Hertha win at last 2:0 vs. Aue
Hertha finally ended their dismal run of three consecutive defeats in the 2. Bundesliga with a well-deserved 2-0 round 16 home win over pre-match table-toppers Erzgebirge Aue, in front of another mammoth crowd of 45,892 at the ice-cold Olympiastadion Berlin on Sunday afternoon. The capital city side (second place) are now level on points with Augsburg (who they face away next week), but behind them on goal difference.
The bumper crowd in Berlin saw Hertha begin in aggressive mood – something missing in recent performances. Hertha also created the opening chance on 8 minutes as Raffael let fly from 20 metres out, only to see his shot fly narrowly wide of target. That early danger seemed to serve as a wake up call for the visitors, who began to free themselves from Hertha’s early stranglehold on them. That was also partly down to misplaced Hertha passing which gifted Aue possession. Nothing came of Aue’s new-found freedom though at first.
The visitors brought a massive contingent of travelling fans with them and they almost opened the scoring on 22 minutes. A swift move down the right wing saw Schlitte cross to Kern inside the Berlin box only 10 metres out. His header however only found the back of Hubnick’s head and bounced out of danger. That was the only Aue “attack” during the whole of the first half. The Sachsen-based side preferred to concentrate on defensive matters instead of venturing forward.
Hertha played a patient game and were rewarded on 37 minutes. Lachheb put his arms around Lasogga in the Aue area. Match referee Kinhöfer pointed to the spot and Kobiashvili blasted the ball into the middle of the goal to give his side a lead going into the break. Hertha could have gone further ahead before halftime had Rukavytsya done more with a brace of chances, as he was one on one with the Aue keeper (Aue boss Schmitt made two changes at the start of the second half, with Kempe und Ramaj replacing Schlitte and Curri. That ploy seemed to breathe new life into the game at first, and Klingbeil missed a half chance only two minutes into the second half. At the other end Lasogga (53.) and Rukavytsya (again 61.), missed reasonable scoring opportunities. The former went one better only four minutes later though. Lasogga was played in nicely by Rukavytsya. The Hertha youngster kept his cool while advancing alone on the keeper, before clinically finishing to give Hertha what looked to be an unassailable lead (65.). It was game over for former Hertha defender Oliver Schröder and Aue from that moment onwards. Hertha easily nipped any Aue forward ventures in the bud as the newly- promoted visitors were put in their place and sent home empty handed. There was one nice touch at the end of the game. Crowd favourite Zecke Neuendorf was brought on with seconds remaining. It was just reward for the 35 year old Hertha legend who had trained with the first team squad during the week in an attempt to raise the spirits of everyone, which he obviously did. 38., 42.)