Hamburg slip in Black Forest
An early strike from Jonathan Pitroipa was not enough to give Hamburg a winning start to the season as Freiburg fought back well to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at the Dreisam Stadion. Tommy Bechmann grabbed a deserved equaliser for the home side in the 65th minute of a very evenly-matched game in hot and humid conditions in the Black Forest.
Hamburg struggled increasingly as the game progressed, their tired legs from their UEFA Europa League qualifier against Randers on Thursday finally catching up with them, making this a point gained rather than two lost for one of the leading title candidates.
Freiburg will be equally happy with their return to the top flight after four years in the second division. The hosts were given a rude awakening in the third minute when their former player Pitroipa showed no signs of nostalgia as he put the visitors in front.
The Freiburg defence failed to clear their lines from a corner and the ball fell kindly to the Hamburg forward, who placed his ten-yard shot accurately into the bottom corner. The goal did not unsettle Freiburg, however, and they came close to an equaliser in the 20th minute when Bechmann placed a shot just wide.
It was the second chance of the match for Bechmann, who was causing the most problems to the HSV defence. He finally found the back of the net in the 65th minute to bring the home side level.
The 27-year-old former Bochum forward managed to find the necessary direction and power to divert Mohamadou Idrissou's cross past Frank Rost from ten yards out. Neither side seemed willing to take a risk and search for a winner, although an ambitious overhead kick from Mladen Petric almost earned the guests all three points.