Match Centre: Kaiserslautern 1-0 Hearts
From Hearts News in Marburg, Germany
Hearts went down 1-0 to Kaiserslautern this evening but the game provided another useful run-out for the team.
Manager Csaba Laszlo made five changes to the starting line-up that first went out against the Rheingau XI on Wednesday as he mixed his squad up into a 4-4-1-1 formation. Trialist Mike Tullberg, a 24-year-old Danish striker was on the bench.
Kaiserslautern posed much more formidable opposition and the opening exchanges of the game were even. Hearts looked brisk in passing with Driver and Wallace linking well on the left.
However, the first cheer of the match came when a streaker ran the length of the pitch after only three minutes.
Hearts worked hard in midfield to gain the advantage against a physically strong German eleven. After quarter of an hour an inswinging free kick from Kingston was cleared well by Demai. The red and white clad Kaiserslautern prefered to resort to the long ball, playing one up front.
After 20 minutes Dick sent Demai down the right but Wallace covered the danger conceding a corner. Demai and Dick were again to test Hearts and the latter's cross should have been met in the middle but it sped across goal to preserve the status quo.
Driver then showed his pace to outflank Bugera and his tenacity under pressure presented Makela with an acute headed opportunity but it went just past. Kingston then shot a crisp left footed drive just wide from 18 yards. The Ghana internationalist then sent a delightful long ball up to Makela on the edge of the box but the big Finn's lob was just over.
Berra then linked well with Makela who drove down the left but his cross was cut out by the German defence. Kingston's corner found the hed of Zaliukas but again the effort drifted over the bar.
With half an hour gone, Hearts were now beginning to take hold of the game. Driver sent Mole down the left who crossed unselfishly for Kingston. His shot was well blocked by a despairing lunge.
Five minutes later, Runort almost snatched the lead for the Germans with a crisp strike from 25 yards which Banks did well to parry round his left hand post. Dick then climbed above everyone in the Hearts defence from the corner but his header was just wide.
Jeudrisch then tried from distance but his shot from 20 yards was nearer the corner flag than the goal.
Kingston then showed his willingness to take on the ball but it was a fourth challenge that finally brought him down midway inside the Kaiserslautern half.
However one minute from halftime Jeudrisch did take advantage of a slip in the Hearts midfield accepting a cross on the edge of the 18 yard box and vollying a superb shot high into the net.
Kaiserslautern came out the stronger in the second half and could have been 2-0 up had they kept composure in front of goal. Palazuelos then imposed himself in midfield in an effort to press their hosts. The Spaniard was instrumental in creating the best chance of the game for Hearts. He found Glen who skillfully played a one-two with Mikoliunas but his shot was superbly saved. Glen was just off balance though to capitalise on the rebound.
Hearts were keen to simply keep the ball but their passing game was not troublesome to the Germans. Meanwhile Bellinghausen continued to make the Germans click in midfield.
Hearts Danish trialist Mike Tullberg after 23 minutes of the half to replace Jamie Mole. The ever dangerous Dick then squared a delighteful ball to Runort but again the Germans lacked composure.
A long ball after good work by Palazuelos floated over the top for Tullberg but the Dane fell in the box and the chance was gone. Jeudrisch then had another great strike from the edge of the area and Banks saved well.
Tullberg was then the provider of a half chance for Berra following a looping ball into the box by Stewart but again it was to no avail.
The game dimmed with the fading light in the stadium and it was a further 90 minutes to assist Csaba Laszlo in evaluating where the future squad challenges lie.
Kaiserslautern: Sippel; Quattara, Ameclick, Runart, Bellinghausen, Bugera, Demai, Reghecampfe, Dick, Jeudrisch, kotysch; Subs not used: Winger, Trapp, Schonheim, Brouiszewski, Rebholz.
Hearts: Banks; Thomson, Zaliukas (Karipidis 52), Berra, Wallace; Kingston (Glen 55), Jonsson (Palazuelos 52), Stewart (Husband 78), Driver (Ivaskevicius 55); Makela (Mikoliunas 46) ; Mole (Tullberg 68). Subs not used: MacDonald, McGowan, Ksanavicius, Templeton.