Playing in the league for the first time, Hamburg started brightly but poor finishing cost them the chance to go ahead, with Khaled Narey guilty of two missed chances.
Kiel increasingly improved, with Lee Jae-song setting up before Jonas Meffert and David Kinsombi in the second half. Mathias Honsak got a deserved third in stoppage time.
Kiel come into game after strong start from Red Shorts
Relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time last season, Hamburg have kept many of their players from last season although a few, like Aaron Hunt, were out injured. New signings David Bates, Jairo Samperio and Khaled Narey were given starts, whilst Fiete Arp has been left in the under-21s for now. After a summer of transition, new Kiel boss Tim Walter named six new signings, including Lee and Honsak. Kinsombi, one of those to stay, was only on the bench to start with following a ligament injury.
In front of a packed Volksparkstadion, Hamburg started strongly. Tatsuya Ito had the first chance, after a wonderful run across the edge of the box, shooting just wide. Jairo on the other hand made a mess of an effort from a similar position, falling over as he shot off target. Lewis Holtby then nearly punished for an ill-advised pass from Kenneth Kronholm, but his chip also went wide. Another mistake from Kiel, who were making a few needless mistakes, would then present a chance to Narey, but he sent the shot well into the stands.
Lee had been a real coup signing for Kiel, and the man who played for South Korea at the 2018 FIFA World Cup was involved in some of their best moments. In the space of a few moments his good ball to Janni Serra was given back to him, with Julian Pollersbeck saving the shot. He was then allowed to run through space in the middle of the park, finding a man on the left, who crossed to Serra. He struck wide, but was offside in any case.
Narey missed another chance for the hosts after what could have been a devastating counter, but it was Kiel who were in the ascendancy as the half came to a close. Twice, Honsak got on the end of long balls, but on neither occasion could he make it count, the first seeing the ball in the hands of Pollersbeck and the second he struck wide after getting the better of David Bates, who was being run ragged.
Hamburg handed second half battering
Kiel were even more rampant after they came out for the second half. A run from Lee led to Serra getting an early shot, with Pollersbeck getting a hand to it, although he still had to get back to stop it going in. Kingsley Schindler also had a couple of efforts, whilst a chance for Narey at the other end, superbly sent wide by Kronholm, proved to be only a respite for Hamburg.
It was only a few minutes after that when Kiel deservingly took the lead. It was not a surprise that Lee was involved, finding Meffert, with the former Karlsruher SC and SC Freiburg midfielder curling the ball into the top corner. Hamburg were learning a valuable lesson about life in the 2. Bundesliga – no-one will make it easy for them. It only got harder from here, too.
Christian Titz responded by bringing on Jonas David and Pierre-Michel Lasogga, but they made little difference as Hamburg struggled to regain any semblance of control on the match. Ito did help create an opportunity for Vasilije Janjičić, kept out by Kronholm, before a Rick van Drongelen couldn’t be controlled at the far post by Narey, another missed chance for the former SpVgg Greuther Fürth man.
Kiel remained dangerous, with Alexander Mühling striking over, and it soon got worse for their hosts. Pollersbeck’s attempts to play out from the back had been suspect, and an unprepared Matti Steinmann couldn’t control a pass to him from his goalkeeper. Schindler won the ball, it was quickly moved upfield, with Lee eventually setting up substitute Schindler for an easy finish.
The best Hamburg could offer in response saw a shot from Holtby get up excellently again by Kronholm, whilst a Lasogga header could have caused him problems it was on target. Honsak nearly made it three when Pollersbeck stuck out a leg to keep out his shot, but he would get his goal in stoppage time, finishing off an attack on the counter. Kiel couldn’t have dreamed of anything better. Hamburg couldn’t dreamed of anything worse.