Allianz Arena, December 5 - Benjamin Lauth scored on a cracking shot in the 11th minute and Gabor Kiraly kept a clean sheet as TSV 1860 München defeated Hertha BSC Berlin 1-0. The Lions rebounded after their first loss in 11 matches on Monday and now sit only five points off a promotion spot in the Bundesliga's second division.
"From the opening whistle, we wanted to score the winning goal," said 1860 coach Reiner Maurer. "I compliment my team for rebounding after the loss in the last match. Today they showed 100% passion, 100% the will to win, and were 100% ready to run."
Despite the 10-match unbeaten streak, Munich never really improved their position in the table. And after losing the 1-0 at Greuther Fürth on Monday, the Lions fell further behind the pace of a promotion spot. A favorable decision in the match againt Berlin would keep Munich in the race heading into the winter break.
And the team started the match with such urgency, creating opportunities early but not getting into striking distance. Until Lauth was able to advance the ball from the right side line, dribble unimpeded to the edge of the box and fired a shot to the top left post and beat the outstretched hands of Berlin's goalkeeper Marco Senja.
The first half played out with both teams up and down the pitch, Hertha getting closer each time but Gabor able to handle the easy shots.
After the break, both team continued where they left off, creating chances and unable to finish. Berlin were physical through out, perhaps affected Munich's play. 1860 were sloppy and decided to return the favor, earning yellow cards and giving the visitors free kicks close to scoring range.
But the key in holding the lead was the play of Kiraly. Hertha outshot Munich 18-11, with Kiraly stopping all eight shots in up front. "Kiraly played a great match as he stopped many tough shots at close range," exclaimed Maurer. "It's great for a goalkeeper when he doesn't give up goals and Kiraly's play was the key to our victory today."
There was controversy at the end of the match when 1860's Djordje Rakic chased a ball to the corner and Senja met him out at the edge of the area. After allowing Rakic to win the ball and clear it to Lauth for an apparent score, Senja earned a red card by fouling Rakic. Referee Rafak Babati claimed the foul happened before the goal, thus disallowing the Munich icing-on-the-cake and awarded the Lions a free kick. Fortunately for the Lions, Hertha could not come up with an equalizer and 1860 are back on track for a promotion.
1860 travel a short distance north for their next match to take on FC Ingolstadt 04 in the next installment of a Bavarian Derby. The match is on December 12th, kickoff 13:30 at Audi Sportpark.