Hertha stay up, keep Hamburg down

Dedryck Boyata of Hertha BSC battles for possession with Mikkel Kaufmann of Hamburger SV during the Bundesliga Playoffs Leg Two match between Hamburger SV and Hertha BSC at Volksparkstadion on May 23, 2022 in Hamburg, Germany. 


Hertha Berlin have avoided relegation from the Bundesliga with a 2-0 playoff win away to Hamburg SV.

The 2-1 aggregate victory condemned the former European champions to a fifth season in 2. Bundesliga, Germany's second division.

Dedryck Boyata headed in Marvin Plattenhardt's corner after just four minutes on Monday night at Hamburg Arena to level the tie.

Plattenhardt edged Hertha ahead after the hour mark, firing home an inswinging free kick from a tight angle that caught goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes off guard.

In a tense end to the contest, Hertha played the final seconds with 10 men after midfielder Lucas Tousart was shown a second yellow card.

But it did not matter as the Berlin side managed by Felix Magath - a Hamburg great in his playing days - kept his former club outside the elite.

"It's a massive weight lifted off our shoulders," Ghana international striker, but Berlin-born striker, Kevin-Prince Boateng said.

"We were poor in the first game and needed to turn everything around in this cauldron of noise.

"You could see that we were really up for it from the very first minute ... There's life in the old dog yet, and that goes for me personally too. Now I need three or four days to recover and celebrate a bit - I'm not as much as a party animal as I used to be."

The triumph means Hertha - the club Socceroo Mathew Leckie played four seasons with before returning to the A-League and joining Melbourne City in 2021 - avoid a seventh relegation, which would have been a particularly bitter blow for the Berliners who have ambitions of becoming a successful 'big city club' backed by investor Lars Windhorst.

Hamburg were the last ever-present Bundesliga side to be relegated in 2018, but face another season in the wilderness having only finished third behind promoted champions Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen.

 

 

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