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Sports

Hamburg make easy work of Augsburg

Kicking off the ninth match day of the Bundesliga, Hamburg travelled to Augsburg and made short work of their hosts. They move to fourth place for now, but there's a full weekend of Bundesliga soccer to come.

Hamburg's midfielder Heiko Westermann plays the ball during the placement Liga-Total-Cup match between Hamburger SV vs Bayern Munich in Hamburg, northern Germany, on August 5, 2012. AFP PHOTO/CHRISTOF STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/GettyImages)

Fussball - HSV Heiko Westermann

Despite the home advantage, Augsburg had a very imposing challenge ahead of them Friday night against Hamburg, and the guests wasted little time getting ahead and maintaining control in the match.

In the 13th minute, Hamburg's Son Heung-Min threaded the defense and caught Augsburg goalkeeper Simon Jentzsch, back after two months off with a finger injury, leaning wrong.

"Son can play with both feet and can place the ball precisely," said Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink. "His goal was incredible."

Hamburg struck again in the 61st minute when Son worked his way into Augsburg territory and passed off in trouble. The ball eventually found its way to Artjoms Rudnevs, who slotted it past Jentzsch.

Meanwhile, Hamburg's goalkeeper Rene Adler, recently voted best player of the season so far by German sports magazine Kicker, found his mettle barely tested.

Following the 2-0 victory, Hamburg, ranked 10th with 10 points going into the match, will enjoy a brief spell in fourth place as the first victors of the ninth match day of the season. Augsburg, however, promoted to the Bundesliga this season but already looking like a relegation candidate, will finish the weekend in no better than their current 16th place.

Augsburg were without captain Paul Verhaegh for the first time since he sustained an injury against Nuremburg last week that will leave him sidelined for three months.

Saturday's matchups feature defending Bundesliga champs Borussia Dortmund on the road against SC Freiburg. Dortmund are riding high after beating Spanish giants Real Madrid in the Champions League earlier in the week 2-1. Schalke, fresh off their own 2-0 Champions League win against Arsenal, take on Nuremburg.

Rounding out the early games on Saturday, Mainz face Hoffenheim and Greuther Fürth play hosts to Werder Bremen. Saturday's late game pits Fortuna Düsseldorf at home against Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg parted ways with their coach, Felix Magath, earlier this week, and will be led by Lorenz-Günther Köstner, who had previously coached Wolfsburg's amateur division. They are currently in dead last in the Bundesliga - a far cry from their glory days as Bundesliga champs under Magath just three seasons ago.

Sunday features one of the highlights of the weekend, as Bayer Leverkusen travel south to take on Bayern Munich. Stuttgart are also hosting Frankfurt, and Hannover are at home against Mönchengladbach.

mz/jr (AP, dpa, SID)