HAMBURG, September 23 (Bundesliga) - Hamburg`s dismal start to the Bundesliga season continued on Saturday after they were held by Werder Bremen at the AOL Arena.
Neither side has captured the imagination so far after finishing in the top three last campaign, but Hamburg`s plight is the more worrying as they are still searching for that elusive first win.
Bastian Reinhardt did at least salvage a draw for the hosts after Tim Borowski had fired Bremen ahead, but the dismissal of Mehdi Mahdavikia ended any hopes of three points for Hamburg, who remain in the bottom four after five games.
Despite their poor form, the home side looked confident in the early stages and were unlucky not to score after eight minutes when a dangerous free-kick from Piotr Trochowski was tipped over the crossbar by Werder goalkeeper Tim Wiese.
Thomas Schaaf`s Bremen side hit back with Hugo Almeida and Naldo both forcing saves from Sascha Kirschstein, but Hamburg continued to enjoy the better chances and Danijel Ljuboja should have done better when he poked Juan Pablo Sorin`s cross wide from just a few yards out.
Ljuboja missed another opportunity in the 22nd minute, again firing wide with just keeper Wiese to beat.
And the hosts were almost paid to pay before the end of the half, but for two good saves from Kirschstein after shots from Diego and Mohamed Zidan.
Werder then came out fighting after the break as Borowski drilled a 16-yard bullet wide of the post.
But the midfielder made amends after 58 minutes when he finally opened the scoring with a close-range strike following a defence-splitting pass from Clemens Fritz.
Hamburg`s response came 11 minutes later with Reinhardt heading home a corner from Mahdavikia.
But the euphoria was dampened soon after when Iranian defender Mahdavikia was shown a straight red card for a dangerous challenge on Diego.
The dismissal ended all hopes of a Hamburg win and the home side were lucky to earn a point as Kirschstein had to turn away a last-minute strike from Fritz.