Hertha drawsFC Augsburg 2:2

Hertha draws FC Augsburg 2:2

Last season’s promoted sides from the second division locked horns in the top flight again on Saturday afternoon. Hertha (division two champions) entertained fellow promotees FC Augsburg in a Bundesliga round six encounter, watched by 48,385 at the Olympic stadium in Berlin. Hertha came from behind with two second half goals by Lell and Torun after Augsburg had taken a 20th minute lead. Augsburg then capitalised on a defensive mix up to equalise through Callsen-Bracker on 64 minutes.

Berlin boss Markus Babbel sent almost the same team out which sensationally won 2-1 at champions Dortmund last time out. With the exception of Columbian forward Ramos, who missed out with a bout of flu. His place in the starting line-up was taken by 19 year old Pierre-Michel Lasogga. Augsburg coach Jos Luhukay hardly surprisingly rang the changes to the line-up which lost 1-4 at home to Bayer Leverkusen last Friday night. Out went Davids, Sinkala, Werner and de Roeck. In came Reinhardt, Langkamp, de Jong and Gogia.

The home side began the game combining well enough, but it all ground to a halt though as they reached the Augsburg box, which was defended with sometimes ten men behind the ball. The visitors took a shock lead with their first chance of the game to almost silence the Olympic stadium. A corner from the left was back-headed by Gibril Sankoh to the far post, where Japan-star Hajime Hosgai beat Berlin keeper Thomas Kraft (20.). The home side continued to struggle to find a way through the massed defence. A ball from halfway inside the Augsburg half by Ebert found the head of Lasogga, whose header was not a problem for the experienced Augsburg stopper Simon Jentzsch (23.).

Raffael then missed a good chance to equalise, after Lasogga played him in with a wonderful ball behind the Augsburg defence. The Brazilian could only baloon the ball over the crossbar from 10 metres out (39.). Moments later Ebert found Torun who in turn only found the stantion behind the goal (40.). At the other end Akaki Gogia tried his luck from distance, but his shot from 25 metres out was high and wide of target (42.). As match referee Markus Schmidt blew time on the opening half, Hertha fans and most of the media were scratching their heads as to how Augsburg could be ahead at the break. Curious.

Babbel must have found the right words during the break because the capital city side came out with a vengeance and equalised within the opening minute of the second half. Ebert fed Lell inside the Augsburg box. The former Bayern midfielder scored with a low shot which crossed the goalline via the inside of the far post. 1-1 (46.)!

And Hertha weren’t finished there either! Lasogga passed to Ottl who got a shot away from the edge of the area which found the grateful arms of Jentsch (53.). Then Augsburg’s Sankoh made a howling mistake trying to clear his lines on the edge of his own area. Lasogga took the ball off him and passed to Torun, who made no mistake scoring his second goal of the season, with a fine low shot into the bottom left hand corner (57.).

But Augsburg were not to be denied. A quickly taken free kick caught Hertha napping, as the ball fell to the feet of the unmarked Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker, who poked the ball home from point blank range to equalise for the Schwabian visitors (64.). Both teams went in search of further goals, Augsburg could only stop Hertha’s midfield general Raffael with fouls. After one of those fouls, the ball fell to the feet of Ottl, who fired a shot agonisingly wide (75.).

The referee had seen enough as Raffael was once again unceremoniously brought down again. Schmidt reached for his back pocket and showed Sebastian Langkamp a straight red card (86.). Torun fired the final shot of the game wide of target. The game ended in a 2-2 draw – on reflection the right result.

The capital city side are in action again on their mission  “Bundesliga survival” next Sunday (25.09.11, 17.30 CET)  as they visit the Werserstadion in Bremen, where in-form Werder Bremen await them in what promises to be another fascinating encounter.

Match details:
Hertha BSC: Kraft – Lell, Hubnik, Mijatovic, Kobiashvili – Ottl, Niemeyer – Ebert (79. Ronny), Raffael, Torun – Lasogga
FC Augsburg: Jentzsch – Reinhardt (73. Brinkmann), Sankoh (59. Möhrle), Langkamp, de Jong – Callsen-Bracker, Hosogai – Gogia (84. Davids), Baier, Bellinghausen – Mölders

0:1 Hosogai (20.), 1:1 Lell (46.), 2:1 Torun (57.), 2:2 Callsen-Bracker (64.)
Yellow Cards: Mijatovic, Ottl – de Jong, Reinhardt, Callsen-Bracker, Brinkmann
Red Card: Langkamp (86.)

Referee: Markus Schmidt