Impressive van der Vaart
Having looked dangerous from the kick-off, Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart put the Bundesliga outfit into a 37th-minute lead, converting Thimothée Atouba's cross with a firm, low finish from six metres. However, Hamburg were made to pay for missed chances when Elrio van Heerder levelled five minutes before the break.
Hamburg goalkeeper Stefan Wachter had done well to fend off a dangerous corner from Carsten Fredgaard, but he could do nothing seconds later when midfielder Van Heerder made it 1-1 as he smashed the ball in from outside the penalty area.
Van der Vaart was again at the centre of the action after the equaliser, forcing FCK goalkeeper Jesper Christiansen into a save, before Fredgaard's corner was headed over the bar by the dangerous Michael Gravgaard. It was almost the perfect end to the half for the Danish side when Fredgaard saw his left-foot shot crash back off the woodwork from 20 metres.
In the second half, Van der Vaart went close again and with 20 minutes remaining the game was still finely poised. The Dutchman had an injury-time shot blocked by Bo Svensson when it looked to be goalbound but Hamburg could not make their late pressure pay and face a tough return trip to the Parken stadium.
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