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Sunday, March 28, 2004 

Bundesliga round 26: HSV 3 - 2 Kaiserslautern

HSV put any worries of possible relegation behind them this evening, with a well-deserved 3-2 home win against over Kaiserslautern, who now have to win four of their remaining eight matches to stay in the Bundesliga, according to their Coach Kurt Jara, who returned to the AOL Arena for the first time since his dismissal in October of last year.

Klaus Toppmöller as expected changed his team which lost 0-3 in Gladbach last time out. In came Romeo and Mahdavikia in to the attack, at the back, Bastian Reinhardt replaced Collin Benjamin who wasn't even in the squad. Vyacheslav Hleb, who made his full debut in Gladbach, was on the bench for the Lautern match. The visitors started at a furious pace. On 17 minutes they were unlucky not to take the lead, as a Hristov header hit the crossbar, with Wächter well beaten. On 26 minutes HSV had their first chance, as Romeo headed narrowly wide.

Four minutes later the home side took the lead. A free kick taken by Rahn just outside the area was deflected by Lucien Mettomo past Tim Wiese, who had no chance of stopping the ball. Lautern tried to get back into the game by playing long balls up to Hristov and Klose, without much success. Just before half time Sergej Barbarez had an opportunity to double HSV's lead, but reached a glancing header by Reinhardt a stride too late.

HSV came out for the second half and struck again a minute after the re-start. Barbarez played a fine ball to Rahn down the wing. He reached the by-line before putting in a cross which was so accurate, that Bernardo Romeo only had to stick his foot out for his 11th goal of the season. The HSV fans got behind the side like never before this season. The 41,020 were in good voice as Lautern struck out of the blue. Good work by Drescher found Klose in the box. The German international finished well with the home defence in disarray. Lautern continued to press but without much effect.

Toppmöller brought on Takahara for Barbarez and on 70 minutes the "Sushi-Bomber" brought Rahn into play with a sweet pass down the left wing. Rahn strolled into the left side of the area and to everyone's surprise, blasted a shot into the net off the underside of the crossbar, which was probably still vibrating ten minutes afterwards! Lautern to their credit never gave up and scored again through Hristov 11 minutes from time, but in all honesty they never looked likely to take a point from a match which on the balance of play, HSV thoroughly deserved to win. Kurt Jara said after the match that he spent two wonderful years in Hamburg, and sincerely hoped that he would be back with Lautern next year. The victory over Lautern was HSV's 400th league win in their long history.

HSV: Wächter - Wicky (73. Schlicke), Hoogma, Ujfalusi, Hollerbach - Mahdavikia, Jarolim (89. Fukal), Reinhardt, Rahn - Romeo, Barbarez (63. Takahara)

Kaiserslautern: Wiese - Mettomo, Wenzel, Drescher - Riedl, Lehmann, Bjelica, Nurmela (55. Altintop), Malz (72. Vreven) - Klose (62. Dominguez), Hristov

Goals: 1:0 Rahn (30.), 2:0 Romeo (46.), 2:1 Klose (53.), 3:1 Rahn (70.), 3:2 Hristov (79.)

Source: HSV.de

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