Late delight for Hannover
Last Updated: 12/04/14 10:33pm
Didier Ya Konan sealed the win for Hannover
Didier Ya Konan struck an 86th-minute winner to hand Hannover a huge 2-1 Bundesliga win over relegation rivals Hamburg.
Ya Konan's goal put a dampener on Mirko Slomka's return to Hannover after being sacked from his post 107 days ago.
Slomka's side had levelled through Hakan Calhanoglu's free-kick, which cancelled out Lars Stindl's opener.
More than 10,000 Hamburg fans made the trip to Lower Saxony, yet the travelling crowd was in for a turbulent first-half viewing.
Hannover's pressing start resulted in a goal after nine minutes, with defensive midfielder Stindl popping up to head home Edgar Prib's cross from the left.
On the same flank for HSV, their first foray towards Ron-Robert Zieler's goal on 21 minutes saw Jacques Zoua shoot way off target.
Six minutes later, Michael Mancienne was the saviour, heading Ya Konan's free header off the line.
Moments after, Hannover struck the post through Leonardo Bittencourt.
Other results were going against Hamburg, but Slomka spoke earlier this week about reversing the weak mentality among his team.
His words at the break inspired Hamburg to a stronger start to the second half and they were level inside 120 seconds from Calhanoglu's scrappy free-kick.
His former assistant, Hannover boss Tayfun Korkut, responded by throwing on former HSV hitman Artjoms Rudnevs with 15 minutes left on the clock.
And it was the powering Latvian striker who rampaged past Dennis Diekmeier, his shot cleared off the line by Johan Djourou only for Ya Konan to finish.
Hannover held on for their first win in six matches to all but secure their safety in the Bundesliga, leaving Hamburg in the relegation the play-off position.