Hamburg survive after stoppage time equalizer opens door for extra time winner

After a 1-1 draw in the first-leg, Karlsruhe’s Reinhold Yabo struck the goal that looked certain to relegate Hamburg from the Bundesliga for the first time in its history.

But an equalizer from Marcelo Diaz in stoppage time ensured another nail-biting 30 minutes before Nicolai Müller netted four minutes from the end to complete a sensational recovery from Hamburg who sat in the bottom-two before the final weekend of action. Hamburg came away with the 2-1 victory after 120 minutes.

Hamburg was substantially stronger than last week where they conceded the opening goal inside four minutes. This time, Labbadia’s men took the game to Karlsruhe despite lacking penetration with essentially three defensive-midfielders who were acting as playmakers.

In the fourth minute, Ilicevic forced an early save and a minute later, Olic dribbled in from the flank and unleashed a low shot on goal which was held by keeper Orlishausen. Hamburg went on to record the most shots on goal in away match for them this season in the first 10 minutes.

After that, attacks were less sharp – but still focused down either wing where Diekmeier and Matthias Ostrzolek offered the best passing from the back. On 25 minutes, Rafael van der Vaart’s 25-yard strike was almost like a pass-back to the keeper, while at the other end Japanese No. 10 Yamada was dangerous with the ball at his feet.

The 25-year-old, signed from Jubilo Iwata, had his side’s first serious attempt of the game, which was gathered cleanly by Rene Adler. Daniel Gordon, Karlsruhe’s Jamaican center-back, headed over the crossbar unmarked just as the clock turned to the 45th minute.

Hamburg didn’t feel the need to drop into their reserves at the interval and continued as they were for their last-half of league football for the season.

For a spell, the tempo was being ramped up a notch by Van der Vaart and co. with the Dutchman shooting wide of the post on 50 minutes. From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Lasogga whose finish from 10 yards failed to hit the target.

That was as threatening as HSV got for sometime with Karlsruhe taking the game to the Northern Germans for a solid 15-minute spell. Dima Nazarov struck high-and-wide on 60 minutes before the home side created the two best chances of the whole tie.

Inside a minute, Nazarov’s effort was misjudged and should have ended up on target, while Enrico Valentini’s low-cross was agonizingly missed by the outstretched Gordon who had committed two yards from an empty goal.

Labbadia made his first switch on 65 minutes, bringing in former Aston Villa winger Zoltan Stieber for some added dynamism in attack. And it had a small impact on the game as Lasogga’s goal-bound header was superbly saved by Orlingshausen.

But with 12 minutes left, the Wildpark Stadium exploded into celebration as top scorer Rouwen Hennings wonderfully clipped the ball into the path of substitute Yabo who tucked the ball under the onrushing Adler.

Hamburg was staring relegation in the face – the first time in the 52 years of the Bundesliga. But the Northern Germans didn’t give up without a late fight, creating a heavy stack of chances in the last 10 minutes.

On 81 minutes, a cross was met by Lasogga and his header smacked against a Karlsruhe player and on to the post. The rebound fell only as far as Diekmeier whose finish was scuffed and missed the target completely.

The Karlsruhe penalty box descended into madness, a frantic effort to clear the ball, or get it in the net. Hamburg, with Djourou and substitute defender Cleber in the mix, forced the issue and had the ball cleared off the line twice.

In stoppage time, though, Chilean Marcelo Diaz superbly leveled the tie and secured extra-time with a 20-yard free-kick that left the keeper rooted to the spot.

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An intense end to the game had its consequences with the additional 30 minutes of football largely even without a great deal of action.

Karlsruhe wasted one-or-two half chances in the first 15 minutes, but the decisive goal came in the 115th minute when Müller sprinted in at the back-post to send the away supporters into raptures.

Rene Adler saved a last-minute spot-kick, but it would have been merely a consolation with HSV leading on away goals, as well, securing a 52nd season in Germany’s top-division.