Nielsen denies HSV all three points with injury-time equaliser
Havard Nielsen's late leveller sealed a point for Greuther Fürth with the Norwegian's second of the game, with HSV unable to add to Joel Pohjanpalo's 41st-minute and Jeremy Dudziak's 48th-minute strikes and finish the game off.
Hamburger SV were made to pay for not converting their second-half chances on the road, as Havard Nielsen hammered home from a 94th-minute corner to seal a point for Greuther Fürth on Sunday (17th May). Nielsen had put the Shamrocks in front in the first half before Joel Pohjanpalo was able to equalise nine minutes after in the 41st minute. The Rothosen emerged from the half-time break much the stronger and deservedly went in front three minutes after the restart through Jeremy Dudziak's pinpoint left-footed finish. Chances to seal the game came and went, and, despite not seriously threatening Daniel Heuer Fernandes' goal for the majority of the second half, Fürth stole a point with the last kick of the game as Nielsen reacted quickest at a corner to double his tally for the afternoon.
Pohjanpalo equalises after Nielsen opener
Dieter Hecking made a number of surprising additions to the starting line-up, albeit in the usual 4-3-3 formation, with Joel Pohjanpalo leading the line with Bakery Jatta and Jairo Samperio either side of the Finn. The 71-day break between the last competitive fixture and Sunday's return to action could be seen in the opening exchanges, with both sides needing an amount of time to find their rhythm on the ball. Jairo Samperio had the first meaningful chance of the game, as Paul Jaeckel's header back to his 'keeper was too short. The Spaniard nipped in between, rounding Burchert but the Fürth goalkeeper did excellently to recover and just tip the 26-year-old's effort round the post.
Fürth controlled possession for the majority of the half, moving the ball side-to-side and trying to lure the HSV defensive lines into a mistake. Until the half-hour mark, the visitors were able to relieve pressure by intercepting at a crucial moment and breaking quickly, yet the final pass let the Rothosen down on a number of occasions. But the pressure continued to build from the home side and was rewarded by the opener in the 35th minute. Fürth left-back Wittek was afforded far too much space and time to pick out Norweigan striker Havard Nielsen in the middle, who got in front of Jordan Beyer to direct his powerful header past Daniel Heuer Fernandes. The lead was deserved, but Dieter Hecking's troops responded well to going behind, and equalised in the 41st minute. A fast break saw the ball land at the feet of Tim Leibold, who shimmied, lost his man and floated a delightful ball to the back post, which was headed into the net by Joel Pohjanpalo, who had had little service to work with up until that point. The away side were a tad fortunate to be on level terms at half-time, having been pushed back into their own territory for the majority of the opening 45 minutes, but looked to push on in the second half.
Nielsen gets his second after flurry of HSV chances to kill the game
Dieter Hecking made one change at the interval, with Jairo Samperio being replaced by Sonny Kittel, as the Spaniard had already seen yellow and received his final warning from referee Hartmann. The change paid off almost immediately, with the Rothosen needing three second-half minutes to take the lead for the first time in the game. A flowing counter-attack saw touches for Leibold and Kittel, before Aaron Hunt played into the path of Jeremy Dudziak. The 24-year-old took one touch before firing into the far corner, leaving Burchert in the Fürth goal helpless. After taking such an early second-half lead, the pressure relented from the visitors, as Fürth found a foothold in the game, without truly threatening Daniel Heuer Fernandes in the Hamburg goal.
As the game ticked past the hour mark, Fürth were controlling the ball but it was the guests who were looking dangerous on the counter, looking to press Fürth higher up the pitch than in the first half. A counter-attack from a Fürth corner saw Aaron Hunt's pinpoint cross-field pass finding Sonny Kittel, who drove inside and laid off to Joel Pohjanpalo, who couldn't add his second of the day as Burchert saved strongly with his feet. Two chances followed inside three minutes, with Jatta's curling effort with his left and Leibold's curling effort with hs right both flying too high to test Burchert between the posts for Fürth. As the clock ticked on, both teams were visably tired, with Fürth unable to create the pressure on the HSV goal that they needed to equalise. Yet the Shamrocks had one final chance with a corner in the 94th minute, and, with the first ball cleared straight to Nielsen, the Dane made no mistake from eight yards out, placing into the roof of the net to undo all of the good work from HSV in the second half. All in all, the Rothosen took a while to get going, but had enough chances to kill the game off in the second half and secure an important three points on the road. As it is, Dieter Hecking will have to re-energise his charges for next Sunday's top-of-the-table clash with Arminia Bielfeld.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth: Burchert - Meyerhöfer, Jaeckel, Caligiuri, Wittek (57' Raum) - Seguin, Tillman (75' Sarpei), Green (57' Redondo) - Leweling (86' Stefaniak), Nielsen, Hrgota
Hamburger SV: Heuer Fernandes - Vagnoman (78' van Drongelen), Letschert, Beyer, Leibold - Fein, Dudziak (64' Kinsombi), Hunt (90' Schaub) - Samperio (46' Kittel), Pohjanpalo (90' Harnik), Jatta
Goals: 1-0 Nielsen (35'), 1-1 Pohjanpalo (41'), 1-2 Dudziak (48'), 2-2 Nielsen (90'+4)
Spectators: unfortunately none
Referee: Robert Hartmann (Ingolstadt)
Yellow cards: Seguin (74'), Leweling (82') / Samperio (21'), Beyer (26'), Letschert (64')
Red cards: - / -