Hertha BSC 0-1 FC Nurnberg

Posted on August 6, 2011


A LATE winner from Tomas Pekhart proved to be the difference between newely promoted Hertha Berlin and FC Nurnberg this evening in a fairly tight affair.

Debutant Pekhart bundled the ball home just ten minutes from time to give FC Nurnberg the three points in front of 60,000 in Berlin, eagerly anticipating the return of Hertha BSC to the Bundesliga.

The Berlin club are coached by former Liverpool defender Markus Babbel and they cruised to promotion from Bundesliga.2 with a nine-point gap between them and second-placed FC Augsburg who held on to a draw in their opening day clash with SC Freiburg this afternoon.

Babbel started five of Hertha’s new summer signings against FC Nurnberg with Thomas Kraft in goal, Maik Franz in defence, Andreas Ottl and Peter Niemeyer in midfield, and Tunay Torun in attack.

The visitors were very busy in the summer despite their impressive finish in the Bundesliga last season. Dieter Hecking’s side lost out on a Europa League position narrowly at the hands of Mainz who went on a superb unbeaten run at the end of the campaign.

FC Nurnberg made eleven additions to the squad and three of them started for the visitors this evening. Tomas Pekhart was the club’s ‘marquee’ signing from Sparta Praha for £2m and he started in attack for Der Altmeister. The two other debutants were Timm Klose, who joined from FC Thun, and midfielder Markus Feulner who arrived from Borussia Dortmund.

Hertha BSC 0-1 FC Nurnberg: 90 minutes

The visitors were the better team in the opening ten minutes forcing a number of corner kicks and having the first shot on goal through Timm Klose but it sailed harmlessly wide of Thomas Kraft’s left-hand post.

Apart from a long range effort from Andreas Ottl, the away side dominated the first half and created some good chances but the finishing left a lot to be desired.

Markus Mendler (left with Pekhart), just 18 years old, was having a storming match and the partnership with Tomas Pekhart will stand Nurnberg well for the forthcoming campaign.

A half time change from Markus Babbel did not change the pattern of play with Tunay Torun being replaced by striker Raffael who played a huge part in Hertha’s promotion from Bundesliga.2 last season.

FC Nurnberg continued to dominate in the middle of the park with Hertha’s two of Ottl and Niemeyer struggling to compete against the three of the visitors.

Mendler and Feulner forced Thomas Kraft in to action not long after half time with two long range efforts, the latter being parried wide of the post.

But just after the hour mark, Hertha began to enjoy their best spell of the match and the usually prolific Pierre-Michel Lasogga missed a good chance when he fired over the top from inside the box.

The deadlock was finally broken ten minutes from the end when a quick throw-in and move from Nurnberg which involved the hold up play of Mendler, found Pekhart at the near post who diverted the ball towards goal and past Kraft.

The life was sucked right off of Hertha who were encouraged by their fantastic home support in the Olympiastadion in Berlin but they were restricted to long range efforts due to FC Nurnberg’s stubborn rearguard.

MOTM: Markus Mendler (FC Nurnberg)

Posted in: Matches