Sandro Schwarz made one change to the team that started the home game against Leverkusen last weekend, with Jean-Paul Böetius starting in the place of Suat Serdar, who missed out through illness. Davie Selke also missed out through illness, while the game came too early for Tjark Ernst, who had been working individually from the start of the week. As a result, Robert Kwasigroch was on the Hertha bench for the first time this season. Stevan Jovetić returned to the squad after a two game absence.
Tousart heads Hertha in front
There was a cagey start to the game, with little action in either penalty box. The first nervy moment for Hertha came in the 9th minute, as Karim Onisiwo ran through before having his shot blocked by Marc Kempf, who fell awkwardly, but was able to continue after receiving treatment. The first shot of the game fell to the hosts, as Onisiwo fired over Oliver Christensen’s bar from range (18’). The following period was shaped by a lack of precision in build-up play from both sides. Chidera Ejuke had the first shot of the game from Hertha, but his effort from range went wide of the left-hand post (28‘). Not two minutes later, Hertha had taken the lead. After a blocked cross from Marvin Plattenhardt, the ball fell to the feet of Ejuke, with the winger chipping a cross into the middle of the box which was met by Lucas Tousart and headed powerfully into the bottom left-hand corner (30’). Hertha created another good opportunity to extend their lead before half-time (41’). Wilfried Kanga did well to hold up the ball before finding Ejuke, whose placed shot into the far corner was just saved by Robin Zentner. The Blue-Whites went into half-time with a deserved lead.
Equaliser in additional time
The second half got off to an intense start, with Plattenhardt’s follow-through after passing the ball catching Edimilson Fernandes on the ankle (48′). After consulting VAR, referee Willenborg decided to award him a yellow card. After that, Hertha found themselves on the front foot, with Kanga missing from a tight angle, albeit he was offside (50’). There was not much threat from the Zerofivers at the beginning of the second half due to a compact Hertha defence. The first Mainz chance came through Leandro Barreiro from a corner, but it was no problem for Christensen (64’). The second half was very stop-start, with a number of interruptions and a number of yellow cards removing any rhythm from the game. Hertha focussed on defending in the final period of the game. However, in the fourth and final minute of additional time, a long ball found substitute Anthony Caci who shot from the left-hand side of the box, giving Christensen no chance and breaking Hertha hearts in the process.
Hertha’s first game after the upcoming international break is at home against TSG Hoffenheim (02.10.22, 15:30 CEST).
1. FSV Mainz 05: Zentner – Widmer, Bell (79’ Barkok), Leitsch – Fernandes (59’ Da Costa), Kohr, Aaron (55’ Caci), Lee, Barreiro, Fulgini (45’ Mustapha, 79’ Ingvartsen) – Onisiwo
Hertha BSC: Christensen – Kenny, Uremović, Kempf (45’ Dárdai), Plattenhardt (C) (55’ Mittelstädt) – Šunjić, Böetius (72’ Richter), Tousart – Ejuke (83’ Pekarík), Kanga, Lukébakio (72’ Darida)
Goals: 0-1 Tousart (30’), 1-1 Caci (94’)
Referee: Frank Willenborg
Yellow cards: Kohr, Plattenhardt, Lukébakio, Dárdai, Böetius, Mustapha, Onisiwo