‘Lucky Luca’ Waldschmidt popped up with a late winner to sink Wolfsburg and spark wild scenes in Hamburg, as HSV avoided the relegation play-off
“No, HSV haven’t won the championship,” said the voiceover on ZDF’s Das Aktuelle Sportstudio as they rolled footage of jubilant Hamburg SV supporters streaming on to the Volksparkstadion pitch. “They’ve stayed up.” There may be widespread incredulity around Germany as to just what constitutes success for the 1983 European Cup winners these days, but very few among the 57,000 sell-out crowd on Saturday cared about that.
It had been the latest improbable moment in what has become an improbable role that HSV play in the Bundesliga. The little-used Luca Waldschmidt had come on as substitute in the 86th minute, with the home side still searching for the winning goal that would allow them to avoid a third relegation play-off in four seasons and propel visitors Wolfsburg into it in their stead; 112 seconds later and Waldschmidt – or “Lucky Luca”, as Hamburger Morgenpost has already dubbed him – applied a perfect headed finish to Filip Kostic’s inviting delivery, and Hamburg were in dreamland.