2-1: HSV stay up!
An 88th minute winning goal by late substitute Luca Waldschmidt kept HSV in the top flight while sending VfL Wolfsburg into a relegation play off.
HSV will be playing Bundesliga football next season! The Rothosen clawed their way to safety by beating VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 at the sold out Volksparkstadion (57,000) in the final game of the season on Saturday afternoon (20.05). Markus Gisdol’s men had to come from a goal behind after the visitors had taken a deserved 23rd minute goal through Robin Knoche. Hamburg winger Filip Kostic levelled for the home side on 32 minutes before late substitute Luca Waldschmidt nodded home the winning goal just two minutes after being brought on. What drama!
Setback as motivation
HSV coach Markus Gisdol made three changes to the side which drew 1-1 at Schalke last time out. Mavraj was suspended and his place in the team went to fit again Ekdal, while Nicolai Müller returned in attacking midfield. The desired effect however didn’t happen as the visitors started the better and the home side looked lame with fear. Wolfsburg missed two good early chances through Gomez and Blaszczykowski. Both times home keeper Mathenia saved superbly to keep his side in the game.
HSV seemed to be having a collective mental blockage and simply didn’t function in any way. On 23 minutes the Wolves broke the deadlock on 23 minutes and that setback served as a massive wake up call for the Rothosen who equalised pn 32 minutes with their first real attack of the game as Holtby chipped the ball into the path of Kostic who finished will with a crisp low shot. The game remained at 1-1 as the break came but only after Malli missed a sitter seconds before the whistle.
Crazy emotional ending
As usual HSV failed to carry that momentum and remained void of ideas and harmless in front of goal. It was going to be a late final chance as the Rothosen had done against the likes of Cologne, Hoffenheim, Gladbach, Hertha, Bayer & Co. HSV scored late decisive goals in all of those matches and went on to beat them at home.
So the Volkspark stood up and were as one behind the team and that support was finally rewarded two minutes from the end as Kostic curled a wonderful ball from the left to the far post where Waldschmidt (who had been brought on two minutes previously) was lurking to nod the ball home unchallenged. What happened then is difficult to put into words: Joy, tears, hugging, ecstasy and of course relief were the order of the day as the referee finally blew the final whistle. In a word – the stadium erupted. That is how HSV’s season-long chase ended. Not for the weak of heart to say the least…
HSV: Mathenia - G. Sakai, K. Papadopoulos, Mavraj, Ostrzolek - Ekdal (70. Jatta), Jung - Müller (64. Gregoritsch), Holtby (86. Waldschmidt), Kostic - Wood
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - S. Jung (76. Osimhen), Knoche, Wollscheid, Gerhardt - Guilavogui, Luiz Gustavo - Blaszczykowski (46. Vieirinha), Malli (84. Arnold), Ntep - Gomez
Goals: 0:1 Knoche (23.), 1:1 Kostic (32.), 2:1 Waldschmidt (88.)
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)
Booked: Sakai (25.), Papadopoulos (80.), Ostrzolek (90.+4) / Guilavogui (36.), Vieirinha (59.), Casteels (90.+2)
Att: 57.000 (sold out)