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Aberdeen 3 - 2 Hamburg

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Hamburg

UEFA Cup Third Round First Leg
Aberdeen scorers: Black 24, Watson 65, Hewitt 81.
Hamburg scorers: Hrubesch 52, Hrubesch 87

25/11/1981 | KO: 19:30


A light covering of snow on the pitch made for some rather uncertain footing as an all ticket crowd packed Pittodrie hoping for further European success. The match started at a cracking pace with Simpson having the first shot at goal in the 12th minute. Three minutes later Strachan seemed to be fouled inside the box, but the Belgian referee waved play on. The opening goal however was only partially delayed, for minutes later Eric Black headed a wonderful goal from a John Hewitt corner after a delightful Dons' move involving Miller, Kennedy, Strachan and McGhee.
Aberdeen now had the highly fancied Germans on the rack, and Heronymus, the German substitute was very fortunate to remain on the field following a crunching tackle on Strachan three minutes after coming on. Two minutes before the interval Eric Black almost made it two but his header rebounded off the bar with Stein well beaten.

Disaster struck the Dons when Hamburg equalised in the 52nd minute. Leighton threw the ball out to Kennedy, who was completely wrong footed. He was consequently dispossessed by Danish international Bastrup who chipped the ball into the box past the despairing dive of Leighton, leaving Hrubesch the simplest of tap ins. Watson regained the lead for the Dons in the 65th minute with a fierce left foot shot. Eight minutes later McGhee recovered quickly from a Stein challenge to fire in a netbound shot, but unfortunately Memering dived full length and punched the ball over the bar. Strachan was too eager to take the resultant penalty and Stein dived to his left to palm his effort away to safety. Seven minutes from the end Hewitt scored a third, forcing home a Rougvie shot which was blocked.
Aberdeen were then dealt a cruel blow with seconds remaining when, with Rougvie off the field receiving treatment, Hrubesch collected a pass and sent an unstoppable 25 yard rocket past Jim Leighton. Although the result meant Aberdeen had a difficult second leg in store, their reputation was beginning to spread around Europe.

Source: Match Programme, 18th September 1991

Hamburg Teamsheet
Stein, Kaltz, Memering, Groh, Beckenbauer, Hartwig (Hidien 79), Milewski (Hieronymus 32), Wehmeyer, Hrubesch, Magath, Bastrup

Bookings:  Hieronymus 35,   Hartwig 49
Attendance: 24,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: P. Schoeters, Belgium
Next Match
20 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Hampden Park, Glasgow