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the old man meeting

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Old teammates squared off today as veteran striker Ruud van Nistelrooij and his Hamburg team faced Raul Gonzalez and Schalke. On the day, Hamburg were the better side, although the visitors gave them a real run for the points.

Van Nistelrooij netted the opener early in the second half, and the game appeared all but lost for Schalke when Benedikt Hoewedes was sent off for a second yellow card. Late in the game, Jefferson Farfan netted a fantastic volley tolevel the score, but Van Nistelrooij struck the winner shortly thereafter following a brilliant run from Ze Roberto.

Fuelled by live-wire Jefferson Farfan, the visitors started well. Featuring a very defensive lineup that included five natural centre halfbacks and holding midfielders, Schalke had a large share of possession, but lacked a creative spark in their attacking third. The visitors should have gone ahead in the 24th minute, but Edu was unable to beat goalkeeper Frank Rost after being perfectly played through by Farfan.

Within 20 minutes, Hamburg found their rhythm and began to dictate the pace. However, it was only late in the half that die Rothosen managed to successfully penetrate the Schalke defense. Guy Demel nearly set up a goal after slipping into the penalty area before Ruud van Nistelrooij blasted a free kick off the crossbar. Demel was first to the rebound, but Manuel Neuer made a fantastic save.

Within 30 seconds of the beginning of the half, Van Nistelrooij got it right. Eljero Elia floated a perfect cross to the Dutchman, who netted with a fine side-footed volley.

After the opener, Hamburg pressed for a second, and the visitors had no answer. Jonathan Pitroipa had a goal disallowed for offside, and the brilliant Van Nistelrooij was not quite able to convert after making an inspired turn.

More woe came for Schalke on the hour mark when Benedikt Hoewedes was shown a second yellow card for a professional foul on Pitroipa. After that, it seemed like the game was all but lost for Schalke: the hosts kept applying pressure, and die Koenigsblauen had precious little going forward.

However, as is so characteristic of Schalke teams, they fought hard to the death, and leveled late. Out of nowhere, Farfan looped an audacious volley into the top-right corner of the net, and it seemed that Schalke just might be able to win a point.

However, Hamburg would not be denied their victory. Ze Roberto made a magnificent run to the byline before delivering a low cross to Van Nistelrooij, who finished with aplomb. Ten minutes later, the final whistle was sounded, and Hamburg took three well-earned points.


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I watched the HSV game yesterday, was a good game to watch, Ruud should have netted more than two!

He got a bit carried away though and blasted the chances over the bar, also, THAT freekick! :drool: Unlucky with it.

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