Hertha BSC Berlin 1-0 Aberdeen FC
Hertha BSC Berlin substitute Michael Preetz took just two minutes to turn this UEFA Cup first-round tie in his side's favour by scoring a late goal to sink Aberdeen FC at the Olympiastadion.
Preetz's dramatic goal, a thumping header from Marcelinho's cross, was all that seperated the sides after three hours of football, handing Hertha a passport to the second round. The German side's coach Huub Stevens said: "I am happy that Preetz scored so late - I sent him in because Luizao was tired and Preetz is stronger with headers - and we were lucky that he made the only goal with his head."
Two red cards
The game, which Hertha dominated from start to finish, was soured by two dismissals, especially the red card shown to Andreas Neuendorf for an off-the-ball incident against Philip McGuire following a dispute on the touchline.
Bart Goor twice went close after the break, first shaving the post and then drawing a fine save from Peter Kjaer in the Aberdeen goal. Marcelinho had three great chances to break the deadlock as Hertha turned up the pressure, and once Aberdeen's Eric Deloumeaux was sent off for a second yellow card it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors would score. In fact, Fabiano almost stole victory for Aberdeen five minutes from time but was denied by the Hertha keeper, only for Preetz, with extra-time beckoning, to come off the bench and poach the winner at the other end.
'All the best'
Aberdeen coach Ebbe Skovdahl said: "We had expected a difficult match but when Neuendorf was sent off we saw light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately the referee manged to make it even in the second half by sending off Deloumeux, but Hertha are a strong team and I wish them all the best for the rest of the competition."