After his lucky punch in the very last second, Konstantinos Mavropanos stormed towards the VfB Stuttgart fans completely detached. With his goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time, the Greek secured the Swabians' 2-1 (1-1) win over Hertha BSC.
"There was always the belief that we could score," said Stuttgart's interim coach Michael Wimmer on Sky. "I kind of had the feeling that Dinos was going to get a header. Of course we're over the moon and happy that it actually works out to make it 2-1."
Hertha, on the other hand, was served. "The game lasts until the end. I'm really angry, really angry," said midfielder Jean-Paul Boetius. VfB took the early lead through Serhou Guirassy (4th minute). Dodi Lukebakio made the Berliners dream of at least one point for a long time (19th). But then Mavropanos struck from a Borna Sosa corner in added time. With the victory, the Stuttgarters leave the relegation place, Hertha's view goes further down.
VfB managed to strike themselves this time
Shortly before, VfB had to cope with a moment of shock: after a painful header duel with Ivan Sunjic, captain Wataru Endo was carried off the field after lengthy treatment.
Not much was missing against Hertha and a ninth early goal would have been added. However, Lukebakio's failed scene was the only wobble in the early stages. And unlike in many previous games, this time VfB managed to strike themselves. After a pass from Tiago Tomás, who was involved in a goal in the third game in a row, Guirassy appeared in front of Hertha keeper Oliver Christensen and scored.
It was a combat game
Both teams met in an intense game at eye level. Guest coach Sandro Schwarz, who made no changes compared to the 2: 3 win against FC Bayern Munich, had also predicted such a game. "It will be a competitive game. We have to defend well and take our chances," he said.
And his team took advantage of one of the few opportunities. Because Silas missed the 2-0, Lukebakio equalized. Borna Sosa lost sight of crosser Jonjoe Kenny and Waldemar Anton the scorer. Hertha almost turned the game around before the break. Defender Hiroki Ito, who was one of three fresh players in the starting XI, saved Lucas Tousart's header off the line.
Wimmer's plan to take the fans with him and play forward with force worked for a long time. "That's how I imagine our football to be," said the 42-year-old, whose future will be decided during the World Cup break. However, Silas and Tiago Tomás rarely used the speed advantages against the Hertha defense. Nevertheless, it was still enough to win - because Mavropanos hit his head at the last second.