Ludovit Reis gives Hamburg play-off advantage over Hertha Berlin
Ludovit Reis scored the only goal as Bundesliga 2's Hamburg beat Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin 1-0 in the first leg of the 2022 promotion/ relegation play-off.
Hertha Berlin 0-1 Hamburg
Goals: 0-1 Reis 57' (assist: Muheim)
Hertha dropped into the Bundesliga's relegation play-off spot on the final day of the 2021/22 season, while Hamburg finished third in Bundesliga 2. Given what was at stake, the first half was a largely cautious affair. Bakery Jatta carried HSV's biggest threat, most notably playing in Maximilian Rohr for a back-post cross that Robert Glatzel could only head into the side netting. Ishak Belfodil went one better when he headed in Maximilian Mittelstädt's delivery in the 40th minute, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside upon VAR review.
Suat Serdar and substitute Stevan Jovetic miscued as Hertha started the second half on the front foot, but it was Hamburg who drew first blood. Miro Muheim slipped a pass out to the left for Reis, whose cross-shot sailed over Oliver Christensen and into the back of the net. Daniel Heuer Fernandes denied Belfodil an immediate equaliser, but the Red Shorts were otherwise untested for the remainder and go into Monday's decisive second leg knowing they will be promoted - and Hertha relegated - if they avoid defeat.
- Hertha are winless in four matches, while Hamburg have won six in a row.
- Former Barcelona reserve player Reis scored his sixth competitive goal of the season.
- Walter is the sixth HSV coach since the club's relegation from the Bundesliga in 2018.
- Christensen is the 37th different player to take to the pitch for Hertha this season. Only Schalke have ever fielded more players in a single campaign, reaching 42 in 2020/21.
- Hertha are one of only six Bundesliga clubs to go down via the play-off, losing 4-3 on aggregate to Fortuna Düsseldorf in their only previous appearance in 2011/12.
- The Bundesliga club has won the two-legged play-off in 17 out of 23 renditions, including eight of the last nine years.
Watch: Reis: "We have to stay focused"
Hertha: Christensen - Pekarik, Boyata (c), Kempf, Plattenhardt - Tousart, Stark (Gechter 70') - Wollschläger (Jovetic 45'+4), Serdar (Richter 70'), Mittelstädt - Belfodil (Maolida 80')
Unused subs: Körber, Bjorkan, Darida, Boateng, Eitschberger
Out: Ascacibar (suspended), Dardai (hip), Jarstein (knee), Klünter (shoulder), Lee (ankle), Lotka (concussion), Schwolow (thigh), Selke (muscular), Stark (cold)
Coach: Felix Magath
Hamburg: Heuer Fernandes – Heyer, Vuskovic, Schonlau (c), Muheim – Reis, Meffert, Rohr (Vagnoman 58') - Jatta (Kaufmann 73'), Glatzel (Gyamarah 90'+1), Kittel
Unused subs: Mickel, Kinsombi, Chakvetadze, Wintzheimer, David, Alidou
Out: Leibold (knee), Suhonen (broken leg)
Coach: Tim Walter
Watch: Christensen: "I'm sure we can stay in the Bundesliga"
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