In the 13th attempt it finally worked. Florian Niederlechner could no longer really grasp his negative series. The soccer professional has been a striker without fortune since moving from FC Augsburg to Hertha BSC in the winter. Twelve games, no goal, that can be annoying. And now: "Incredible relief. It wasn't how I imagined it, with one goal at first. But I think it was an important goal," said the 32-year-old after his debut goal in Berlin for the 2-1 win against VfB Stuttgart.
For coach Pal Dardai, the striker could become a symbol and key figure in the last three games of the season, all of which the Berliners want to win and should win in order to make it impossible to stay up in the league. "Flo is an important player for me, not just because he scored a goal. He's experienced, he knows when we're pushing forward," said Dardai.
The so far short career section in the capital held many moments of frustration for Niederlechner. Actually, he should only come to Hertha in the summer, then the clubs agreed on an immediate change at the end of January. The Berliners needed a reliable clipper in the storm headquarters.
But game after game less and less succeeded. There was a lot of bad luck, the ball didn't want to go in. It is almost symbolic that Niederlechner conceded his first goal a bit, just touched it and the ball slipped through the legs of VfB goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow.
Niederlechner has never completed a Hertha game over the full distance, Dardai at least put him back in the starting XI, almost apologetically emphasizing that the substitution against Jessic Ngankam after 64 minutes on Saturday was of a tactical nature.
The Hertha coach likes the bulky and yet supple type of player. "I had Adam Szalai with the national team," he drew a comparison with the former Hungarian Schalke striker. "Exactly, a clear head and a tactical order," was the praise. "He played a great game, hopefully he will continue to score," said Dardai, expressing his hopes.
Niederlechner himself remained focused and looked ahead to the next task on Friday (8:30 p.m.) at 1. FC Köln. "It was an important first step, but stay on the ground now, give it your all during the week and then go to Cologne and then take the second important step," he said. Best possible with the next goal.
Information about the game on the Bundesliga homepage