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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Matchday 22: Ex-Augsburg judge gives Hertha air

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Hertha climbs out of the table basement after beating Augsburg. Marco Richter emphasizes a very special relationship with his former club.

Former Augsburg Marco Richter has led Hertha BSC to an important victory in the fight against relegation from the Bundesliga. The former Augsburg player initiated the 2-0 (0-0) home win over FC Augsburg on matchday 22 with his opening goal in the 61st minute. Dodi Lukebakio (69th) scored the second goal on Saturday in front of 40,522 spectators in the Berlin Olympic Stadium.

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After their fifth win of the season, the Berliners have 20 points on their account, while the harmless Swabians are still 13th in the table with 24 points.

Hertha trainer Sandro Schwarz had to send Agustin Rogel onto the field for Marton Dardai shortly before the start, otherwise he trusted the starting eleven, which had also started at 1: 4 in Dortmund. As a result, winter newcomer Florian Niederlechner also played against his old club. For this, the Berliners have to transfer a certain sum to the Swabians. “I got the green light at the beginning of the week, so it wasn’t a big issue for us. That’s why Florian is on the pitch from the start,” said Schwarz at Sky before kick-off.

Contested game

Augsburg coach Enrico Maassen made two changes compared to the 1-0 win over Hoffenheim. Iago and Niklas Dorsch replaced injured Felix Uduokhai and Elvis Rexhbecaj.

The initial phase had a certain pace from both teams – Niederlechner had a chance after just a few seconds. But most of the first half, which was not always impressive, was played between the penalty areas, as inaccurate passes ruined possible chances from the outset. The ball was only closer than 16 meters to the respective goalkeeper in standard situations, but these scenes were also scarce in the first part of the game. By chance, Jessic Ngankam got the shot just before the break at the corner of the box, but his powerful shot went over former Union keeper Rafal Gikiewicz’s goal.

In the snow that started in the second half, the hosts tried to get more of the game, while the guests initially limited themselves to counterattacking. The improved commitment of the Berliners was rewarded by the leadership. A free kick by captain Marvin Plattenhardt was shot in the middle of the penalty area by former Berliner Arne Maier to the waiting judge, who hit the right corner from 25 meters. The 25-year-old had already scored in the first leg in the 2-0 away win and was able to celebrate his first goal after suffering from testicular cancer.

Eight minutes after the lead, another free kick was the starting point for the second goal. Rogel threw the ball from his own half of the field into the Augsburg penalty area, where Lukebakio, who came at half-time, circled the ball past Gikiewicz, who was running out, and forced a preliminary decision.

Source: Stern

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