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Hertha Berlin 1 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Hertha Berlin 0 - 0 Aberdeen

UEFA Cup First Round Second Leg
Hertha Berlin scorers: Preetz 89

01/10/2002 | KO: 16:30

Dons fail to breach Berlin wall.

Aberdeen's Euro dream was dramatically ended in the 89th minute of the game in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. In an ill-tempered match the Dons could be proud of their display although they ultimately failed to progress. Aberdeen had a great chance when Hertha were reduced to ten men in the 38th minute following violent play by Neuendorf. Unfortunately the referee evened matters in the second half when Deloumeaux received a second yellow card in the 66th minute. Just as the game looked to be heading for extra time Preetz popped up to head home a late winner.

Aberdeen were put under pressure from the start with McAllister being harshly penalised in the opening minute. The resultant free kick gave Kjaer some early action as he was forced to turn Goor's effort round the post. The Dons then faced a series of corners but held firm and were able to venture forward in the 5th minute. Hertha had their second chance a minute later when Neuendorf hit a fierce effort inches over the bar.

Hertha certainly had the upper hand at this stage and were winning numerous free kicks, as their players appeared to have problems maintaining their balance. Aberdeen had their first shot on target in the 13th minute when Kiraly comfortably dealt with a Derek Young strike. Two minutes later Marcelinho had a half chance, but Rutkiewicz closed him down and his effort went wide.

The Dons almost fell behind in the 19th minute when McGuire stumbled allowing Marcelinho through. Once again Kjaer was the hero as he pulled off a wonderful save to concede the seventh Hertha corner. The resultant kick saw the woodwork save the Dons as a Pinto cross was headed against the crossbar. After surviving that onslaught the Dons relieved the pressure when an early cross by Deloumeaux caused panic in the Hertha defence before the Germans finally cleared their lines.

There were loud appeals for a penalty from the home crowd in the 27th minute as Pinto went down easily under a McAllister challenge. For once the Polish official was not impressed and a minute later Pinto was up to his tricks again upsetting Phil McGuire in the process. Once everyone had calmed down Pinto was booked for his troubles. Kjaer was once again in action on the half-hour mark as he pulled of another important save. Mackie and Deloumeaux were then booked in the space of a minute as the game heated up.

Mayhem erupted in the 38th minute when Hertha were reduced to ten men. Neuendorf was booked for trying to get Mackie sent off and seconds later he was red carded when he appeared to head-butt Phil McGuire as the German's discipline crumbled.

Hertha had the ball in the net in the 42nd minute courtesy of Luizao, but the linesman had clearly indicated offside. The Dons then had a couple of half chances in the closing minutes as first Darren Mackie ran at the Hertha defence before taking the ball too far. Seconds later Darren Young broke free, but his final cross was poor.

The Dons made a positive start to the second half as they looked for the vital away goal, but Derek Young was closed down as he looked set to shoot. Mackie and Young combined well again in the 49th minute but Derek's delivery fell behind D'Jaffo as the German defence opened up. Hertha showed they were still dangerous when Marcelinho ran at the Dons defence in the 54th minute. McGuire matched him however and cleared the danger. Two minutes later the Germans headed wide.

The Dons then had a good passage of play ending with a D'Jaffo turn and shot which went wide of the target. The 59th minute saw Goor given far too much space as he ran at the Dons defence, but once more Kjaer was down quickly to save. The Germans were awarded a free kick a minute later in a dangerous area, but the effort was hit wide of the target. Just before the kick was taken, Leon Mike replaced D'Jaffo up front. Fortunately for Pinto the referee missed a late challenge on Leon Mike or his team could well have been down to nine men.

It was disaster for the Dons in the 66th minute when Deloumeaux received a second yellow card as the referee evened things up following a strong challenge by the Frenchman. Seconds later Mackie was scythed down, but the official saw no reason to penalise that challenge with a yellow. Marcelinho had the best chance of the game in the 70th minute when he fired wide when it looked easier to score. Deloumeaux had been man-marking Marcelinho and the Brazilian was enjoying the freedom the red card afforded him.

The 30,770 crowd were certainly getting value for money, as the game was poised on a knife-edge. Surely a goal now for the Dons would kill the tie with only 15 minutes remaining. However it was Hertha who went close again a minute later when Dardai hit an effort over the bar. Seconds later Mike broke but was unbelievably penalised for using his strength to lose his marker. It was Luizao who went close in the 78th minute as Hertha began to totally dominate play.

With nine minutes remaining Fabiano replaced Derek Young and seconds later the Dons won their first corner kick of the match. The keeper punched Fabiano's corner clear and Darren Young collected and won a second corner. From this kick Aberdeen almost clinched the tie as an Anderson header was cleared from the line. The Dons did bundle the ball into the net seconds later, but the referee had already blown for an infringement. Fabiano then had a good chance in the 85th minute when he collected, cut inside and drilled a shot towards goal which Kiraly saved well.

A minute later Hertha won a free kick on the edge of the box, but Kjaer was first to the cross to punch the danger clear. Hertha turned up the heat in the closing minutes as Peter Kjaer performed heroics. It was unlucky thirteen for the Dons as Preetz headed Hertha's thirteenth corner kick past Kjaer in the 89th minute to end the Dons Euro dream.

Hertha Berlin Teamsheet
Kiraly, Rehmer (Lapaczinski 80), Van Burik, Friedrich, Hartmann, Pinto,Neuendorf, Marx (Dardai 58), Goor, Luizao (Preetz 85), Marcelinho Unused Subs: Tretschok, Maas, Madlung, Fiedler

Bookings:  Pinto 28,   Neuendorf 38   Neuendorf (38)
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Kjaer, Rutkiewicz, Anderson, McGuire, McAllister, Young, Bisconti (Billio 90), Deloumeaux, Young (Fabiano 81), D'Jaffo (Mike 60), Mackie.

Unused Subs: Clark, Michie, Payne, Preece.

Bookings:  Mackie (31),  Deloumeaux (34),  Young (45),  Deloumeaux (66),  Deloumeaux (66).
Attendance: 30,770
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Berlin
Referee: G Gilewski, Poland