Klinsmann delight at Hertha debut

Jonathan Klinsmann excelled in his first senior appearance for Hertha Berlin in their 1-1 Europa League draw with Östersunds FK.

Following injury and illness to Rune Jarstein and Thomas Kraft, the 20-year-old was handed his chance at the Olympiastadion Berlin on Thursday night.

Sotirios Papagiannopoulos had opened the scoring for Östersunds on 58 minutes ahead of a 61st minute equaliser from Peter Pekarik.

While Berlin's progression to the knockout round the European competition was over before kick-off, the young stopper nevertheless took his opportunity.

And he proved his quality with a penalty save late in the game to preserve his side's point – saving from Brwa Nouri with 87 minutes on the clock.

Klinsmann, who only joined the Bundesliga side in July after a short trial, was naturally delighted with his performance.

He told Hertha TV: "It was definitely crazy. I don't know how else to describe it.

"First starting XI, Europa League, the whole thing. It was just crazy.

"At the time, I was just nervous. A couple of days before the game and you start thinking and overthinking. I didn't know what to think.

"I called my dad and told him. He calmed me down a bit."

Reflecting on his penalty save, Klinsmann added: "It was funny, right before the game we didn't actually go over penalties until right before kick-off. 

"It wasn't really a thing we thought would happen but obviously you have to prepare for the worst.

"I just told myself, most of these guys go left so if I go and I have a feeling, just go 100 per cent to that corner and it worked."

"Getting my first game, it's a whole different atmosphere if you're a goalkeeper. I have a lot of close relationships with the guys in the second team and then to get this win and you saw they were grateful for the save and happy for you and the team, it was great to see."

Comments