HAMBURG, February 24 (Bundesliga) - Two goals in the final 23 minutes ensured Hamburg took a giant leap out of the relegation zone on Saturday with a fine home win against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Rafael van der Vaart opened the scoring for the hosts in the seventh minute before Naohira Takahara equalised against his former team on the hour mark.
Piotr Trachowski gave the hosts the lead again on 77 minutes and Ivica Olic put the result beyond doubt in injury time.
Hamburg have now won three of their four games under new coach Huub Stevens and are very much eyeing the top half of the Bundesliga table.
Frankfurt are heading in the opposite direction, however, and have now suffered back-to-back losses following three consecutive draws.
Van der Vaart gave Hamburg an early lead with a free-kick from 22 yards.
His left-footed shot sailed just over the Frankfurt wall and comfortably beat Oka Nikolov, who did not even attempt the save.
Frankfurt, who had made six changes to their line-up changes after the 4-0 defeat against Stuttgart last weekend, never really found a rhythm in the first half.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos did head a dangerous corner kick towards Frank Rost in the 19th minute, but the Hamburg keeper was able to palm it away.
Hamburg appeared to have the game in the bag but Frankfurt equalised against the run of play 15 minutes after the interval as Takahara turned Joris Mathijsen in the box and beat Rost with a shot between the keeper's legs.
Trochowski edged Hamburg back into the lead 23 minutes from time with a shot from the edge of the box that flew into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Frankfurt nearly equalised seven minutes from time but substitute Alexander Meier wasn't able to connect cleanly and sent his shot from two yards out over the crossbar.
Van der Vaart capped an impressive personal performance by setting up the decider for substitute Olic, who looped the ball coolly over the advancing Nikolov to clinch the three points.