MAINZ, Germany (AP) — Hertha Berlin were seconds away from claiming a second Bundesliga victory in coach Sandro Schwarz’s return to former club Mainz on Friday.
Then Anthony Casey scored in the last minute of injury time to make it 1-1 to extend Hertha’s winless streak against Mainz to seven games.
The coach when Hertha last beat Mainz in March 2019? Sandro Schwarz
The Hertha coach was given a warm welcome by Mainz officials for his first game at his old club after taking charge of Dynamo Moscow.
But when the game started, the warm feelings disappeared.
Lucas Tossart scored for Hertha on the half-hour mark when he was picked off by a good cross from Chedra Ejock, who faced a defender.
Ejock almost made it 2-0 before the break, but Robin Zenner made a brilliant save to save his deflected shot.
Otherwise the hard-fought first half had little chance.
The second continued in a similar vein with the referee’s whistle being blown repeatedly as Mainz forced an equaliser.
It finally came in the 94th minute when Hertha’s defense failed to clear a promising cross from Lee Jae-sung. Karim Onizio played a through ball to Petr Pekaric and it fell out for Kasi – a defender – to sweep past a host of defenders inside the far post.
“The big problem in the second half was we got into a wrestling match. We forgot to seal it,” Schwarz said of his freshman team’s near victory. “To surrender a goal with the last act is brutal.”