Bundesliga vs the 2.Bundesliga, Hamburg vs Greuther Fürth, there was only ever going to be one favourite for this first leg, but after a goalless draw the second leg will be even tougher to call.
The Imtech Arena was sold out for this one but the Hamburg fans were soon feeling nervous after the visitors made a good start to the game. There was a late change to the starting line-up Adler was injured in the warm up, this didn’t effect the team, Drobný came in and early on he was alert to catching a few crosses into the box.
Neither side were able to muster up a decent effort on goal, but that all changed just before the half hour mark, Azemi turned brilliantly in the box to get past Mancienne and fire a shot at goal. Drobný was once again alert to the danger and adjusted to save at his near post. Despite being on top Fürth were unable to find a breakthrough, however they came close just before the break. Durdic gave the ball to Baba in the centre, who then quickly played it across to Azemi and once again the striker is denied by Drobny.
Half Time: Hamburg 0-0 Greuther Fürth.
The first half didn’t provide much goal action and both keepers weren’t forced into action that often. The away side were easily the better side, they looked comfortable on the ball, they defended well and looked more likely to break the deadlock.
Six minutes after the break Fürth should’ve taken the lead after a good corner in found Gießelmann unmarked, but unfortunately his header from six yards out flew over. Just two minutes after that chance Fürth had another when they were able to hit Hamburg on the break. Baba whipped in an excellent cross from the left and despite his efforts Durdic was inches away from making contact.
The best bit of play in the game was just after the hour mark. Another good cross into the box found Azemi, but the striker slipped as he went to change direction, this allowed Hamburg to break and Lasogga forced Hesl into a save after heading van der Vaart’s deflected cross. Two minutes after this move Hamburg had the ball in the back of the net. Van der Vaart delivered a fantastic freekick into the box and Lasogga powered his header past Hesl, much to the player’s disbelief at it being ruled out he was indeed offside.
Azemi missed a golden chance with fifteen minute remaining, another terrific cross from a freekick saw him get past his marker but it also saw him head over from five yards out. Fürth continued to push for a goal as Hamburg began to tire but it was the hosts that came cloest to scoring before fulltime. First up was Lasogga once again,a poor headed clearance set him up nicely but his volley at goal was matched by Hesl who palmed it out for corner. The resulting corner was cleared by Fürth but it found it’s way back into the back and Djourou was able to hook the ball to Jiráček, who could only direct his effort over and onto the roof of the net. Probably the best piece of football Hamburg showed all night was in injury time, Diekmeier broke down the right to produce a brilliant cross in which flew over Hesl, but not over Brosinski who headed it out for a corner before Jansen could tap it in.
Full Time: Hamburg 0-0 Greuther Fürth.
Certainly not how many Hamburg fans would’ve pictured tonights game and one things for sure Hamburg will have to produce a much better performance on Sunday. Hamburg were poor for most parts of the game, they constantly gave the ball away in key areas and only threatnend from set pieces. Fürth should be proud of their perfromance and they’ll take plenty of positives going into Sunday’s game, only negatove for them was their finishing.
Article for VAVEL Bundesliga.