They think it’s all over…

Five goals from the bench, five goals in extra-time and six points from losing positions – the never-say-die attitude of the current Rothosen squad is one of their most endearing traits.

The tension had been building over the past few weeks. A number of late goals in HSV games had provided dramatic moments, but the most dramatic of them all was to come just before 3pm on Saturday afternoon. Tim Leibold’s rasping effort was saved smartly by Dresden ‘keeper Broll at his near post but fell straight in to the path of substitute David Kinsombi, who reacted quickly to direct his header into the roof of the net to seal an emotional 2-1 victory. Whilst the first win from a losing position, it was a familiar scene; late drama provided by HSV players coming off the bench. 
Whilst perhaps the HSV fans would prefer a healthier way of collecting points, they can’t deny that opposition teams can only write off HSV at their peril. It doesn’t matter what minute of the game, what the score is, or who is providing the dramatic moment. “Everybody knows that we’re always capable of scoring goals,” Daniel Heuer Fernandes explained, who has the best view of his colleagues’ comeback qualities as the last line of defence. “It doesn’t matter who starts, who know that we always have a good bench up our sleeve,” confirmed Aaron Hunt, who, alongside David Kinsombi and Jairo Samperio, provided much-needed impetus from the bench on Saturday afternoon to ignite the comeback.

21 goals after the half-time whistle
Kinsombi’s late winner was the fifth goal scored by a substitute as well as the fifth goal in added time. Khaled Narey (Matchday 2 vs Nuremberg, 3-0), Samperio (Matchday 4 vs Karlsruhe, 4-2), Sonny Kittel (Matchday 9 vs Fürth, 2-0) and Timo Letschert (Matchday 13 vs Kiel, 1-1) are the other substitutes who have made an impact from the bench, whilst Aaron Hunt (Matchday 1 vs Darmstadt, 1-1) and Adrian Fein (Matchday 11 vs Stuttgart, 6-2) join Kinsombi, Jairo and Letschert as goalscorers in added time. HSV are up there with the best in both of these categories. Only SSV Jahn Regensburg and 1. FC Heidenheim (7) have celebrated more goals from substitutes, whilst Hamburg stand alone at the top of the table in terms of goals scored with 90 minutes already up, with Stuttgart and Regensburg hot on their heels with 4. The same can be said of goals scored after the half-time team talk, with Hamburg leading the way in this category on 21.
The secret recipe appears to be top-notch fitness, the Rothosen are fourth in the league in terms of kilometres covered per game (116.5km), whilst the never-say-die-attitude and coaching instinct from the management team of Dieter Hecking, Dirk Bremser and Tobias Schweinsteiger have also been crucial. The blue, white and black side of Hamburg have found themselves behind five times this season, and have only failed to come back once, unfortunately in the Hamburg derby against St. Pauli. Six points from losing positions can be ascribed to the Volksparkstadion crew, yet falling behind is not something that Dieter Hecking’s charges have had to deal with much this season; Stuttgart are the only team to have gone behind as few times as their competitors up on the Elbe, with Tim Walter’s side also having found themselves with work to do on five occasions this season.