1. FC Kaiserslautern has ruthlessly dashed Hertha's great hopes of a home final in the DFB Cup. The Palatinate team prevailed 3-1 (2-0) in the quarter-finals on Wednesday evening in the Berlin Olympic Stadium, which was sold out with 74,245 spectators, thanks to goals from Jan Elvedi (5th minute), Richmond Tachie (38th) and Filip Kaloc (69th). and can now hope for a return to the grand final arena on May 25th.
In the second duel between two second division football teams in the round of the last eight, coach Dimitrios Grammozis' selection acted more cleverly and purposefully and left Berliners completely dismayed by the chance of the "home final" being lost too easily. Substitute Fabian Reese only scored the goal in stoppage time to make it 1:3 (90.1).
It won't be until the middle of next week that the two-time cup winners FCK will find out which opponents, in addition to the other second division team Fortuna Düsseldorf, could still be waiting in the first cup semi-final in ten years at the beginning of April. The Palatinate team have already been to the final in Berlin three times - in contrast to Hertha's professional team, who fail in this endeavor year after year.
But another final awaits the Berliners on Saturday. Against Hamburger SV in the 2nd league it is possibly the last realistic chance of being able to play for the Bundesliga return.
Of course, the death of President Kay Bernstein could not be ignored by Berliners. The fans continued the memory of the popular club boss, who died suddenly two weeks ago, with a choreo that was intended to show the way with Bernstein's New Year's Eve words about achieving great goals. Hertha coach Pal Dardai was able to moderate the difficult days for his team well and adjust the sporting focus. What he didn't manage to do was change defensive behavior.
His assistant Tamás Bodog called it “childish” in the most recent league appearance in the 1:3 defeat at SV Wehen Wiesbaden – this description also fit the naive approach to all of the Palatinate’s goals. Elvedi and Tachie were given plenty of space and time, Kaloc was given the invitation to counterattack. You could feel sorry for Marius Gersbeck in the Hertha goal. The 28-year-old had imagined his competitive debut very differently after the summer turmoil surrounding the sentence to a fine for a fight in Austria.
The will to chase the big final goal could not be denied to the Berliners. Derry Scherhant, Haris Tabakovic and also Florian Niederlechner in his annual debut after a red card suspension lacked consistency in front of the FCK goal. And the people of Lauter: They were probably surprised at how easy it was for them to score goals at the final venue. They didn't have to invest much.
There was great celebration at the start of the second half. Audience favorite Reese made his comeback after his corona infection. The fast winger also put a lot of pressure on the left side. The 26-year-old provided the impetus for Hertha to now attack with verve and more risk. But the next goal was scored again by Lauterer, who coldly finished off a counterattack by Kaloc. Reese's goal came too late for a comeback.