Hertha BSC scores a big point in the basement duel against FC Augsburg. Sandro Schwarz’s team is rewarded for an intense fight.
Coach Sandro Schwarz clenched his fist in relief, a few meters away goalscorer Dodi Lukebakio sent a quick prayer to heaven. In the driving snow of the Olympic Stadium, Hertha BSC withstood the enormous pressure in an intense basement duel with FC Augsburg and won an important 2-0 (0-0) victory.
“Everyone marches for the other, we’re a great team. It’s really fun at the moment,” said Hertha striker Florian Niederlechner, who came from Augsburg in the winter, on Sky: “The last few days haven’t been that easy for me.”
With the success, the afflicted Berliners, who now left the penultimate place in the table with 20 points, landed a big point after a long unspectacular game. Ex-Augsburg Marco Richter (61st) and substitute Lukebakio (69th) shot Hertha to their second success in the past three games.
The FCA, who still cannot win away from home in 2023 and instead lost four times on a different place, is now only four points ahead of the Berliners and has to orient itself downwards for the time being. “It wasn’t a good game from either side, there were hardly any chances,” said Augsburg captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw: “It was actually a 0-0 game.”
Goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz, who looked bad when he conceded the first goal, was annoyed. “The ball flies without rotation, maybe I have to hold it, I have no idea,” he said. “Maybe just scoring at home will be tight.”
In what was initially a cold and wet Olympic Stadium, Sandro Schwarz actually wanted to trust the starting eleven from the decent 1:4 at Borussia Dortmund in his 100th Bundesliga game as coach, but nothing came of it. Agustin Rogel slipped into the back three for the short-term injured defender Marton Dardai. Niederlechner was allowed to play against his former club in front – and was immediately the center of attention.
After Augsburg’s Niklas Dorsch lost the ball, Niederlechner (2nd) pushed into the penalty area, but didn’t hit the ball properly at the end. In general, Hertha attacked the guests early on, but rarely converted their own ball gains into dangerous counterattacks.
After the break, Augsburg invested more in the offensive and looked for depth, but Hertha remained a little more compelling. With the pitch conditions deteriorating due to the onset of snowfall, the hosts relied on long-range shots.
Gikiewicz safely parried the first of clearer Tolga Cigerci (57th), but then Richter struck. After a blocked free kick, he threw the ball into the right corner from 25 meters.
Just eight minutes later, half-time substitute Lukebakio raised the ball. After that, Hertha passionately managed their lead.
Sandro Schwarz (Hertha BSC coach): “It was the tough game we expected, a battle of attrition. Both teams defended a lot well. Then we had the momentum with the set pieces today. I think it’s a deserved win in the end. We had to fight our way in. The lads are good at that done. We are satisfied.”
Enrico Maassen (FC Augsburg coach): “All in all, we didn’t see a nice game, it was a competitive game. The first half was very poor from both sides. You lost the game by conceding two unnecessary goals. Otherwise you play 0-0 when you create so few chances to score. But we made mistakes.”