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Hertha pick up a point in Freiburg

Lucas Tousart competes for the ball.

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Sandro Schwarz made six changes to the team who played against Hoffenheim for the visit to SC Freiburg. Marc Kempf and Márton Dárdai came back into the back three, with Jonjoe Kenny, Prince Boateng, Dodi Lukébakio and Wilfried Kanga also starting in the place of Agustín Rogel, Maximilian Mittelstädt, Suat Serdar, the suspended Marco Richter, Jessic Ngankam and Florian Niederlechner. The hosts, who were in fourth place before the game, were missing Michael Gregoritsch (suspended) as well as the injured Philipp Lienhart and Lukas Kübler.

Lots of possession and a chance for Lukébakio

Hertha started the game strongly, having over 70% possession in the first 15 minutes. An attempted bicycle-kick by Kanga went wide of the goal (18’). Oliver Christensen had no issues dealing with a freekick from Vincenzo Grifo from distance and a Lucas Höler shot from a corner (26’, 27’). Christian Streich’s side had another effort on goal through Ritsu Dōan, but Christensen was equal to it once again (31’). The best chance of the half fell to Lukébakio, who headed over the bar after Tousart had whipped in a cross (32’). That was the clearest opportunity in a tight first half dominated by challenges in midfield.

The second half got off to the worst possible start for Schwarz’s men. Grifo hammered a freekick goalwards, with the ball taking a slight deflection off Ciğerci and finding the back of the net (52’). This was the 17th set-piece goal that Freiburg have scored this season. Lukébakio almost found an immediate answer after he ran through on goal, but his effort was pushed wide by an outstretched leg from Mark Flekken (56’). Moments later, Höler cleared a Tousart header off the line (59‘). Hertha kept fighting for an equaliser and Schwarz made attacking changes bringing on Suat Serdar and striker Jessic Ngankam for Boateng and Ciğerci. The next chance fell to Lukébakio again, but he once again headed over, this time from a Kenny cross (70’). At the other end, Christensen made a good save from a Jonathan Schmid shot (73’).

Ngankam scores deserved goal for Hertha             

There were more chances in the final period of the game. Ngankam had a header from a Kanga cross but he didn’t connect properly and it went wide (75’). Florian Niederlechner replaced Filip Uremović for the final stages, but before he could touch the ball Ngankam had already equalised! After a through ball from Kanga, Hertha’s number 24 was through on goal, held off Schmid and finished past Flekken to give Hertha a deserved equaliser (77’). The game then opened up, with the Europa League participants having another effort on goal through Dōan, but once again Christensen was alert to the danger (85’). Hertha also couldn’t muster up any further chances of note and the game finished in a solid 1-1 away draw after four minutes of additional time.

SC Freiburg: Flekken – Schmidt (59‘ Schmid), Ginter, Gulde – Sildillia, Eggestein, Höfler, Günter (C) – Doan, Höfler (86‘ Petersen), Grifo

Hertha BSC: Christensen – Uremović (76‘ Niederlechner), Kempf, Dárdai – Kenny, Ciğerci (67‘ Ngankam), Tousart, Boateng (67‘ Serdar), Plattenhardt (C) – Lukébakio, Kanga (87‘ Rogel)

Goals: 1-0 Grifo (52‘), 1-1 Ngankam (77‘)

Referee: Sven Jablonski

Yellow cards: Gulde – Ngankam

Attendance: 34,700

Hertha pick up a point in Freiburg

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