Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia said his side were stunned to concede early in the first leg of their Bundesliga play-off clash against Karlsruher on Thursday.
Labbadia’s men are looking to retain their Bundesliga status – Hamburg are the only club to have remained in the German top flight since its initial season in 1963 – but were stunned at home as the promotion-chasing Karlsruher earned a 1-1 draw at the Imtech Arena.
Rouwen Hennings’ fourth-minute goal shocked Hamburg, with the forward striking against his old club with an emphatic finish in off the post.
Karlsruher were unfortunate not to score again, striking the woodwork on multiple occasions, before Hamburg got into the tie via Ivo Ilicevic’s 73rd-minute goal.
“After the early goal we were shocked, then too hectic. Karlsruher were too compact,” Labbadia said, via Hamburg’s official Twitter.
“We hoped to keep a clean sheet at home now we have a 1-1 [scoreline]. On Monday, it will be another close game.”
Hamburg have to at least score at Karlsruher to retain their Bundesliga status, as the 2.Bundesliga side have the tie lead on away goals but Labbadia said his side are resilient.
“When you see the last few weeks, then you realise that the team can always get back up,” he said.
On goalscorer Ilicevic, Labbadia said: “I’m happy for him, he was full in the game and has earned it.”
Hamburg’s most recent trip to Karlsruhe’s Wildparkstadion came in 2012, when the hosts claimed a 4-2 DFB Pokal win.
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