Hertha BSC vs. Karlsruher SC 4:0
There had been a lot going on at both clubs leading up to the round 5 clash at the Olympiastadion Berlin on Tuesday evening. While Hertha had been making all the right headlines for a change with their fine unbeaten run, which was extended thanks to the 1-1 derby draw away to Union Berlin last weekend, it was all going pear-shaped behind the scenes in Karlsruhe.
Despite registering a crucial 2-1 win over Paderborn last weekend, KSC were the talk of the second division for very differing reasons: Last night, club president Metzger and vice president Glesius both resigned with immediate effect, after the club’s finanzial department had revealed a deficit believed to run into several million Euros. Troubled times at the Baden-based club. On the pitch though, KSC head coach Markus Schupp stuck with the same line-up for the fourth consecutive game. His Berlin counterpart, namesake and former fellow-Bayern player Markus Babbel also remained faithful to the side which drew the derby last time out.
Hertha took the lead against Union after only five minutes last weekend. This time around though, Adrian Ramos was not prepared to wait that long to give Hertha fans a reason to celebrate. The game was only 16 seconds (!) old as Raffael lifted the ball into the path of Ramos. Because KSC’s Schäfer kept Hertha attackers onside, Mathias Langkamp lost the young Columbian, who made no mistake neeting what was his second league goal of the season. Blitz start or what!
Despite their early lead, the home side still had to find their feet in the game. That said, the capital city side were always in control. The visitors seemed content to play “keep ball” when in possession, which meant that they failed to trouble Hertha during the whole of the opening half. Not so Hertha! It only looked a matter of time before they would score again. Ramos sweetly fed strike partner Friend, who was denied a goal by a good stop from visiting keeper Nicht (18.). The Berliners were not to be denied though and scored again on 23 minutes. Ramos beautifully switched wings to find Rukavytsya, who cut in from the right before blasting an unstoppable shot into the roof of the KSC net, leaving Nicht groping at air. Babbel’s side created further half chances and took a well-deserved two-goal lead into halftime with them.
Both sides emerged unchanged for the second half and KSC began with a little more aggression than had been the case before the break. They still remained harmless though. In fact Georgian veteran Iashvili got a shot in which only hit the side-netting of the goal being guarded by Aerts on 68 minutes. It was their first shot on goal all game.
Hertha kept control and were rewarded for their patience on 77 minutes as an unmarked Domovchiyski superbly volleyed home an excellent pass from Friend (54.). Raffael nodded in the rebound after Ramos had hit a post with a fierce volley, to make it 4-0 to Hertha (77.). KSC’s Fink forced a save out of Aerts six minutes from time, but the home side ran out the deserved winners in front of another huge home crowd.
At the same time Hertha were thrashing KSC, high-flying Energie Cottbus beat fellow top five outfit Greüther Fürth 2-0 at home to move into second place behind Babbel and Co. on goal difference. Hertha travel to the Stadion der Freundschaft on Friday night for a round six clash with Cottbus.
What a cracker that promises to be!
Hertha BSC: Aerts – Lell, Hubnik, Mijatovic, Kobiashvili, Niemeyer, Rukavytsya, Domovchiyski, Raffael, Ramos Friend
Karslruher SC: Nicht – M. Zimmermann, M. Langkamp, S. Langkamp, Schäfer, Aduobe, Staffeldt, Mutzel, Iashvili, A. Fink, Chrisantus
Goals: 1-0 Ramos (1.) 2-0 Rukavytsya (23.) 3-0 Domovchiyski (54.) 4-0 Raffael (77.)
Referee: Markus Wingenbach (Diez)