Hertha Berlin failed to make their home advantage count as they were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom-of-the-table Hannover 96 in an entertaining Bundesliga clash on Friday evening.
- Hertha Berlin 2 Hannover 2
- Ibisevic fires Hertha in front early on
- Sobiech levels matters on 18 mins
- Schmiedebach gives Hannover the lead
- Kalou restores parity on 72 mins
Vedad Ibisevic got the hosts off to a flyer, slotting home after just three minutes, but Hannover responded magnificently, drawing level through Artur Sobiech in the 18th minute before Manuel Schmiedebach fired them in front just moments before the hour mark.
And, despite drawing level through Salomon Kalou in the 72nd minute, Hertha were unable to push on and grab a winner as Hannover bagged what could prove to be a crucial point in their quest to beat the drop.
Hertha made a perfect start to the encounter, claiming the lead after just three minutes of play. Marvin Plattenhardt sent an inviting cross into the danger, where Ibisevic was waiting to side-foot into the bottom-right corner from close range.
The goal drew an instant response from Hannover, who launched two attacks in quick succession. However, Uffe Bech saw his goal-bound effort kept out by Hertha keeper Rune Jarstein, before Manuel Schmiedebach struck the post with a powerful effort from outside the box.
The visitors again went close in the sixth minute, but Alexander Milosevic fired high and wide following a well worked corner.
Hannover kept pressing for the equaliser, though, and got the breakthrough they were looking for in the 18th minute, Sobiech latching onto a through ball from Hiroshi Kiyotake before firing the ball past the advancing Jarstein and into the bottom-right corner.
The equaliser was the last real action of note in the first half, however, with Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee heading wide of the left-hand post in the 36th minute as the first stanza ended without incident.
Hertha started the second half as they had started the first and very nearly reclaimed the lead in the 49th minute only for Hannover keeper Ron Robert Zieler to keep out Tolga Cigerci's goal-bound effort.
However, Hannover grew in confidence as the half wore on and went close through Waldemar Anton before Schmiedebach fired into the bottom-right corner from the centre of the box in the 58th minute to give the visitors the lead.
Hertha weren't done yet, though, as Genki Haraguchi forced Jarstein into action with a close-range effort in the 70th minute. And just two minutes later, they were back on level terms as Kalou converted from just a few yards out to setup a tense finish to the encounter.
Ibisevic, scorer of the opening goal, had two chances in quick succession to snatch a late win for Hertha, but saw his first effort saved in the bottom-right corner, before Zieler again came to his side's rescue to deny the striker's headed effort from the resulting corner.
Ibisevic had one last chance to make himself a hero in the first minute of injury time, but was again denied by Zieler as Hertha were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.