Sandro Schwarz opted for two alterations following the late loss to VfB Stuttgart during the week. That saw Suat Serdar and Davie Selke drop to the bench as Ivan Sunjic and Wilfried Kanga got the starting nod.
Steffen Baumgart made two changes from the team that were beaten by Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday. Timo Hübers and Ondrej Duda returned to the line-up in place of Nikola Soldo and Denis Huseinbasic.
Behind at the break
After a relatively uneventful beginning in Berlin, Hertha took the lead with the first effort on goal. Marvin Plattenhardt was given time and space to cross, with Wilfried Kanga wriggling free of the FC defence to head home unmarked from close range. Marvin Schwäbe then had to be alert to deny Dodi Lukebakio’s low, stinging drive from 20 yards.
FC would conjure up a glorious chance to level almost immediately. Linton Maina drifted past his man on the touchline and powered into the box. The FC forward teed up Sargis Adamyan in the middle, only for the Armenian forward to loop the ball onto the cross from two yards out. Adamyan then had another great opening as a corner slid into his path, but he was unable to get the better of Oliver Christensen.
After a lull in play, the latter stages of the first-half produced further chances. Eric Martel headed a Florian Kainz cross into the hands of Christensen before Ivan Sunjic broke through on goal. Sunjic fired straight at Schwäbe and the FC stopper was able to gather the rebound. The final action of the first period saw FC opening the scoring. However, Maina’s effort was rightly ruled out for offside.
Richter doubles Hertha’s lead
The second-half saw FC have the first opening after Florian Kainz’s free-kick was calmly caught by Christensen. Moments later, Hertha had double their lead. Dodi Lukebakio was allowed to break into the box too easily and his cross was cut out by Marvin Schwäbe, but only as far as Marco Richter. The winger took no mercy and slammed home into the open net.
The remainder of the game petered out without many chances or talking points, with FC ending the Bundesliga year of 2022 on a negative note. Marvin Schwäbe did well to deny both Marc-Oliver Kempf and Lucas Tousart in the latter stages. Steffen Baumgart’s side will now fly to Austin, Texas on Wednesday morning as part of the Winter Break plans.
Hertha BSC (4-2-3-1): Christensen – Kenny, Rogel, Kempf, Plattenhardt (Mittelstädt 24‘) – Tousart, Sunjic – Richter (Serdar 84’), Boetius (Boateng 84’), Lukebakio (Ejuke 69‘) – Kanga (Selke 84’).
1. FC Köln (4-2-2-2): Schwäbe – Schmitz (Schindler 51‘), Hübers, Kilian, Hector – Skhiri, Martel (Tigges 70‘) – Duda (Huseinbasic 56‘), Kainz – Maina, Adamyan (Thielmann 56‘).
Goals: 1:0, Kanga 9’. 2:0, Richter 54‘.
Referee: Christian Dingert (Lebecksmühle).
Booked: Kempf (62‘), Rogel (62‘), Lukebakio (66’), Skhiri (73’).