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Germany: Bundesliga
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Schalke 04
Hertha BSC
A. Harit (6)
D. Boyata (19), J. Ngankam (74), D. Lukebakio (89)

Hertha top Schalke 2-1 in final make-up match

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

In the final make-up match from Hertha BSC's quarantine, Pal Dardai's troops prevailed over Schalke 04 2-1. 

A much deserved victory sees the West Berlin club climb up to 13th place in the table, three points off the relegation playoff place. 
Pal Dardai.
Pal Dardai.Photo: Football.ua/Creative Commons/CC-by-SA 3.0
Despite a minor COVID outbreak in the Schalke camp that threatened to delay the match, the 2020/21 German Bundesliga is finally caught up. All 18 teams have now played 32 matches entering the final two rounds of the season. Hertha BSC grabbed a much-needed and a genuinely earned three points against the already-relegated Schalke 04. The win boosts Hertha's survival prospects immensely.

Both Pal Dardai and Dimitrios Grammozis found themselves needing to make several personnel changes for different reasons. Dardai, in light of Hertha's packed make-up schedule, once again rotated heavy. Only keeper Alexander Schwolow, midfielder Lucas Tousart, and striker Krzysztof Piatek maintained their place from Sunday's XI. Missing several players to quarantine, Grammozis fielded three new players to Dardai's eight.

An amazing solo run from Amine Harit propelled the hosting Westphalians to a 1-0 lead. Schalke's Moroccan star cut inside the 18 and finished with a flourish in the 6th minute. A midfield stalemate then ensued overt the course of the opening 45, though Hertha Dedryck Boyata was able to equalize off a set-piece in the 19th.

The Berliners merged from the tunnel looking much more eager and organized. A flurry of chances between the 50th and 65th nearly saw them take the lead. Boyata hit the post in the 63rd. The visiting Charlottenburgers were in complete control of the game. It thus came as no surprise that they finally did take the lead in the 74th.

The subbed-on Jessic Ngankam proved the hero this time, set up nicely by starter Nemanja Radonjic. The Serbian assist provider had chance to put it beyond all doubt minutes later, but couldn't find the finish in the 83rd. Taking advantage of a Dodi Lukebakio red card in the 88th, Schalke pushed for an equalizer deep into injury time.

Shkodran Mustafi and Bentio Raman were extremely unlucky both to hit the post on a double chance at 90+3. After hanging on for all three points, Hertha are now unbeaten in seven consecutive fixtures. Safely can be clinched at the Olympiastadion on Saturday with a win over fellow relegation candidates 1. FC Köln.

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