Hertha Berlin secured their first victory in UEFA Europa League Group J by beating Zorya Luhansk 2-0 on Thursday thanks to a Davie Selke brace.
Hertha Berlin 2-0 Zorya
Goals: 1-0 Selke (15’), 2-0 Selke (73’)
Hertha had an unbeaten record at home in European competition coming into this game, and showed why after just 15 minutes. Maximilian Mittelstädt’s cross towards the back post found the head of Davie Selke. And the German, who scored in the reverse fixture in Ukraine, buried his chance to give the capital club the lead. Two chances fell for Salomon Kalou, but neither were taken before the break as Hertha took a lead into half-time.
The second half was a case of Hertha standing firm on what they had and restricting Zorya to very few chances. But the game would not end before Selke had his name in lights again. The striker latched on to a Alexander Esswein through ball before rounding the goalkeeper and finishing for his brace. His third goal in two games against the Ukrainians sealing victory over Zorya in the Europa League, keeping the Bundesliga club's chances of qualifying very much alive. Despite sitting bottom of Group J, they are just three points behind leaders Östersunds.
Hertha: Kraft - Pekarik (c), Stark, Torunarigha, Mittelstädt - Maier, Stocker – Kalou (Haraguchi 59’), Duda (Skjelbred 74’), Esswein (Dardai Jr. 80’) - Selke
Coach: Pal Dardai
Zorya: Lunin – Opanasenko, Svatok, Grechyshkin, Sukhotskiy – Kharatin, Andriyevskiy– Karavaev (c) (Leonidas 74’), Silas (Gordiyenko 56’), Lunov (Gromov 59’) - Iury
Coach: Yuriy Vernydub
- Hertha extended their unbeaten home run in Europe to five matches, having won three and drawn two of their last five games on home soil.
- Other than the 2-1 loss against Zorya two weeks ago, Hertha have faced Ukrainian opposition only once before in Europe (they drew 0-0 with Metalist Kharkiv in the 2008/09 Europa League group stage).
- The Old Lady registered their last victory in the competition on 16 December 2009 (at 1-0 victory over Sporting.
- Zorya head coach Yuriy Vernydub won the Russian Cup with FC Zenit in 1999.