Heyer denies uncreative Hamburg crucial victory
Moritz Heyer's 58th-minute strike cancelled out Martin Harnik's opener as Osnabrück continued their unbeaten run against HSV.
VfL Osnabrück grinded out a vital point in their battle against the drop on Tuesday (16th June), denying a lacklustre Hamburg side victory that would have put daylight between themselves and the chasing pack in the race for promotion. In an even first half, both teams had one big chance to take the lead, with Assan Ceesay blowing the gilt-edged chance for the visitors, before Martin Harnik gave his side the lead in the 35th minute. Osnabrück came out of the break fighting, as Ceesay missed two more chances before Heyer passed in just before the hour mark to level things up. The home side lacked the necessary imagination and ingenuity to break down a well-organised Daniel Thioune team for the second time this season, and the Lilacs were closer to a winner than their hosts in the closing stages but couldn't quite get over the line.
Harnik gives Hamburg slim half-time lead
Dieter Hecking made one enforced change to the side who had defeated Dynamo Dresden on Friday, with the suspended Rick van Drongelen replaced by Gideon Jung at centre-back. The game started at a decent pace, as both sides looked to find their feet in the game and gain an important victory for the situation at the top and bottom of the table. David Kinsombi tested Phillip Kühn in the Osnabrück goal with only six minutes played and Sonny Kittel found himself all alone in front of Kühn a minute later but Susac got back in time to disrupt the 27-year-old and play the ball out for a corner. As the game settled into its rhythm, Timo Letschert, Adrian Fein and Gideon Jung enjoyed a lot of the ball for the Rothosen, but the home side saw a lot of their moves break down further up the pitch and weren't able to create any chances to show for their dominance of possession. The guests were putting in the yards on a hot June evening at the Volksparkstadion to deny their hosts time and space to get into their flow, and were rewarded with the biggest chance of the game so far in the 22nd minute. Osnabrück won the ball high up the pitch and attacked with the Hamburg defence disorganised. Ajdini played the ball in behind Josha Vagnoman to the advancing Felix Agu, who squared to Assan Ceesay, but the Gambian international could only poke past the far post with his left foot with the goal at his mercy from four yards out.
The game settled back into its pattern after the chance, with lots of possession for HSV but little incision. This changed ten minutes from half-time as the hosts took the lead, having not looked threatening in the preceding half an hour after Kinsombi and Kittel's double chance. Martin Harnik had switched flanks with Sonny Kittel, and the Austrian played the ball into David Kinsombi down the left-hand side. The 24-year-old returned the favour, passing the ball right into the 33-year-old's path, who had continued his run into the penalty area, took one touch to settle himself and then lifted the ball cooly over Phillip Kühn for his first goal this calendar year. The rest of the half saw little goalmouth action, the closest Osnabrück came to an equaliser was a free-kick situation with the ball headed back into the middle by Gugganig but Julian Pollersbeck was alert in the Hamburg goal to smother the ball in his six-yard box. With that, the teams entered the half-time break with Hamburg in front, a tad fortunate after a fairly even first half.
Heyer places in for deserved Osnabrück equaliser
The guests came out of the break strongly, pushing for the equaliser and point they need to secure their stay in the second division for another season. Ceesay had two more notable chances, first hitting the side netting after driving at the Hamburg defence, and then blasting over with his back to goal and under pressure from Timo Letschert. But the pressure paid off for the Lilacs in the 58th minute, as a long ball from the back was flicked on and opened the Rothosen up who had pushed too far up the pitch. Sebastian Klaas was left with a 4-on-2 situation and his threatening cross could only be parried as far as Moritz Heyer by Julian Pollersbeck, and the 25-year-old placed calmly into the right-hand corner from the penalty spot to level things up.
Little followed the equaliser, with mistakes from both sides in the build-up leading to lots of midfield action but no chances on goal. The Rothosen found it difficult to make headway through the middle and were limited to crosses from the left and right-hand sides, which were headed away easily by the Osnabrück back three. With the game winding down, it was the guests who looked the more likely of stealing all three points, as Adrian Fein dived in too quickly leaving Bryan Henning with a free run at goal, but the Osnabrück substitute blazed over, unable to test Julian Pollersbeck who was the most impressive in a all-round disappointing performance from the hosts. The best chance for HSV fell to another substitute, Lukas Hinterseer, five minutes from time as a beautiful reverse pass from Adrian Fein released Jan Gyamerah down the right but the right-back's cross was deflected high and wide by the Austrian striker. Osnabrück were deserving of their point as the final whistle blew, showing a lot of fight and character to secure a very important point in their fight against the drop. For the Rothosen it was another performance lacking in energy and incision, something that will have to be improved upon on Sunday (kick-off 3:30pm CET) for the decisive match-up with fellow promotion candidates Heidenheim.
Hamburger SV: Pollersbeck - Vagnoman (73' Gyamerah), Letschert, Jung, Leibold - Fein (87' Samperio) - Hunt, Kinsombi (63' Schaub) - Harnik (73' Hinterseer), Pohjanpalo, Kittel (63' Jatta)
VfL Osnabrück: Kühn - Ajdini, Heyer, Gugganig, Susac, Agu - Köhler (89' Ouahim), Blacha (82' Schmidt) - Klaas (65' Henning), Heider (89' Girth), Ceesay (65' Amenyido)
Goals: 1-0 Harnik (35'), 1-1 Heyer (57')
Supporters: unfortunately none
Referee: Dr. Martin Thomsen (Kleve)
Yellow cards: Letschert (90'+3) / Ceesay (12'), Ajdini (44'), Köhler (50')
Red cards: - / -