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2nd League: Seventh year of the second division is looming: HSV has little hope

2nd League: Seventh year of the second division is looming: HSV has little hope

Second division leader Holstein Kiel celebrates after the 1-0 win in Hamburg. The relegation place is almost certain, promotion is close. HSV has to hope for a miracle. But the coach remains realistic.

Away from the cheers of the team, coaches and fans of Holstein Kiel, the Hamburger SV players stood on the pitch in the Volksparkstadion deeply disappointed. After the 0-1 defeat against the second division table leaders and likely Bundesliga newcomers from the far north, it was clear to most of them: That was it for promotion, the seventh second division year was looming. “After such a defeat and given the starting position, a miracle is needed,” said striker Robert Glatzel.

This football miracle would have to be huge. Mathematically, it is possible for the Hanseatic League to climb to third place in the four remaining games. However, there is a lack of faith given that the fourth-placed team is now six points behind the promotion relegation place.

“We are realists. The boys who are ahead of us do their homework and we don’t. That’s just a fact,” said HSV coach Steffen Baumgart soberly. That doesn’t mean “that we stop, that we give up,” he adds. “But we should start doing our homework. Otherwise we don’t need to talk about anything.”

HSV with a weak goal difference

It seems difficult to imagine at the moment that the HSV competition will suddenly collapse. Third-placed Fortuna Düsseldorf had fulfilled its duty against SpVgg Greuther Fürth with a 1-0 win before the big game in Hamburg and won their sixth win in a row. In addition, HSV has a goal difference that is 16 goals worse than Fortuna.

The fact that HSV is currently not making it to the top despite strong individual players is a bitter realization shortly before the end of the season. If top scorer Laszlo Bénes is unavailable at short notice, as was the case against Holstein Kiel, it will be difficult to compensate for this. “We didn’t play badly,” said ex-Kiel player and current HSV midfielder Jonas Meffert. And indeed the hosts contributed to a very intense northern duel in front of 57,000 spectators.

There was no denying any player’s willingness and commitment. But “didn’t play badly” doesn’t mean you’re ready for promotion. The fact that the goal conceded by Tom Rothe (59th) was at least debatable because of an alleged foul by Kiel’s Marko Ivezic on HSV goalkeeper Matheo Raab (“For me it’s incomprehensible how you can’t whistle”) was unfortunate for Hamburg. The fact that they didn’t have much to think about after the yellow-red card for ex-HS player Lewis Holtby (73′) was evidence of the current deficits, especially on the offensive.

Kiel’s situation seems like an alternative to HSV’s situation. They didn’t shine in the Volksparkstadion in terms of play either. But the naturalness with which they acted, the self-confidence and the enthusiasm for commitment were constantly noticeable. The injury-related substitution of Finn Porath (24th) was perfectly compensated for by the winning goal scorer Rothe.

Praise from Holtby to the team

“In terms of football, it wasn’t what I imagined,” said coach Marcel Rapp. “But it’s all understandable. The boys defended very well. And that’s the basis for everything.” Holtby gave his teammates high praise. “I get a stupid yellow-red card here, but the boys fight like lions. They throw themselves into every shot, defend the cross, everyone put their foot down,” he said on Sport1. “This is a team.”

And this team is well on its way to putting Schleswig-Holstein on the Bundesliga map for the first time after their sixth win in a row without conceding a goal. After the final whistle, the players, their coach and his team celebrated with the fans as if the historic coup had already been achieved.

At least they have reached a milestone: With 61 points, Kiel are twelve points ahead of HSV and have a goal difference that is 13 goals better. This means they are almost certain of third place in the promotion relegation zone. The HSV protagonists wished they could say that too. Meffert’s sobering statement: “We definitely no longer have it in our hands.”

Source: Stern

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