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Hamburger SV escapes Bundesliga relegation after drawing 1-1 at Greuther Fuerth in playoff

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BERLIN - Hamburger SV drew 1-1 at Greuther Fuerth on Sunday to avoid the club's first ever Bundesliga relegation on away goals.

Hamburg finished 16th in the Bundesliga this season and drew 0-0 in the first leg of its relegation playoff against Fuerth, which finished third in the second division.

"We exhausted all our luck. We can't use any more next season," Hamburg coach Mirko Slomka said.

Hamburg started brightly, striking the post through Hakan Calhanoglu before Marcell Jansen's effort on the rebound was saved by Fuerth goalkeeper Wolfgang Hesl.

Pierre-Michel Lasogga scored with a header from the resultant corner in the 14th minute.

Fuerth equalized through Stephan Fuerstner in the 59th to ensure a frenetic finale.

The home side pushed hard for the goal that would have secured promotion at Hamburg's expense, only to be thwarted by goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny.

"He's a really great guy. He was sensational," Slomka said.

Drobny, playing in place of the injured Rene Adler, made several crucial saves late in the game to keep Hamburg, the only founding member never to have been relegated in the Bundesliga's 51-year history, in the top flight for another year.

"We didn't play well. Full respect to our opponents. They were really strong, but we're staying in the league," Drobny said. "Hamburg belongs in the Bundesliga."

Hamburg faces a summer of upheaval after the club's worst ever season. Slomka's side lost its last five league games of the season and only secured the relegation playoff place due to Nuremberg and Eintracht Braunschweig's equally poor form.

"It's all the same now. We're still in and we're happy," said Lasogga, who is on loan from Hertha Berlin.

Fuerth had been seeking an immediate return to the Bundesliga after one season in the second division.

"It hurts a lot," Fuerth coach Frank Kramer said. "I'm sorry for the team. They weren't rewarded. We played a great season."

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