Hannover 96 looked in control in the opening stages, but the unmarked Karim Haggui should have done better nine minutes into the game when Rene Adler saved his header from the edge of the six yards box.
However, Hamburg, following on from their impressive performances at Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-2) and against Borussia Dortmund (3-2), were solid in defence and looked sharp when in possession as the Hanseatic side exploited their first opportunity when Rudnevs coolly finished a classy one-touch counterattack. Sergio da Silva Pinto failed to get the better of Adler just before the end of a tense first half in which chances were largely at a premium.
Rudnevs squandered the chance to double the lead after the interval (54') when he picked up an opening ball from substitute Maximilian Beister whilst Didier Ya Konan came close to levelling with an acrobatic scissors kick seven minutes later.
Hamburg were on the back foot for much of the second half and lucky not to concede when Mohammed Abdellaue only had Adler to beat (64', 74') and Michael Mancienne cleared Lars Stindl's volley attempt off the line (66'). Ya Konan could have scored ten minutes from time while Beister and Petr Jiracek missed good opportunities to score Hamburg's second in the dying minutes.
Line-ups and statistics