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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 12, 2006

Bundesliga: Hamburg stumble at start of season

BERLIN, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Bundesliga title aspirants Hamburg SV struggled to a 1-1 draw at home against Arminia Bielefeld in their opening match of the season on Saturday.

Bielefeld scored first when Christian Eigler took a fine pass from team mate Artur Wichniarek in the 32nd minute and found an opening in Hamburg's disoriented defence, drilling a 20-metre shot past HSV goalkeeper Sascha Kirschstein.

Hamburg, who spent most of last season in second place before ending up third behind second place Werder Bremen, have vowed they want to challenge title holders Bayern Munich for the championship this season.

Bayern won their Bundesliga opener on Friday, 2-0 against Borussia Dortmund.

After a desolate first half, Hamburg scored a deserved equaliser in the 67th minute when Ivory Coast's Boubacar Sanogo headed in a corner from Piotr Trochowski but they still faced jeers from the home crowd of 49,713 after the final whistle.

Hamburg were close to snatching victory in stoppage time, with Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart just missing from close range and Albania's Besart Berisha hitting the post.

'The first half was a disaster,' said van der Vaart, recently named HSV captain. 'In the second half we tried everything but it was too late. The first half was so bad it was incredible.'

Hamburg had gone into the match full of confidence after playing well in their Champions League third qualifying round first leg match on Wednesday at home to Spanish side Osasuna despite being held to a 0-0 draw.

'We just don't know what's wrong,' said Sanogo. 'We had so many chances on Wednesday and so many chances today but just one goal.'

Even if they have struggled so far, Hamburg have a promising new attack with Paolo Guerrero arriving from Bayern Munich and Sanogo, who joined them from relegated Kaiserslautern.

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