Hamburg SV settled for a nervy 0-0 draw in the first leg of its two-game Bundesliga promotional playoff at home to Greuther Fuerth on Friday. The former European champ is the only club in Germany that has never been relegated since the Bundesliga was founded in 1963. However, Mirko Slomka’s men disappointed in front of its own fans on Friday, as the club’s iconic stadium clock ominously ticked on the 50 years, 264 days and five hours the team has spent in Germany’s first division.
After the game, Slomka noted that his team struggled to contain Fuerth’s attack, which has been the best in Bundesliga 2. "They did it really well and had us under control especially in the first half," the Hamburg coach told reporters. "They were extremely dangerous up front. But we still have one game left and Fuerth will be nervous at home."
The two sides will meet again on Sunday in the return leg, where an away goal for Hamburg would be especially crucial. The winner will play in the first division next season alongside newcomers Cologne and Paderborn, while the loser will join relegated Nuremberg and Eintracht Braunschweig in Bundesliga 2.