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Hamburg gearing up for first final

Published: Saturday 12 December 2009, 12.42CET
This will be the first major, one-legged final to be held in Hamburg, but the Hamburg Arena – and its Volksparkstadion predecessor – have staged numerous high-profile fixtures.

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Published: Saturday 12 December 2009, 12.42CET

Hamburg gearing up for first final

This will be the first major, one-legged final to be held in Hamburg, but the Hamburg Arena – and its Volksparkstadion predecessor – have staged numerous high-profile fixtures.

This will be the first major, one-legged final to be held in Hamburg, but the Hamburg Arena – and its predecessor, the Volksparkstadion – have seen plenty of European and international action over the years, including games in two FIFA World Cups and a UEFA European Championship, plus the home fixtures in five two-legged UEFA club competition finals involving Hamburger SV.

The Volksparkstadion hosted three matches at the 1974 World Cup, culminating in a Group A decider – and the only meeting – between hosts West Germany and East Germany, which the former DDR won 1-0 thanks to a 77th-minute goal from Jürgen Sparwasser. "Rumour had it I was richly rewarded for the goal, with a car, a house and a cash prize, but that is not true," the midfielder later said.

Having won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, Hamburg took on European champions Liverpool FC in the 1977 UEFA Super Cup, an event which tested the loyalties of HSV's English forward Kevin Keegan in his first season since leaving the Reds. The German leg on 22 November 1977 ended in a 1-1 draw, but a Terry McDermott hat-trick helped Liverpool demolish Özcan Arkoç's side 6-0 in the return fixture at Anfield.

Under Ernst Happel, Hamburg suffered another defeat in the 1982 UEFA Cup final. Having lost the away leg of the tie 1-0 to Sven-Göran Eriksson's IFK Göteborg, the German side were stunned by a 3-0 defeat at the Volksparkstadion. Having beaten Juventus in the 1983 European Champion Clubs' Cup showpiece, HSV then contested the two-legged UEFA Super Cup final, drawing 0-0 at home against Sir Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen FC and losing 2-0 away.

The stadium next saw major action at the semi-final stage of the 1988 UEFA European Championship, which proved to be another miserable occasion for the hosts as West Germany lost 2-1 to eventual winners the Netherlands. A Ronald Koeman penalty and Marco van Basten's 88th-minute sliding finish settled the tie after Lothar Matthäus had put Franz Beckenbauer's side ahead from the penalty spot.

The renovation of the stadium did not see an immediate change of fortunes for the hosts. Hamburg lost on penalties to Montpellier Hérault SC at a half-built Hamburg Arena following a second 1-1 draw in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup final, but finally won their first showpiece match at their home ground in 2005, with a 1-0 triumph over Valencia CF setting them up for UEFA Intertoto Cup success as they drew the return fixture 0-0.

Prior to being awarded the chance to host the inaugural UEFA Europa League final, Hamburg Arena's last major event – barring HSV's domestic outings – had been the 2006 World Cup. Five matches from that tournament were held at the stadium, culminating in eventual winners Italy's 3-0 quarter-final success against Ukraine.

Last updated: 24/03/10 14.31CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=919764.html#hamburg+gearing+first+final

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