1-0 - HSV beat Stoke City in Hamburg
HSV beat English top flight side Stoke City 1-0, thanks to a second half strike by Michael Gregoritsch (56.).
HSV beat Stoke City 1-0 in a friendly game which was part of the Bundesliga club’s annual season opening on Saturday afternoon (August 6). A healthy crowd of 23.447 attended the game. Home coach Bruno Labbadia was able to pick his side from an almost fully fit squad, the exceptions being Emir Spahic (broken eye socket), Lewis Holtby (broken collarbone) and Johan Djourou (back/neck problems). Fans were pleased to see two new signings start the game as Filip Kostic and Bobby Wood took their places in the Hamburg starting line-up.
Gregoritsch had starting problems
The English Premier League visitors made the brighter start to the game, quickly showing their level of fitness ahead of their season-opener against newly-prmoted Middelsborough next weekend. Former Hanover striker Mame Diouf lost out in a one on one situation with home keeper René Adler after only two minutes. The former German international stopper and HSV skipper for the day showed his class by thwarting a shot from distance from Gianelli Imbula (8.) and was on his ghuard again as Bojan Krkic curled in a dangerous corner from the right (21.). HSV playing in their new pink away strip were plagued by misplaced passes and got their first shot on target through Michael Gregoritsch, who was denied by Stoke and England keeper Jack Butland (22.). The Austrian threatened again as he latched onto a pinpoint cross by Matthias Ostrzolek. This time the City stopper flew to his top right hand corner to somehow scrape the ball out of the top corner at the expense of a corner. Gregoritsch forced another save from Butland but could not beat him (35.). Both sides had equal chances in the first half which ended goalless.
Fresh legs, new energy
Nicolai Müller sent a fierce effort fizzing wide of target (54.), but two minuteys later the ball was in the back of the Stoke net, as hard-working Michael Gregoritsch was in the right place at the right time to put away the rebound following a long distance shot by Ostrzolek (56.). The home side controlled matters after taking the lead and substitutes Alen Halilovic (65.) and Luca Waldschmidt (77.) both missed chances to extend the Hamburg lead. Halilovic went close with a curling effort close in, while Waldschmidt was denied by City keeper Butland. The visitors were pretty harmless after the break but tackled hard just the same. The Rothosen deserved to win the game 1-0 and in doing so ensuring that the mood at the after party could have hardly have been any better.