Goals from Bobby Wood, Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Gian-Luca Walschmidt sealed a much-needed and well-deserved 4-0 win for Hamburger SV over Hallescher FC.
Wood shows his class
The game was initially delayed due to the immense smoke that game off the pyrotechnics display from the home fans. Yet, after five minutes, the tie was underway with huge glare coming off the floodlights. HSV tried to use this to their advantage before it cleared, yet Halle were stoic in defence and coped well.
They couldn't hold on for long, though, and the hosts soon found themselves behind. A clinical counter from a long throw-in saw Wood's clearance fall for Filip Kostic. He drove forward and played a one-two with Pierre-Michel Lasogga, and the Serbian slipped in Wood. The summer signing kept his cool to expertly slot home from 12 yards.
From there it was hard going for both sides, with the midfield battle preventing either side from making strides towards the opposition goal. The best chance for Halle came late in the half, as some neat play around the area threaded Selim Aydemir in on goal. Unfortunately for him, his cross-goal shot was comfortably saved by René Adler.
It was a double-blow for Halle as HSV marched up the other end and doubled their lead. After breaking up an attack the ball fell for Matthias Ostrzolek, who fizzed the ball into the feet of Wood. The American held off his man before spinning and driving at goal, then arrowed a 20-yard drive into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 at the break.
Lasogga kills the game off for good
Despite the flurry of action at the end of the second half, it was a stale beginning to the second half in terms of chances but lively between the two sets of players. Adler's clash with substitute, Marvin Ajani on the wing sparked a melee between both sides but it was more words than actions between the two sets of players.
Just as the game looked to be heading back to the scrappy nature of the first half, a superb HSV move brought the game back to life. It culminated in Gotoku Sakai receiving the ball on the edge of the area and firing at goal, only to be denied by Fabian Bredlow. The 'keeper was powerless to stop the rebound, as Lasogga tapped in.
The rest of the game passed by in a flash, quite literally if the pyrotechnics displays in the visiting block were anything to go by. The tackles were still flying in as Dennis Diekmeier required some treatment on the sidelines, which allowed both benches to make their feelings known to one another.
It was a much-needed confidence boost for HSV and another attacker got on the scoresheet late on when Waldschmidt, who had come on the pitch just prior to his goal, collected a knock-down. He took full advantage of the tired Halle defence, rounded Bredlow and slotted home for the fourth and a place in the DFB-Pokal last 16.