Berlin - Hertha Berlin failed to win for the third home game in a row after they were held to a goalless draw by a spirited SC Freiburg on Friday night.
There was little to be had for either side in the way of goalscoring chances, with both backlines most definitely on top. Admir Mehmedi carried the visitors’ biggest threat but he was denied by Thomas Kraft four times, while Freiburg keeper Oliver Baumann had a similarly comfortable evening at the other end.
Hertha had lost their previous two home games coming into the encounter, but they began like a team possessed and might have gone in front inside a minute had Sami Allagui’s rasping drive not flown just wide of the Baumann’s right-hand post. It set the tone for an entertaining opening quarter, with Freiburg also providing an attacking threat with Mehmedi testing Kraft with a low strike from 20 yards.
After that initial burst of energy from either side, however, the tempo of the game slowed considerably as Freiburg rediscovered their sense of defensive organisation, allowing the hosts to have the majority of possession but protecting Baumann’s goal stoutly. Allagui glanced a header wide from a Tolga Cigerci free-kick and Adrian Ramos couldn’t divert his cross-cum-shot goalwards, as Hertha laboured in the lively Olympic Stadium atmosphere.
It was on a rare foray that Freiburg then came closest to opening the scoring before the break when Kraft had to beat clear another Mehmedi effort after Jonathan Schmid sprinted clear down the right wing. In an act that rather summed up the first half, Marcel Ndjeng then disappointingly lost his footing when through in on goal, allowing the defence to clear.
Freiburg’s first half had exhibited the defensive steeliness that had been lacking when they conceded three times in 12 minutes to lose against FC Augsburg last week, and it gave them confidence to assert themselves higher up the pitch. Vladimir Darida had a shot deflected wide and Mehmedi was denied for a third time after the acrobatic Kraft tipped his header over the bar.
Ramos, a peripheral figure for much of the game, then announced himself as the game entered the closing stages, twice forcing decent saves from Baumann, before Kraft then gathered another low shot from the ever industrious Mehmedi.
Neither team had done enough to put the other under sustained pressure, however, and the full time whistle brought a scrappy game to a close. It was a case of one point gained by the visitors and two points dropped for the hosts as the result lifted Hertha to sixth and kept Freiburg in 17th, albeit temporarily.
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