“We should have sealed the game earlier”

Hamburger SV battled to a 2-2 home draw with 1. FC Union Berlin on Monday night. The Rothosen conceded a late equaliser to drop two points after a strong second half performance. Here is the post-match reaction.

“Joy and sorrow go hand in hand in football. They only slightly differ,” said Lewis Holtby shortly after the 2-2 draw with 1. FC Union Berlin on Monday night. This piece of wisdom went against his team in closing stages of the match. Hee-chan Hwang managed to get himself one-on-one with FCU goalkeeper Rafael Gikiewicz and the Korean had the opportunity to give the Rothosen a 3-1 lead. The home side had trailed 1-0 at half-time and played well to force themselves back into the match. However, Hwang was unable to fire home from close range denied by Gikiewicz’s right hand. This sparked a Union counter attack and Sulieman Abdullahi was able to get on the end of the attack and stroke the ball home to equalise and give the visitors a share of the spoils (90+1’). With all three points in their grasp, HSV had to settle for just a single point. Shortly after the match in the Volksparkstadion mixed zone, the players showed their frustration. Here is the post match reaction.

Aaron Hunt: It’s naturally disappointing to concede an equaliser practically in the last second of the game, but this won’t throw us off course. We showed a good reaction in the second half after not coming out of the blocks very quickly in the first period. I was brought off for tactical reasons, as we wanted David Bates on the pitch for his heading ability – something which has always worked for us in the past. Despite not having Pierre tonight, we played well going forwards and the trio up front all had a positive effect on the game. If Hwang had made it 3-1 then we would have seen the game out. Nevertheless, we are still top of the table and are building up an impressive unbeaten run too. We were the best team today and were a bit unlucky on occasions, but that’s football for you. We will still have this game on our minds for a couple days, before we start to properly prepare for the next game against Ingolstadt.

Lewis Holtby: The result is very frustrating for us. Joy and sorrow go hand in hand in football. We really should have got a third goal and seen the game out. But instead we were only there with just a point after the game. We led until the 90th minute and then didn’t see the game out as a team. Losing headers and tackles will lead to conceding – and that then happened. We were responsible for conceding that goal, which is a real shame. Perhaps we were a little too deep in the last 15 minutes and should have put more pressure on them. It’s never good to lose something as important as Lasogga just before the game, but Hwang played well, especially in the second half, even if he didn’t take his chance to make it 3-1. Baka also did his job well – he was hard to handle for the Union players. In my opinion, the man who fouled him should have been sent off.

Leo Lacroix: A 2-1 lead is never that secure in football. Of course we aren’t happy to concede a late goal, especially as we didn’t defend it well. Today’s game was very important for the club, the fans and for the table, but we will take the point and now focus on the next game.

Gotoku Sakai: Our first half performance wasn’t good enough. We lost too many tackles and seemed to be a bit off the pace in comparison to their players. The coach found the right words at the break. None of us were happy with our efforts up to then. Everybody had a clear role they needed to fulfil in the second half, so that we could get control into the game, which we did. We played with more tempo and got the goals. Unfortunately we fell asleep during their last attack, something which is very annoying for the defence, including myself.

Hannes Wolf: We started the game in good fashion and had a couple of early opportunities. After conceding, there was a bit of uncertainty in our game and we lost too many 50-50 battles. I spoke to the lads at half time and we agreed that we needed the play better. After the break, we showed the right reaction. We played with more intensity and conviction. After turning the game around, Union improved and got their equaliser. There are two ways of looking at today’s game: It’s nice that we turned the game around, but on the other hand we would have loved to have won the game.

Urs Fischer: It was a great football match, which was very enjoyable to be watch. I think the first half was fairly even, although we perhaps were the better side. HSV were definitely on top after the break and created a huge amount of pressure. Their goals were still avoidable though. It was important that my boys fought till the end and believed in themselves – which was then rewarded with the late equaliser.