Hertha BSC Berlin 0-3 Servette FC (Aggegate: 0-3) After a goalless first leg, Servette FC pulled off a shock in the Olympiastadion when they defeated ten-man Hertha HSC Berlin 3-0 in the second leg of their UEFA Cup third round tie.
Hertha had not even conceded a goal in more than seven hours of UEFA Cup football before tonight’s game, but found themselves 1-0 down after just 17 minutes. Wilson Oruma was fouled near the left-hand touchline and Londono whipped in a free-kick which Hilton rose to head powerfully past Christian Fiedler in the Hertha goal.
Van Burik dismissed
The away goal put Servette in a strong position and Hertha’s uphill task became a mountain to climb when Dick van Burik was sent off two minutes later. The centre-half brought down Alexander Frei, who had been clean through on goal, and English referee Graham Barber had no choice but to dismiss him.
But ten-man Hertha had two great chances to equalise before half-time. On 38 minutes an inswinging corner found its way to the feet of Marcelinho, unmarked five metres from goal. But somehow his shot was deflected by an outstretched leg and palmed into the air by Servette goalkeeper Eric Pedat before Chrsitophe Jaquet nodded the ball off his own goalline to safety.
Then on the stroke of half-time Michael Preetz latched on to a loose ball in the Servette penalty area but was foiled from point-blank range by Pedat. The ball was hacked away but only as far as René Tretschok, whose right-footed volley sailed over the crossbar.
Four minutes after the interval Servette doubled their lead when Goran Obradovic raced through on the left and clipped the ball over two defenders into the path of the unmarked Frei, who crashed a shot back across Fiedler. The Hertha keeper later admitted: “That goal turned the tide – I’m very upset.”
But Hertha had been visibly downhearted from that point onwards. Tempers began to fray, prompting a string of untidy tackles. One such challenge, after 71 minutes, led to a Sébastien Fournier free-kick, which rebounded off the crossbar straight into the path of Obradovic, who coolly nodded the ball first time past the stranded Fiedler to make it 3-0.
In the dying seconds Servette substitute Maxime Sanou had a great chance to make it 4-0 but rolled his shot agonisingly wide of the far post – although a fourth goal would have been an injustice to unlucky Hertha.
Röber: 'very disappointed'
Hertha coach Jürgen Röber later fumed: “I’m very disappointed with the result. We had some great opportunities to score in the first half but didn’t take them. So we had to push forward after half-time and we got caught on the counterattack.”
In contrast, Fournier grinned: We scored first and it was very important, but organisation and defensive spirit were also important tonight.” While Servette coach Lucien Favre simply beamed: “I’m very happy, the boys played very, very well.”