Going into the 23rd round of matches in Bundesliga 2, Hamburg were in top spot, albeit only on goal difference. Greuther Furth’s win over Holstein Kiel the previous weekend saw four teams level on 42 points atop the division. Bochum and Kiel both won on Saturday, moving them onto 45 points, whilst Furth could only draw away at Hanover 96.
HSV therefore went into last night’s Hamburg derby at St Pauli needing to at least pick up a point to move back into the promotion places. After a first half that was high on endeavour but short on genuine chances, the score was 0-0. St Pauli were awarded a penalty early in the second period, but the referee overturned his original decision having checked it on pitch side monitor.
Both sides largely cancelled eachother out for the remainder of the match. At times the most colourful things to observe were the political slogans painted onto the St Pauli stands. As a draw began to seem the only possible outcome the home team suddenly broke forwards as Zalazar, tireless all evening, chipped to Zander cutting in from the right wing. His cut back into the penalty area found Daniel Kofi Kyereh in space, allowing him to hammer the ball past Sven Ulreich in the Hamburg goal. To add insult to injury a dead ball foul committed by Tim Leibold as time ran out saw him receive a red card and what should be a three match ban.
The loss left HSV looking up at their competitors in the scramble for promotion back to the Bundesliga. After missing out twice already, the club is desperate to return to the big time. However this is the second time already this season that they have dropped out of the top three. With 15 games to go there is plenty of time to recover their form and move up in the table but they cannot afford too many more lapses of concentration as happened in the last five minutes at the Millerntor.