Aaron Hunt dramatically missed a late penalty as Hamburg failed to make it three consecutive Bundesliga wins, playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Freiburg at the Volksparkstadion on Matchday 21.
Full of confidence after back-to-back wins, it was little surprise to see Hamburg take the lead with their first shot. Latching onto Lewis Holtby's low cross, Hunt applied a delicate touch to steer the ball past Freiburg keeper Alexander Schwolow. If the Hamburg fans in attendance expected the goal to open the floodgates, then they were mistaken: the visitors hit back eight minutes later when Maximilian Philipp calmly slotted past Rene Adler. In fact, Amir Abrashi and Philipp both had chances to put the visitors ahead as Freiburg ended the first half on top.
It took until the 57th minute for the game to burst into life after the break, when half-time substitute Michael Gregoritsch restored the hosts' advantage from close range following a superb, low cross from Gotoku Sakai. That in turn spurred a reaction from Christian Streich's side, who deservedly levelled 15 minutes later through Vincenzo Grifo after a period of pressure. That was not the final twist, however: after winning an 88th-minute penalty, Hunt stepped up but Schwolow produced a good save low to his right to ensure that his side took a merited point back to the Black Forest.
Man of the Match
This was a superb display from new signing Walace in the centre of Hamburg's midfield. The Brazilian, who joined the German giants from Gremio in January, was instrumental in both breaking up Freiburg attacks and initiating those of his side: the 21-year-old looks quite a find.
In fine voice, the Hamburg fans serenaded their players throughout the second half with the song "Niemals 2. Liga", roughly translating as "Never been a second-division team". While Freiburg's second equaliser punctured their optimism somewhat, the long-suffering HSV supporters saw more than enough from their side to think justifiably that relegation will be staved off.
- The last time Hunt scored in successive Bundesliga games was 2014, when he was still an SV Werder Bremen player.
- Philipp's seven goals so far this season make him Freiburg's top scorer.
- Grifo's goal was the 500th this season in the Bundesliga.
Hamburg: Adler - Sakai (c), Papadopoulos (Djourou, 30'), Mavraj, Ostrzolek – Walace (Ekdal, 83'), Jung – Diekmeier (Gregoritsch, 46'), Holtby, Kostic - Hunt
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Freiburg: Schwolow - Kübler, Torrejon, Söyüncü, Günter - Philipp, Abrashi (Frantz, 62'), Höfler (c), Grifo (Bulut, 90') – Haberer (Niederlechner, 85'), Petersen
Coach: Christian Streich
Watch: Hunt expresses his disappointment at missed penalty: