Historic! Hertha is new German A-Junior champion
Hertha BSC is the German A-Junior champion for the first time: The capital club beat FC Schalke 04 3:1 in the final in Oberhausen in front of 9400 spectators. The Berliners were above all the more determined team, so even a missed penalty by Dardai shortly before the end was of no consequence.
The man of the first 45 minutes: Hertha captain Florian Krebs (#10) scored the 2:0 via a perfect free kick himself. imago
S04 coach Norbert Elgert relied on the same team for the final as in the semi-final second leg against Hoffenheim (4:2) – and thus also on goal scorer Kruger: The attacker was directly involved in three of the four Schalke goals in the second game against TSG (one goal, two assists).
Hertha coach Michael Hartmann relied on Palko Dardai (son of professional coach Pal Dardai), midfield talent Maier (18 Bundesliga games) and goal scorer Kiprit (three goals in the semifinals against BVB alone), among others. "We’ve already been German champions four times in the B-youth category, but we haven’t managed it yet in the A-youth category. The team has played a great season, so of course the title would be the crowning glory", Michael Preetz explained in the run-up to the game at "dfb.de".
Direct free kick shocks Schalke
And after just a few minutes, Berlin’s manager, who was watching the final live on site, saw his Hertha on course: Krebs lifted a free kick into the penalty area, where center back Ernesto headed the leather with force into the far corner – 1:0 (9.). Afterwards, Schalke had a lot of rage in its belly, but Kruger (teammate Boujellab unnecessarily harassed him) also missed the due 1:1 with a top-class goal (16.). The Konigsblauen suddenly found themselves with their backs to the wall, partly because of their failure to convert their chances: Hertha captain Krebs superbly curled a free kick into the top left corner of the goal – 2:0 (26.).
Hertha leaves 3:0
As a result, the visually superior Schalker seemed shocked, even the defensive organization was no longer really right. On two counterattacking chances, Maier and Jastrzembski, who came on as a substitute for the injured Zografakis, missed the 3-0 (37., 42.).
Kutucu strikes back
More needed to come from Schalke after the change of ends, but Hertha defended it passionately. S04 manager Christian Heidel explained on "Sport1"-Microphone: "I think it’s a top game. We have chances without end. Hertha also does an outstanding job in the transition game." With a third goal against, the game was probably over. But it turned out differently: Kutucu took a free kick, which Kiprit deflected in the wall quite unfortunate – 1:2 (62.).