Hamburgs climb off bottom of Bundesliga with first league win

Berlin (AFP) – Hamburg moved off the bottom of the Bundesliga table on Sunday after securing their first league win of the season with a 2-0 victory at fellow-strugglers Darmstadt.

RB Leipzig finish the weekend top of the table after their 2-1 win at home to Schalke on Saturday night extended their unbeaten run to 13 games — a league record for a side in their first Bundesliga season.

The victory saw them replace Bayern Munich, who won 3-1 at Freiburg on Friday thanks to two goals from Robert Lewandowski, to go three points clear of Carlo Ancelotti’s Bavarian giants.

At the other end of the table, Ingolstadt, who lost 2-1 at Bremen on Saturday, are now bottom after Hamburg’s Michael Gregoritsch scored his third goal in two games to give his side a first-half lead at Darmstadt.

When Serbia winger Filip Kostic whipped in a cross with half an hour gone, striker Gregoritsch produced a superb diving header.

In the dying stages, Japan international Gotoku Sakai sprinted clear, then slipped the ball to Matthias Ostrzolek, who blasted home on his left foot from the edge of the area on 90 minutes for his first Bundesliga goal.

“It is important that we won — it was a sign to the league that we’re still alive,” Gregoritsch told Sky after a win which took some of the pressure off Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol.

“It feels like a big rock has been lifted off all of our hearts.”

The result leaves Hamburg 17th, one place below Darmstadt, with both teams in the relegation places.

This was only Hamburg’s third win of the season in all competitions after winning both of their German Cup ties against low-league opposition. 

Hamburg, who won the European Cup in 1983, are the only team currently in Germany’s top flight to have never been previously relegated since the Bundesliga started in 1963.

They have stayed up in two of the last three years by winning a relegation play off, in 2013/14 and 2014/15. Last season, they finished tenth.

Later on Sunday, Eintracht Frankfurt dropped to fifth after their 1-1 draw at mid-table Augsburg.

Sweden striker Branimir Hrgota fired Frankfurt into an early lead at Augbsurg’s WWK Arena but South Korea’s Ji Dong-Won levelled on 34 minutes with a superb shot from outside the area.

Both sides had clear chances for the three points.

Jonathan Schmid hit the post for Augsburg in the first-half, Ji had a goal ruled offside and Frankfurt captain Alexander Meier had a shot cleared off the line with an hour gone.

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