Sandro Schwarz set up his side in a 4-3-3, instead of the 4-2-3-1 seen in the 5-0 friendly win against Ludwigsfelder FC. He also made two personnel changes, with Ivan Šunjić replacing Derry Scherhant in midfield, and Wilfried Kanga instead of Davie Selke up front.
Early lead through Kanga
The Blue-Whites had a made-to-measure start in chilly Niedersachsen. After Serdar did well to win possession in midfield, Marco Richter played it through to Kanga, who took a clean touch before firing home on the turn (5’). Shortly afterwards, Lucas Tousart and Marc Kempf both had chances following a corner, but neither were able to turn the ball home (13’). At the other end, Hendrik Weydandt had the first chance for the hosts, but Kempf managed to make a strong block with the Hannover striker looking well-placed (14‘). Moments later, the striker was able to celebrate though, with his chip from a tight angle finding its way past Tjark Ernst into the back of the net, drawing the 2. Bundesliga’s fifth-placed club level (20’). Luckily, Sebastian Kerk was not so accurate, hitting his freekick from the edge of the area into the side netting (26’). Another Kerk set piece caused trouble for Hertha near the end of the first half, but Ernst sprung into action to block his corner, which was sneaking in at the near post, with his left foot (38’). The shotstopper would have been powerless to prevent Derrick Köhn’s shot, however, with his drilled effort striking the post (39’). Both teams went into half time level at 1-1.
“It was a very good and intense friendly. We had a lot of control of the ball and played some good phases of play. The boys took it really seriously and with the right attitude,” explained head coach Sandro Schwarz after the game. Hertha’s last game of the year takes place at the Olympiapark on Wednesday (07.12.22, 13:00 CET), as they take on Eintracht Braunschweig
Substitutes secure the win
While Hertha brought on Vladimír Darida, Derry Scherhant and Davie Selke for Suat Serdar, Chidera Ejuke and Kanga at the half time, Hannover coach Stefan Leitl changed all eleven players. The amount of changes affected the make-up of the game, which initially became a duel largely between the two boxes. After making three further changes, Hertha took the lead once again. A fresh Dodi Lukébakio received the ball inside the box and drove to the byline before crossing for Darida, who made no mistake from close range (71’). This phase of pressure from the Blue-Whites resulted in a couple other efforts after the goal. First, Scherhant hit the side netting (72’), before Ron-Robert Zieler saved after a good effort from Lukébakio (74’). Hannover continued hunting for an equaliser till full time, but Hertha defended resolutely until the close.
Hannover 96: Weinkauf (46’ Zieler) – Neumann (46’ Arrey Mbi), Krajnc (46’ Walbrecht), Lührs (46’ Börner) – Dehm (46’ Stolze), Kunze (46’ Leopold), Moustier (46. Besuschkow), Köhn (46’ Muroya) – Ernst (46’ Schaub), Kerk (46’ Foti) – Weydandt (46’ Nielsen)
Hertha BSC: Ernst – Pekarík (C) (62’ Kenny), Uremović, Kempf, Zeefuik (74’ Eitschberger) – Tousart (62’ Boateng), Šunjić, Serdar (46’ Darida) – Richter (62’ Lukébakio), Kanga (46’ Selke), Ejuke (46’ Scherhant)
Goals: 0-1 Kanga (5’), 1-1 Weydandt (20’), 1-2 Darida (71’)
Referee: Harm Osmers