Hunt and Hinterseer see off Hertha in final pre-season friendly

The main event at Saturday’s Volksparkfest(ival) saw HSV defeat an under-strength Hertha BSC side by two goals to nil.

Hamburger SV ended pre-season on a two-match winning run thanks to an encouraging performance at the Volksparkstadion on Saturday (5th September), crowned by first-half goals from Aaron Hunt and Lukas Hinterseer. Hertha had little to show from their trip west from the capital city, as the Rothosen collected a second win and clean sheet in a row to finish pre-season with momentum heading into Monday’s clash with Dynamo Dresden.

Hunt and Hinterseer crown industrious first half

Daniel Thioune employed the same 3-5-2 formation that had been successful against Feyenoord in Austria, and it reaped reward again on Saturday, providing solidity down the spine of the team and width down the channels. This width led to the first goal after just seven minutes, as right wing-back Khaled Narey slipped in Manuel Wintzheimer, who drove to the byline and looked to pull the ball back to the penalty spot. The ball clearly struck the arm of the sliding Mittelstädt and Aaron Hunt calmly placed the resulting penalty to the ‘keeper’s left to open the scoring. 

The Berliners found their footing after the opener, pressing the Rothosen high up the pitch, with first Heuer Fernandes smothering Redan’s effort and Ambrosius sliding in at the last minute to prevent a shot on goal from Cunha. Despite the pressure from the Bundesliga side, the home team retained their composure and continued to play out from the back, doubling their advantage in the 34th minute. After Tim Leibold won the ball back on the left flank, the ball was played all the way back to the centre halves, before slicing through the Hertha pressing at just the right moment, and creating space out wide for Narey again, whose vicious cross was chested into the net by Lukas Hinterseer. 

Goalless second half wraps up clean sheet

The flowing move turned out to be the best that either side could come up with in an attacking sense over 90 minutes, as the second period didn’t have the same energy or amount of goalmouth action as the first. Both teams had periods of pressure, with Hertha having a goal ruled out for a clear shove from Matthew Leckie on Khaled Narey before steering Mittelstädt’s cross into the net. The Rothosen had chances of their own, Ambrosius threatening from set piece situations whilst Wintzheimer should have done better from a pinpoint Jatta cross 15 minutes from time. After the hour mark, Daniel Thioune introduced a number of substitutions to the game, a luxury that ex-HSV coach Bruno Labbadia couldn’t afford, only having three outfield players left on the Hertha bench. The home side were able to see the victory out comfortably, something Thioune was pleased about: “Today we wanted to show that we can be aggressive without the ball and make it difficult for our opponents. The team rose to the challenge, also reacting well to changes in system and personnel throughout the game. I think we’re well prepared for the start of the season.”
You can watch the full match highlights here.