Jessic Ngankam rescues point for Hertha Berlin in Freiburg


Hertha Berlin picked up a priceless point in their bid to beat the drop after substitute Jessic Ngankam cancelled out an earlier goal from Vincenzo Grifo in Freiburg.

Freiburg 1-1 Hertha
Goals: 1-0
Grifo 52', 1-1 Ngankam 77' (assist: Kanga)

Sixteenth in the standings at the start of play, Hertha held their own for much of the first half against fourth-placed Freiburg. Oliver Christensen had very little to do in the visiting goal, save watching a few efforts from Lucas Höler and Grifo miss the target. At the other end, Dodi Lukebakio - having impressed on international duty with Domenico Tedesco's Belgium during the March break - went as close as anyone to opening the scoring with a diving header that flew just over the top of Mark Flekken's crossbar.

Freiburg forged ahead early in the second half when Grifo's free-kick deflected in off Tolgo Cigerci. Maximilian Eggestein and Killian Sildillia spurned a presentable double chance to extend the hosts' lead, before Flekken was called on to deny Lukebakio following a lightning counter. Hertha continued to threaten through Lukebakio, but it was the introduction of Ngankam that made the difference - the young German profitting from Jonathan Schmid's to make it 1-1. Freiburg substitute Nils Petersen went within a whisker of an injury-time winner as the contest ended all square.

Match stats

  • Hertha ended a run of eight straight away Bundesliga defeats.
  • Grifo has scored 13 of Freiburg's 39 Bundesliga goals so far this season. Only Werder Bremen's Niclas Füllkrug can boast a greater share (15 of 39).
  • Ngankam scored his third goal of the year.
  • Freiburg are unbeaten in a club record 12 Bundesliga home games (W8, D4).
  • The Old Lady have won just three of 18 Bundesliga meetings with Freiburg - losing eight and drawing eight.
  • Schmid made his first appearance of the season.

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Freiburg: Flekken - Gulde, Ginter, Schmidt (Schmid 58') - Sildillia, Eggestein, Höfler, Günter (c) - Doan, Höler (Petersen 85'), Grifo
Unused subs: Uphoff, Ezekwem, Keitel, Röhl, Jeong, Weißhaupt, Sallai
Out: Gregoritsch (suspended), Kyereh (cruciate ligament), Lienhart (thigh)
Coach: Christian Streich

Hertha: Christensen - Uremovic (Niederlechner 76'), Kempf, Dardai - Kenny, Tousart, Cigerci (Ngankam 57'), Boateng (Serdar 57'), Plattenhardt (c) - Lukebakio, Kanga (Rogel 87')
Unused subs: Ernst, Mittelstädt, Pekarík, Maza, Scherhant
Boetius (shoulder), Ejuke (knee), Jarstein (not considered), Jovetic (calf), Nsona (knee), Richter (suspended)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz