Hertha BSC: No goals against Alemannia Aachen
Another bumper crowd of 34,762 was at the Olympiastadion Berlin on Monday night, to watch table-toppers Hertha lock horns with mid-table Alemannia achen in a round 7 second division clash. As always, the atmosphere under the floodlights was great, but the game itself ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw. On the good news side, Hertha remain unbeaten, a point clear of SpVgg Greuther Fürth and Erzgebirge Aue at the top of the table.
Hertha coach Markus Babbel was once again without his injured duo of Patrick Ebert and Christoph Janker. Daniel Beichler and Fabian Lustenberger have come along leaps and bounds on the comeback trail but are not yet match fit and did not make the squad. Aachen boss Peter Hyballa had to do without the services of Markus Daun, Nico Herzig, Thorsten Burkhardt and Thorsten Stuckmann through injury.
The visitors were by no means fazed by the prospect of taking on the league leaders in their own back yard. On the contrary, they took the game to Hertha during the opening minutes. Their skipper Benjamin Auer missed an absolute sitter on 9 minutes after being wonderfully set up by Tolgay Arslan. Home keeper Maikel Aerts produced a top drawer save to avert the danger. Sixty seconds later Aerts did not have to make a save, but watched a wayward Arslan effort from twenty metres out fly well wide of target. Hertha’s first chance fell to Adrian Ramos, but was saved by Aachen goalie David Hohs (12.).
Hohs was in action again soon after, this time taking the sting out of a shot on the turn by Canadian hitman Rob Friend. Long range efforts by Ramos (15.) and Peter Niemeyer (21.) failed to produce the opening goal. Hertha finally got a grip on the game, searching for that elusive opening goal, Friend in particular looked most likely to score. The Hertha forward was first denied by a fine save by Hohs after being brilliantly set up by Valeri Domovchiyski (22.), before having a further effort cleared by Thomas Stehle in the nick of time (28.). Aachen though remained dangerous. Marco Höger only just failed to round off a useful counter attack. On the stroke of halftime, Roman Hubnik had to make a timely challenge against Tobias Feisthammel (44.).
Veteran Georgian Levan Kobiashvili was forced to make a last ditch tackle against Zoltan Stieber, after Peter Niemeyer had lost possession as the home side ventured forward (50.). Hertha coach Babbel had seen enough and brought on Nikita Rukavytsya, who breathed some life into Hertha’s wing play. Raffael failed to capitalise on a fine lay off by Rukavytsya. The Brazilian rushed his shot and it flew well over the bar (62.). On 68 minutes Ramos went on a superb solo run, before curling a shot towards goal from 20 metres out. Hertha fans were about to celebrate what looked like a sure-fire opening goal, until Hohs produced a breathtaking save to keep his side on level terms.
Aachen continued to hit the home side on the break. During one of those moves, Arslan played a low ball into the box to the feet of Auer. Luckily Hertha’s keeper was alert to the danger (77.). At the other end Niemeyer headed a Rukavytsya free kick just over the bar (79.). Eight minutes from the end, Rukavytsya was played in by Lasogga, but he failed to get enough power behind the ball and another Hertha chance was missed. Moments before the final whistle, Aachen missed a golden opportunity to nick theree points from under the noses of Hertha, but Auer just failed to connect with a pass into the box by Uludag (89.). The game ended goalless.
Because of the break for international games, Hertha play their round 8 second division game away to FSV Frankfurt on Saturday October 16th 2010. That game kicks off at 13.30 CET.
Hertha BSC: Aerts – Lell, Hubnik, Mijatovic, Kobiashvili – Niemeyer – Schulz (61. Rukavytsya), Domovchiyski (84. Djuricin), Raffael, Ramos – Friend (66. Lasogga)
Alemannia Aachen: Hohs – Müller, Stehle, Feisthammel, Achenbach – Kratz (86. Zdebel) – Höger, Arslan (80. Junglas), Uludag – Auer (90. Tsoumo), Stieber
Booked: Mijatovic – Kratz, Arslan
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus