HAMBURG: On loan from Bayer Leverkusen, defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos scored against the side to earn Hamburger SV a 1-0 victory in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Papadopoulos joined Hamburg in the winter transfer window, arriving via Leipzig, where Leverkusen sent him on loan at the beginning of the season after his previous season was marred by injuries.
Papadopoulos struck with a quarter-hour remaining, heading inside the far post after Nicolai Mueller lobbed in a hopeful cross. He ran to the corner to celebrate before running to embrace under-pressure Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol, familiar from their time together at Schalke.
"It's only the start," Papadopoulos said. "We have to keep working. We shouldn't celebrate. We haven't achieved anything yet."
The goal lifted Hamburg, which had lost both league games this year, into the relegation playoff place ahead of the rest of the 19th round, while Leverkusen faces a mini-crisis after its second successive defeat.
"When you've only one or two shots in Hamburg it's too little," Leverkusen forward Stefan Kiessling said. "I've no explanation."
Roger Schmidt's side was playing its first game without Hakan Calhanoglu, suspended the day before for four months by FIFA for breach of contract after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected his appeal.
Leverkusen contributed nothing of note in the first half — not even a cross — prompting Schmidt to send on Kiessling for the second.
But it was Bobby Wood who went close at the other end, shooting just wide after Mueller set him up with his heel, and Hamburg continued pushing until Papadopoulos duly claimed the reward.
"He's on loan from Leverkusen and then he scores the goal against them. For us, super. For Leverkusen, bitter," Hamburg 'keeper Rene Adler said.