May 28, 2015 / 8:33 PM / 2 years ago

Soccer-Hamburg rescue Karlsruhe draw in playoff first leg

BERLIN, May 28 (Reuters) - Hamburg SV snatched a 1-1 draw at home to second-tier Karlsruhe in their playoff for a place in the Bundesliga on Thursday, Ivo Ilicevic grabbing a 73rd minute equaliser to keep their hopes alive.

The former European champions, the only club to have played in the Bundesliga every season since its creation in 1963, need to beat Karlsruhe or draw with more than one goal in the return leg on Monday to stay up.

Second division top scorer Rouwen Hennings, a former Hamburg player, stunned the hosts in the fourth minute, unleashing a fierce low shot that went in off the post for his 18th goal of the season.

Hamburg had plenty of possession but had to wait until the 43rd minute for their first meaningful chance, a 30-metre strike by Pierre Michel Lasogga that flew narrowly wide.

Karlsruhe almost got a second goal right after the break but twice hit the crossbar in a matter of seconds.

Croatian Ilicevic, however, scored what could prove to be a golden goal this season, slotting in from a well-timed Dennis Diekmeier pass as the 56,000 crowd erupted in celebration. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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