The fight for an automatic berth to the Champions League is still up for grabs in the Bundesliga after Leverkusen fail to win at home.Hamburg once again failed to record their first win under Michael Oenning as they only managed a 1-1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena, a result which means that the hosts were unable to nail down second spot in the Bundesliga and automatic Champions League entry.
Heiko Westermann fired in the opener after a mix-up in the hosts' defense to give HSV an unexpected lead. Jupp Heynckes' men threw everything forward in search of the equalizer in the second half, and ultimately scored through Stefan Kiessling to salvage what could be a priceless point.
Hamburg started the game brightly, pushing for a goal right from the first whistle. The opener came from an unlikely source as Westermann took advantage of a bad block by Rene Adler, following a mix-up in the Leverkusen's defense, and finished past the goalkeeper from seven yards out.
The hosts, shocked by the quick goal they conceded, responded and soon started to regain their confidence and proceeded to lay a siege on Frank Rost's goal. Kiessling had the ball in the net in the 21st minute, but his joy was short-lived as the referee ruled out the strike for offside.
A couple of minutes later Gojko Kacar thought he doubled the lead for Hamburg with goal from seven yards out following a set-piece, but the goal was annulled. The game became scrappy in the following minutes with most of the action commencing in the centre of the pitch.
Tranquillo Barnetta was presented with a great chance five minutes before halftime when he was allowed a free shot from the left side of the box, but sent his finish over the bar in what proved to be the final moment of interest for the first half.
Hamburg were the better team early after the restart and nearly doubled their lead in the 55th minute when Heung-Min Son had a header from close range saved by Adler. In the following attack, however, Leverkusen equalized through Kiessling when he pounced on a mistake by the visiting defense to slot home from the left side of the box.
Paolo Guerrero nearly put Hamburg in front once again just after the hour-mark with a powerful shot from outside the box, but it fizzled just wide of the right post. Leverkusen reminded their opponents of their presence six minutes later with Michal Kadlec blasting a thunderous shot over the bar.
Frank Rost was called into action in the 71st minute when Arturo Vidal forced the goalkeeper into a stunning save with a stinging shot from outside the box. The Chilean almost broke the right post with a mesmerizing volley from inside the penalty area ten minutes later as Leverkusen tightened the grip.
Hamburg had the chance to win the game through substitute Jonathan Pitroipa in the closing minutes, but he was twice denied by Adler in a one-on-one situation.
Following today's result Jupp Heynckes' men stay second in the standings just three points ahead of Bayern Munich. However, if Leverkusen lose their final match of the season at Freiburg and Bayern win at home to Stuttgart, Die Werkself will surrender the automatic Champions League to the Bavarians.
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