1: 2 defeat against Dortmund: Hertha BSC has to go into relegation

Tevan Jovetic pulled in in the penalty area in added time and shot on goal – and the first Hertha BSC fans began to cheer diagonally behind the goal. The compensation? The rescue? No, the ball had just touched the side netting. A few minutes later it was over: Hertha lost 1: 2 (1: 0) at Borussia Dortmund.

That alone would not have been a problem in the long-distance duel with VfB Stuttgart. But shortly before Jovetic’s chance, VfB scored the winning goal in injury time through Wataru Endo to make it 2-1 (1-0) against 1. FC Köln.

This Bundesliga season, which was rather tense for long stretches, had great suspense ready at the very end. With the result that Stuttgart stays on the direct path in the league, for Hertha the once again completely crazy season and the rescue mission of coach Felix Magath in the relegation continues. The Berliners were last active there ten years ago and were relegated to Fortuna Düsseldorf.

The opponent will be the second division third party, currently Hamburger SV. “It will be the main task to rebuild the team. It doesn’t matter who comes,” said sporting director Fredi Bobic. The first leg takes place on Thursday evening in the Olympic Stadium, the second leg on the Monday after.

This detour to staying in the league is more than unnecessary, but Hertha failed for the second time in a row to take the last step to stay up. And before that, Arminia Bielefeld lost victory in the final seconds.

“We actually withstood the pressure,” said Magath after the game at BVB: “But unfortunately we conceded two goals. That was one too many.” All in all, the coach tried to see the positive side despite the bitter end: “I think we played a good game. So I’m not afraid of relegation.”

When Hertha’s players all caught what had happened in Stuttgart after the final whistle, many sank onto the pitch. If they hadn’t already been there. Captain Dedryck Boyata furiously fired away his captain’s armband. “Second division, Hertha is there,” sang the BVB fans. Meanwhile, there was encouragement from the more than 4,000 Hertha supporters who had traveled with them and applauded the team. But even in the guest block, quite a few sat stunned on the steps long after the game was over.

BVB say goodbye to club legends

Opposite, the south stand was still completely full. Dortmund’s fans said goodbye to two club legends in particular: the former captain Marcel Schmelzer, who was at the club for 17 years, is retiring, as is Michael Zorc, one of the most influential figures in BVB history. Zorc joined the club in 1978, is a record player, has been sporting director since 2005 and has won numerous titles.

An impressive choreography was dedicated to the 59-year-old before the game at the official farewell by the fans. Other professionals who are leaving the club, such as goalkeeper Roman Bürki or striker Erling Haaland, also received a lot of applause.

Coach Felix Magath was also depressed.Photo: IMAGO/osnapix

After that, there was much less activity on the lawn. Hertha let the hosts have the ball, but attacked aggressively and with a lot of effort in this important game. What was appreciated on the bench by Kevin-Prince Boateng, among others, who coach Felix Magath had not ordered into the starting XI this time. Compared to the game against FSV Mainz 05, Vladimir Darida, Marton Dardai and injured Davie Selke were also absent there.

In addition to Maximilian Mittelstädt, Marvin Plattenhardt and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp, ​​Ishak Belfodil was also a newcomer. And when things got dangerous going forward, the striker was involved. Especially after a good quarter of an hour: Belfodil moved into the penalty area, Dan-Axel Zagadou brought him down. Penalty decided referee Tobias Stieler.

Dortmund showed little over long stretches

But there was a flag raised by assistant Eduard Beitinger. Stieler checked whether Belfodil had been offside before the foul. If he didn’t, there was a penalty and Belfodil converted safely. The lead was not only good for Hertha for their own game, but also because something had happened for the first time about 400 kilometers south-west a few minutes earlier: VfB had taken the lead and had increased the pressure on the Berliners, who at that time were just one goal away from relegation.

Now the situation looked more relaxed. Especially since Dortmund continued to show very little. Only after more than 35 minutes did Marius Wolf bring a header at least close to the Hertha goal. And in stoppage time, a Zagadou cross became quite unpredictable. Goalkeeper Marcel Lotka – who has signed a contract with BVB for the new season, but Hertha still wants to keep him – went to the ball with one hand. His face hit the post and had to be treated, but he was able to continue playing. BVB didn’t manage a shot on goal in the first 45 minutes, Hertha exactly one. That was enough for the break.

After the change, Dortmund increased their efforts significantly. That almost paid off quickly, but Marco Reus failed when trying to play the goalkeeper to Lotka. Hertha came closer to the rescue bit by bit. Especially when Cologne equalized in Stuttgart after just under an hour. However, the Berliners had almost no relief going forward.

Then there was video evidence again. And another penalty. This time against Hertha because of a handball from Plattenhardt. “It has nothing to do with sport and certainly not with football,” Magath was annoyed about the decision. When Haaland shot, Lotka was still on it with his foot, but the ball found its way into the goal, equalizing in the 68th minute. In terms of staying up, nothing had happened yet. Hertha was still saved.

But BVB wanted more. And did more. Youssoufa Moukoko, who has just come on as a substitute, shot the ball over the inside post with a shot from the left. That was in the 84th minute and Hertha was still 15th in the table. Until something happened one last time in Stuttgart. At around 6 p.m., stadium announcer Norbert Dickel said goodbye to the spectators on the scoreboard: “The summer break has begun.” But not for everyone.

By Editor

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