Piotr Trochowski’s winner from a free kick gave Hamburg a 2-1 win Friday over last-place Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga.
The win eases the pressure on coach Armin Veh whose side moves provisionally into eighth, pending Eintracht Frankfurt’s result at home against Borussia Dortmund yesterday.
Moenchengladbach remain last with 10 points, seven from safety ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.
Trochowski scored in the 71st minute when his in-swinging free kick was missed by everyone and somehow escaped the grasp of goalkeeper Christopher Heimeroth.
Elijero Elia had given Hamburg the lead 51 seconds into the second half when he sent the ball between the legs of Heimeroth after he was cleverly played through on the edge of the penalty area by Jonathan Pitroipa’s back-heel.
The home side responded straight away with Igor de Camargo heading in front close range following a perfect cross from Michael Bradley on the wing.
Hamburg had goalkeeper Frank Rost to thank for a number of crucial saves. He prevented the home side taking the lead when he rushed off his line to deny de Camargo after three minutes and shortly afterward reacted smartly to stop Marco Reus, who had set up the first chance.
A poor clearance from the goalkeeper straight to Juan Arango allowed the Venezuelan the chance to shoot from distance into the unguarded net but the effort went just wide, much to the dismay of Moenchengladbach coach Michael Frontzeck.
The 1,500 fans who made the journey from Hamburg had to wait until the 34th minute for their side’s first effort on target, when Jose Paulo Guerrero shot straight at Heimeroth.
After the two quick goals to start the second half, both sides missed chances to take the lead before Trochowski netted the winner.
It could have been worse for Moenchengladbach, as Heimeroth made two saves in quick succession from substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy after Guerrero hit the post late in the game.
“Borussia played well in the first half,” Veh said. “We made a lot of mistakes, but the second half was a different game.”
Injury-hit Moenchengladbach — which has lost five games in a row — have won only two games all season and will hope to regroup over the winter break.
“We showed a lot of commitment and created a lot of chances,” Frontzeck said. “It’s bitter, a big disappointment, but I have no doubt we can make it.”