Hamburg send Wolfsburg into play-off with last-gasp winner

Wolfsburg face a relegation play-off after Hamburg left it late to lift themselves out of the bottom three in dramatic fashion at the Volksparkstadion.

Hamburg 2-1 Wolfsburg

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Goals: 0-1 Knoche (23'), 1-1 Kostic (32'), 2-1 Waldschmidt (88')

Mario Gomez was almost reeling away in celebration as his tenth-minute volley appeared destined for the far corner before Christian Mathenia got his fingertips to it, and the Hamburg custodain had to be at his best to push Jakub Blaszczykowski's drive over as the Wolves pushed for the opening goal. They found it midway through the first half with not even Mathenia able to reach Robin Knoche's fine header. A ruthless Hamburg hit back with their first real chance of the game, though, Filip Kostic meeting Lewis Holtby's pass first time to volley into the bottom corner.

Hamburg were on the back foot again in the second half with Mathenia again saving from Gomez on numerous occasions before the home team got their second wind. Like in the first half, Kostic was their biggest threat as the hosts huffed and puffed, and finally broke the Wolves' door down with Luca Waldschmidt heading in at the far post to send the Volksparkstadion faithful wild in the closing stages, and sending Wolfsburg into a relegation play-off.

Man of the match

If Hamburg hadn't had Christian Mathenia in their goal, they would have been dead and buried long before Robin Knoche struck. He continued to keep the biting Wolves at bay, ensuring Luca Waldschmidt's late goal was worth its weight in gold.

Talking point

Hamburg were heading for a third relegation play-off in four years until Waldschmidt's late winner sent Wolfsburg's season into extra-time – and they could well face local rivals Eintracht Braunschweig for a place in the Bundesliga next season.

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