Survival playoffs: First leg

Things are *really* beginning to look grim for Hamburger SV. The Bundesliga dinosaur has one foot in the 2. Liga. In the first leg of the Bundesliga playoff, HSV could only reach a 0-0 draw at home against SpVgg Greuther Fürth. This puts the 2.Liga contender in the driver seat of playing at home for all the marbles. The Imtach-Arena was sold out, with 56,479 in attendance (about 1,500 Fürthers made the trip). What they witnessed was a largely drab first half, with the visitors actually having some decent chances to score. HSV raised their game a bit in the 2nd period, controlling the ball, but it was really nothing that bothered the Greuther too much. They were bending, but didn’t break.

Naturally the rematch on Sunday will have all Germany watching, as 50+ years of uninterrupted Bundesliga is clearly at stake. HSV needs to score a goal, pure and simple. That would at least put pressure on the Greuther to win the match.

The 2.Lifga playoff is just about over. Darmstadt laid an egg against Bielefeld, losing at home 1-3. This pretty much means that Arminia will survive another season in the 2.Liga, and Darmstadt’s fine season is for naught. (Well, not really, as they were on wonder time anyway, as they should have been relegated out of the 3.Liga last season, but got a last minute reprieve when Offenbach failed Accountancy 101. However the luck ran out for the 98ers, who started fast in front of 16,500 at the Bollenfalltor. But the energetic start didn’t translate into goals, and Bielefeld was merciless as they struck twice in the first half, and then resisted as Darmstadt attacked desperately after the restart. Basically, unless a disaster happens, the rematch in Bielefeld on Monday should have Arminia staying up in the 2.Liga…

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