When the last desperate HSV attack on Monday evening fizzled out and referee Deniz Aytekin called off the game after six minutes of stoppage time, many tears flowed in the sold-out Volksparkstadion. Coach Tim Walter, who had glassy eyes himself, tried to offer consolation in these difficult moments for him and his players. Substitute keeper Tom Mickel, the good soul of the team, and attacker Bakery Jatta cried on the substitutes’ bench when the coach sat down and hugged them. The three presented a picture of misery. The unofficial HSV anthem by the band Abschlach!: “I love my Hamburg very much.”
“It hurts a lot today. And tomorrow it will hurt a lot too. But we’ll sit down again soon and look ahead,” said midfielder Jonas Meffert, who failed in the relegation last year with Holstein Kiel. Captain Sebastian Schonlau added self-critically with a view to the mixed performance in Hamburg: “We didn’t manage today what has otherwise distinguished us throughout the season.”
Fans give comfort to Walter-Elf
The fact that the Walter-Elf received encouraging applause from their fans despite the shattered dream of promotion testified to recognition for the best HSV season since the first relegation four years and eleven days ago. With the youngest team in the second division, Hamburg has finished third after three fourth places. And: Unlike after the first three seasons in the first division lower house, the traditional club now has a team with prospects. A team with quality and mentality.
“I’m really proud of my team. I’m proud to be the coach here. And I’m proud that the spectators are rooting for it,” said Walter to the NDR. “We’ll get up again, but at the moment there’s just emptiness,” said the 46-year-old combatively. While he will make a new attempt in the direction of the elite class with the Hamburger in the coming year, Hertha coach and HSV legend Felix Magath said goodbye to the self-proclaimed “Big City Club” after his successful rescue mission.
HSV in half one without a chance to score
In the first half, in front of 55,000 spectators, HSV couldn’t repeat their convincing performance in Berlin. After 45 minutes, the home side did not score a goal worth mentioning. The poor defensive performance weighed even more heavily than their unimaginative offensive performance, which was characterized by many bad passes. Guest captain Dedryck Boyata was able to head a corner kick from Marvin Plattenhardt into the net after 240 seconds almost unhindered. Referee Aytekin did not see the fact that the Belgian had taken Jonas Meffert out of the game with a small nudge as a violation of the rules.
Heuer Fernandes prevents a higher break deficit
The Berliners then showed more presence in the duels, repeatedly put the ball-carrying HSV player under pressure and, after winning the ball, were quicker to act than the home team, who were a class better opponent both from behind the scenes and from the first duel seemed impressed. The Walter team had keeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes to thank for not even being 2-0 down at half-time. The 29-year-old parried a powerful shot from Lucas Tousart brilliantly (31′).
HSV better after the break, but still harmless
HSV came out of the dressing room with different body language, now seemed more determined and provided the first offensive exclamation point after the break with a long-range shot from Moritz Heyer, which Oliver Christensen blocked (49′). Berlin’s goalkeeper, who is said to have been on Hamburg’s wish list last summer, didn’t get much more to do at first.
Although the Hanseatic League tried very hard, they did not develop any penetrating power in attack. After all, the defensive now left a somewhat more stable impression. From the game, Hertha was hardly dangerous. But another dead ball then made it 2-0. Plattenhardt curled a free kick past Heuer Fernandes into the far corner (63′). The keeper didn’t cut a good figure with the standard from a position that was actually not very dangerous.
Shortly thereafter, the goalkeeper made up for his mistake when Stevan Jovetic had a good chance (74th) and kept his team in the game with the save. A goal would have been enough for HSV to at least save themselves in extra time. However, the hosts, who stormed with the courage of desperation, found no means against the focused Hertha defence, so that in the end they suffered one of the most bitter defeats in the club’s turbulent history. The yellow-red card against Tousart didn’t change that (90′ + 6′).
2nd matchday, 23.05.2022 8:30 p.m
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