Hamburg’s Bundesliga Clock Stops Ticking

The clock remarked the presence of the team in Bundesliga.The clock remarked the presence of the team in Bundesliga.

Former European champion Hamburg SV was relegated for the first time on Saturday, its fans throwing flares on to the pitch as their team’s record uninterrupted top-flight run since the Bundesliga began in 1963 came to a controversial end.

Wolfsburg’s 4-1 win over bottom club Cologne meant Hamburg’s 2-1 home victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach, which was interrupted for 15 minutes due to the crowd trouble in stoppage-time, proved in vain, Reuters reported.

Hamburg, six-times German champion and European champion in 1983, will join Cologne in the second division next season, while Wolfsburg goes into a relegation playoff.

Dozens of riot police, several on horses, charged on to the pitch and lined up in front of the Hamburg fans, who lit flares and threw them behind the Gladbach goal when it became clear that the team was on its way to the second division.

Hamburg was leading 2-1 in stoppage-time when referee Felix Brych stopped the game. The fires were put out and police gradually left the field so the game could resume and the final seconds be played out.

Hamburg had taken an early lead through Aaron Hunt and went in front again with a Lewis Holtby goal just past the hour after Gladbach had leveled before halftime.

Even when Hamburg went down to 10 men after the dismissal of Bobby Wood in the 71st minute, the team kept battling, hoping for a miracle but events at Wolfsburg ensured it never came. With the stadium clock marking the club’s record stay in the Bundesliga and showing 54 years and 261 days, fans stayed in their seats and with tears in their eyes gave the players their last Bundesliga cheer.


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