Hamburg wins second straight looking for another narrow escape

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Last season Hamburg miraculously yet shockingly managed to stay in the German top flight by managing an away goal in the relegation playoff.

This year, the storied club has been in the bottom three for practically the entire season, and yet they still may stay up thanks to some late results.

Today, Hamburg defeated 10th-placed Mainz 2-1 on the road thanks to an 87th-minute winner from Gojko Kacar to add to a Mainz own-goal. The victory is the club’s second straight win, successfully pulling them out of the relegation zone and up to 14th in the crowded bottom third of the German league table.

The job is not done. They still remain just a single point above the drop zone and still have yet to play massive games against relegation-threatened Freiburg and Stuttgart plus another remaining fixture against 5th-placed Schalke. But the victory is a massive boost for the club.

Hamburg has seen tough times the last few seasons. They’ve watched captain Rafael van der Vaart slowly disintegrate into a shell of the former Spurs attackman’s self. Fans have endured 37 league losses over the past two seasons for a club just five years off winning the Europa League and one that is used to consistent European play. Instead, they’ve devolved into what appears to the eye test as a perennial relegation candidate thanks last year to Germany’s leakiest defense, and this year to the league’s most toothless attack.

However, since manager Bruno Labbadia returned in mid-April to become Hamburg’s fourth manager this season, the club has now won two in a row following up Labbadia’s first game in charge, a narrow 1-0 loss to a revived Werder Bremen side. Today’s win had goalscorer Kacar declaring “It’s a dream,” but that dream is not reality just yet. Hamburg will be one to watch down the stretch.