Dhat couldn’t be true! When coaches, substitutes and fans stormed the stadium in Hardtwald zu Sandhausen on Sunday evening and the exhausted pros hugged, Hamburger SV’s rise to the top at the end of their fifth year in the second division seemed finally done. The four minutes of stoppage time of the tough game at relegated SV Sandhausen were over, Jean-Luc Dompé’s 1-0 from the fourth minute had saved – HSV felt like a premier league representative again.
Coach Tim Walter also ran beaming onto the pitch. But this football weekend couldn’t be without drama, and no, it couldn’t be true.
After the nerve-wracking title fight in the Bundesliga and very late Osnabrück feelings of happiness as a promoter from the third division, 1. FC Heidenheim thwarted the Hamburgers and cheered very, very late about the club’s first promotion from Ostalb to the Bundesliga – in the ninth minute of stoppage time, striker Tim Kleindienst gave Heidenheim relief with his 25th goal of the season: the goal meant the 3-2 final score at SSV Jahn Regensburg, who had already been relegated.
Heidenheim is promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time
HSV could only watch in the long-distance duel with 1. FC Heidenheim and ultimately mourn on the Sandhäuser lawn – what had long seemed like the start of the big break for promotion ended in gloom, because Heidenheim did not let up and equalized the interim 2-0 lead the Regensburger in the fourth minute of added time by Jan-Niklas Bestes penalty, before Kleindienst provided the final chord of a second division season, in which the Heidenheimer coach Frank Schmidt even crowned themselves the leader and champion of the second division. An own goal by Benedikt Saller (58th) ensured Heidenheim’s connection.
The fact that their fans stormed the pitch a few minutes too early after the 3:2 was only a side note – nothing burned in the remaining two minutes, even though Regensburg tried a few more things.
The HSV only has the consolation prize: on Thursday in Stuttgart and on Monday, June 5th in the Volksparkstadion, Hamburg must try to climb through the relegation. It will be the fourth season extension for the North Germans since 2014; twice as third last in the first division, now twice in a row as third in the second division. We also remember the 1-0 and 0-2 against Hertha BSC a year ago, which showed HSV how difficult it is to survive two games against the Bundesliga representative.
“Congratulations to Heidenheim,” said coach Walter, “it’s difficult for us today. But we don’t have time to think too much about it. We still have two games left and want to reach our goal via a detour.” You could feel the disappointment in Walter, who, like his players, his staff and the 10,000 fans who had traveled with him, had already felt like a climber, after all the Sandhäuser stadium announcer had to Congratulations on promotion – before the long stoppage time in Regensburg, which was mainly due to drinking breaks, began and HSV were three minutes short of promotion.
“Heads hang for a moment,” said captain Sebastian Schonlau, “and it’s hard to believe at the moment. But starting tomorrow we will focus on the relegation.” Will it be possible to return against Stuttgart, who have recently been stable and attackingly strong under coach Sebastian Hoeneß? Doubts are appropriate in view of the often shaky HSV defense.
In addition, it shouldn’t be easy to get the players back on their feet after the late disappointment – goalkeeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes had already let the fans carry him on the shoulders in Sandhausen before the 99th minute came, which was fatal from Hamburg’s point of view, and the free standing Kleindienst pushed in .