away for a corner (40.). Hertha’s Brazilian midfielder had his best chance as he met a Rukavytsya free kick with his head. Sadly for Hertha, Raffael headed the ball into the side netting as it looked easier to score. Such chances would have been taken before the winter break (44.).
As it was, Freiburg took a deserved 1-0 lead with them into the break.Rehhagel brought on a little more fire power for the second half, introducing Pierre-Michel Lasogga for Rukavytsya. Hertha had the Lion’s share of possession too, even though it took them until the 57th minute to threaten Freiburg’s goal, as Änis Ben-Hatira tested Freiburg stopper Oliver Baumann with a low shot from 20 metres out. Rehhagel then brought on midfield dynamo Patrick Ebert for Andreas Ottl for the final 30 minutes or so.Lasogga’s effort from 20 metres out following a fine Raffael run flew agonisingly wide of target, the home fans were wondering whether or not they would have anything of note to cheer (65.).
In the middle of a period of Hertha pressure the visitors struck again, as Freis latched onto a back-headed ball, beating Hubnik and Kraft to the ball to make it 2-0 to the Black Forest based visitors (67.). Ebert then curled a ball from the edge of the area, only to see it miss the far post (79.). Two minutes later Hertha fans did indeed have something to cheer as Hubnik met the rebound first from a Raffael shot first and nodded the ball over the advancing Freiburg keeper to pull a goal back (81.).Only moments later Lell passed into the Freiburg box to Lasogga, but the young striker could only head over while under pressure.
Almost at full time, the ball fell to Adrian Ramos on the penalty spot, from where the Columbian rushed his effort and fired straight at keeper Baumann. At the other end Kraft was forced into a save by Freiburg substitute Reisinger (90.). Kraft went up field for the remaining minutes but to no avail. Hertha’s fate was sealed and now they face a tough trip to the BayArena in Leverkusen, where Bayer Leverkusen will be keen to drive another nail into the Hertha coffin next weekend