||…muttered my despondent fellow Hertha fan Krishnan in block F16.5 of Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, as the clock ticked down, the taunting chants of Schalke supporters grew louder and the gigantic 0:0 refused to yield from the stadium video screen.
It was one of those afternoons. The only time the ball crossed the line was in the twentieth minute, after Marko Pantelic beat Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer – but the goal was ruled offside.
The consensus is that it was a bad call, but that’s no consolation or excuse. Hertha are out of the title race, while Wolfsburg and Stuttgart got big wins to keep their dream of hoisting the “salad bowl” alive.
They deserve it because they played attacking football (especially the Wolves who absolutely crushed Hanover). Meanwhile, Hertha stuck with the counter-attacking strategy that kept them in the race for 33 rounds but that was unlikely to break down the team with the best defense in the league and sole goal of spoiling our party.
What else could we have done? The good news is that Hertha are guaranteed at least a Champions League qualification spot if we beat Karlsruhe – a bottom-of-the-table team with no choice but to attack -- on Saturday.
No one committed suicide, no one lost an eye – the only casualty was a beer I dumped all over my trousers and the poor lady sitting in front of me.
And there’s no point in crying over spilt beer or bad calls, though I would recommend the linesman stay away from the German capital for a couple of weeks.