Greuther Fürth despair as Hamburg survive by the skin of their teeth

Fürth showed they were no pushovers in the first leg and they went into the game hoping for a similar performance. Hamburg on the other hand knew they needed to improve after a disappointing showing, they were the more pleased with a draw in the first leg. Hamburg had a terrible away record going into the game at the Trolli Arena, a nine game losing streak on the road isn’t something to be proud about and they were hoping to end that against Fürth.

Hamburg knew they had to improve on their first leg performance and they started the game very well. They showed more desire and were causing problems for the Fürth defence. The great start was rewarded after just fourteen minutes. Lasogga was denied by Fürth and the ball fell nicely to Calhanoglu, but his shot struck the post, this gave Jansen a chance to score, but he was denied by Hesl and then reached Diekmeier outside the area and his effort was deflected out for a corner. The resulting corner was fantastically delivered in by van der Vaart and Lasogga was able to leap the highest and head into the top corner.

Just before the half an hour mark Hamburg’s Djourou clashed with Azemi as both went for a header and the centre back was the one that came off worse, after a bad landing he was taken off the pitch with the help of a stretcher. Hamburg will hope it’s not a bad injury and Djourou will be hoping that it’s not the end of his World Cup dream.

In the 35th minute Hamburg came close to doubling their lead, Arslan played a lovely ball through to Jansen and the 28-year-old laid the ball off to Lassogga with a delightful back heel. Lassogga’s shot forced Hesl into making a good save but the big striker probably could’ve done better.

Fürth’s best chance of the first half came in the 40th minute, Stieber managed to find a pocket of space and charged towards the Hamburg box, he managed to slip the ball to Azemi and the Fürth striker saw his curling effort go round a defender and just wide. After a promising start Weilandt drifted out of the game but ended the half by causing Hamburg some problems. Weilandt was able to hold off Calhanoglu before turning him and also getting past Badelj  to fire a shot wide.

Half Time: Greuther Fürth 0-1 Hamburg.

Early into the second half the tie could’ve been over for Fürth, a terrific freekick into the box by Calhanoglu found Lasogga unmarked and his header from six yards out saw Hesl react brilliantly to somehow keep it out.

After some promising attacks were halted by Drobný in the Hamburg goal, they were finally able to get the ball past him at the hour mark. Stieber was highly influential in the second half and he slipped a wonderful pass through to Fürstner, who managed to slide and poke the ball past Drobný. Stieber continued to find pockets of space and Hamburg were struggling to cope with him, shortly after the equaliser he was able to find more space in the middle, but this time he went for goal and forced Drobný into making a good save.

Both sides began to tire and Fürth were now the side on tip and despite a few attacks neither could find a winner. Late on Fürth were trying everything and they were almost gifted a winner in the 84th minute. A Hamburg defender made a good tackle but unfortunately the tackle ended up being a great cross to Füllkrug at the back post, his header was terrifically saved by Drobný.  The Hamburg keeper came to the rescue once again, Stieber’s freekick into the box found Sukalo and his header was flicked over by Drobný. The last chance of the game fell to Fürth in the 93rd minute, a decent cross into box found Füllkrug at the back post and his header was again kept out by Drobný.

Full Time: Greuther Fürth 1-1 Hamburg. Hamburg stay up on away goals.

It was a great second half to watch and despite a much improved performance in the second half Fürth were unable to get promotion into the Bundesliga, meanwhile Hamburg managed to stay up by the skin of their teeth, staying up thanks to the away goal rule. Much work lies ahead for Hamburg this summer and Greuther Fürth will be hoping they can bounce back from this painful result.

Article for VAVEL Bundesliga.

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