Hamburg took down Wolfsburg, 3-1, at the Volkswagen Arena in an effort that keeps their increasingly stronger looking top flight hopes alive. American striker Bobby Wood converted a 42nd minute penalty, coolly sending the keeper the wrong way and slotting his attempt into the bottom right corner.
Hamburg manager Christian Titz was complimentary of his American striker after the match:
“I’m massively pleased for Bobby. He has rewarded himself for how well he has trained in the last couple of weeks and he had two good chances before his goal too.”
It’s been a difficult season for Wood who scored his first Bundesliga goal since August, giving him a mere two on the season (he also scored in the DFB-Pokal… in August). He’s dealt with sporadic injury issues and an ongoing cold streak, but perhaps he is turning the corner before it is too late for both himself and his club.
The 25-year old striker was recently linked with a move to MLS, but the report was quickly shut down by Sam Stejskal of MLSSoccer.com. The likelihood of a transfer stateside presumably declines even further if his club remains in the Bundesliga.
Hamburg, which appeared destined for relegation a mere month ago, has accrued 13 out of a possible 15 points in its last five matches. Sitting at 28 points, Die Rothosen are two points behind Wolfsburg (currently and precariously safe in 15th place) and Mainz 05 (in the relegation play-off spot but possessing a match in hand).
Also of possible interest to American fans, Hamburg is captained by Japanese-American fullback Gotoku Sakai. The 27-year old was born in New York City, but put delete your “cap him now” social media posts: he has made 27 appearances with the Japanese senior national team since debuting in 2012.
Hamburg has two matches remaining to avoid the drop to the 2. Bundesliga against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, May 5th and Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday, May 12th.