Plucky Hertha draws 2-2 at Stuttgart in coach Korkut’s debut

Sports

BERLIN (AP) — Hertha Berlin’s gamble on a new coach showed some promising signs Sunday as the team fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at Stuttgart in the Bundesliga in Tayfun Korkut’s debut in charge.

Stevan Jovetic scored twice for the visitors to claim a point and stay just ahead of 15th-place Stuttgart in the table. Hertha also managed to withstand a late spell of pressure without conceding in contrast to previous games against Augsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg.

Korkut was back at his hometown club after his surprise appointment as Hertha coach on Monday following Pál Dárdai’s dismissal. Korkut hadn’t coached any team since a largely unsuccessful stint in charge of Stuttgart in 2018.

His new side got off to a bad start with Omar Marmoush scoring on a counterattack in the 15th minute and Philipp Förster grabbing another for Stuttgart four minutes later.

Marmoush might have had another a short time later but Hertha goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow saved his effort.

Ishak Belfodil pulled one back in the 34th, but the goal was ruled out through VAR when Vladimir Darida was adjudged to have blocked the goalkeeper’s view from an offside position.

Hertha persevered and duly scored through Jovetic in the 40th.

Marmoush thought he’d scored a second in the 66th, only to see a linesman’s flag raised for offside. A VAR check confirmed the call.

Korkut brought on experienced defender Niklas Stark and veteran forward Prince Boateng in the 72nd as the home team appeared be tiring.

Jovetic equalized in the 76th and this time Hertha managed to hold on.

Borussia Mönchengladbach hosted Freiburg in the late game.

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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

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