Sun, Apr 06, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Hamburg improve chances of remaining in top league

AFP, BERLIN

Hamburg SV player Heiko Westermann, left, scores the winning goal past Bayer 04 Leverkusen defender Giulio Donati, center, during their game in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday.

Photo: Reuters

Former European champions Hamburg SV boosted their Bundesliga survival chances on Friday with a crucial 2-1 win over flagging Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Defender Heiko Westermann grabbed the 82nd-minute winner with a magnificent volley from a cross by substitute Tomas Rincon.

Turkish midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu had opened the scoring after just four minutes for the 1983 European Cup winners. The 20-year-old found the net with a sharp drive.

However, Leverkusen were level on 58 minutes when 18-year-old striker Julian Brandt beat Hamburg keeper Rene Adler.

Leverkusen piled on the pressure late in the game, but Adler pulled off a series of impressive saves.

Hamburg, the only team never to have been relegated from the German top flight, have 27 points and moved fourth from bottom.

Leverkusen remain in fourth place — the last Champions League spot — but can be overtaken by VfL Wolfsburg who were to face Borussia Dortmund yesterday.

Yesterday, Leverkusen sacked coach Sami Hyypia.

The 40-year-old former Liverpool captain, who took on the role in August last year, has been replaced by Sascha Lewandowski, the head coach of Leverkusen’s junior side.

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