A decent performance could not prevent SV Wehen Wiesbaden from slipping to a 3-2 (2-1) defeat away to Hamburger SV on Sunday 31 May. A Manuel Schäffler brace – the goals scored in the 12th and 57th minutes respectively – was not enough to salvage a point at the Volksparkstadion. David Kinsombi (14, 76) and Joel Pohjanpalo (27) got the goals for HSV.
For the fourth match since the restart, SVWW head coach Rüdiger Rehm made four changes to the starting XI that lost 1-0 against SV Sandhausen. Maximilian Dittgen and Tobias Schwede both missed out through suspension, while Jeremias Lorch and Törles Knöll started on the bench. Stefan Aigner returned to the right flank after serving a suspension, with Moritz Kuhn lining up behind him at right-back. Marcel Titsch Rivero and Dominik Franke were the other new additions to the team.
HSV made a slightly better start to the game than the Red & Blacks. With six minutes played, Josha Vagnoman sprinted down the SVWW left and fizzed a pass into the six-yard box – but Joel Pohjanpalo failed to adjust his feet in time and, fortunately for SVWW, did not manage to steer the ball into the net.
Rehm's charges were unperturbed by the bright start from their opponents, however. Aigner was clearly enjoying himself in the opening minutes, and the remaining Red & Blacks looked focused too.
Forward Manuel Schäffler opened the scoring for the visitors with the first good attacking opportunity in the 12th minute. The quick-witted Franke intercepted a pass from a Hamburg defender and fed the ball to the Wehen Wiesbaden No. 9. Sensing that HSV shot-stopper Julian Pollersbeck was slightly off his line, "Cheffe" chipped the ball spectacularly and delicately over the head of the goalkeeper and into the far corner to make it 1-0.
The Red & Blacks' joy was short-lived, however. Coach Dieter Hecking's side went straight down the other end and equalised two minutes later. Too much space was afforded to both Sonny Kittel, who set up the goal with a pass towards the penalty spot, and scorer David Kinsombi, who drilled an unstoppable effort past Heinz Lindner and into the net.
SVWW defended compactly in their own half and consistently posed a threat going forward whenever they won the ball back. As was expected, HSV had more possession of the ball – but they struggled to create much with it against the deep-lying visiting defence. At times, all 11 SVWW players were behind the ball in a bid to prevent HSV from advancing into dangerous areas. Consequently, Vagnoman's thunderous strike from 25 metres out in the 26th minute was the first moment of danger for some time. Lindner, though, turned it behind for a corner.
The SVWW rearguard was caught out one minute later, however. Tim Leibold beat the visiting defence – which was positioned a little too far forward – with a cross towards Pohjanpalo. The Finnish striker subsequently headed the ball over the line from close range to put the host 2-1 ahead (27).
SVWW were struggling to create from open play by this stage. But they continued to pose a threat from set-pieces, with Vagnoman just about managing to block Dams' header from seven metres out. With new-found determination, Rehm's charges worked their way back into the game.
A lightning-fast counter in the 39th minute saw Daniel-Kofi Kyereh go clean through in the Hamburg box, although Pollersbeck kept his team's lead intact with a strong reflex stop.
Having made one change at the break – Marvin Ajani replaced Benedikt Röcker – the Red & Blacks made a decent start to the second half. Ajani looked lively on the left and tested Pollersbeck with an effort from 25 metres on 51 minutes. Initially, Rehm's charges were solid defensively. HSV's first chance of the second half did not come until the 55th minute, but Lindner was on hand to deny Aaron Hunt.
The Red & Blacks continued to show courage and got their reward in the 57th minute. Paterson Chato picked out Ajani, who was fouled by Timo Letschert in the HSV box. Schäffler took the ensuing penalty and comfortably slotted home with a low drive to take his tally for the season to 18 goals.
SVWW had tasted blood. Combative in the challenges and purposeful going forward, the men from Hesse sought to edge their noses in front against a Hamburg defence that looked like it was on the ropes.
Wehen Wiesbaden totally shut down any attacking attempts from their hosts until the 70th minute. And when the Red Shorts did eventually create a goalscoring opportunity, there was an SVWW defender on hand to throw himself into the path of the shot – as Moritz Kuhn did in the 71st minute to deny Pohjanpalo at the last second.
A blooper by the Hamburg defence in the 74th minute saw Ajani intercept a Leibold back-pass in the box, though Pollersbeck was on hand to stop the visitors taking the lead. Ttwo minutes later at the other end, Kinsombi found himself in space and put the Red Shorts back in front at 3-2. It was a blow for Rehm's team, who had had the better of the game.
SVWW showed spirit, kept fighting and gave it their all to ensure they left Hamburg with a share of the spoils. With seconds remaining, Ajani's shot from 20 metres out took a deflection but was comfortably dealt with by Pollersbeck. The whistle blew seconds later, the Red & Blacks condemned to a bitter 3-2 defeat.
SVWW: Lindner – Kuhn (Schönfeld, 85), Mockenhaupt, Dams, Röcker (Ajani, 46), Franke – Chato – Aigner (Schwadorf, 75), Titsch Rivero (Knöll, 85), Kyereh (Tietz, 75) – Schäffler.