BERLIN, February 3 (Bundesliga) - Hamburg once again failed to hold onto a 1-0 lead and were made to pay as Hertha Berlin scored twice late on to prevent a dream debut on the HSV bench for new coach Huub Stevens.
A late equaliser for Energie Cottbus in midweek cost Thomas Doll his job at Hamburg, and his successor Stevens found out straight away what problems he faces at the club.
After Hamburg went ahead in the 33rd minute through Alexander Laas, Berlin hit back a little over ten minutes from time through Arne Friedrich.
Substitute Mineiro won the game for Berlin in stoppage time with a stunning long-distance effort to take Falko Gotz's side to within a point of Bayern Munich in fifth place.
Having only met his new team on Friday night, Stevens did not include any surprises in his team selection.
Rafael van der Vaart came straight back into the side after suspension, but he was the only alteration made to a side which had won only one game since the start of the season.
Hertha were aiming to bounce straight back from a 5-0 defeat to Hannover in midweek and they had an early opportunity to go ahead when they won a penalty.
Nigel de Jong could not keep up with Marco Pantelic and resorted to desperate measures to halt the league's top goalscorer inside the area, pulling him down before he could shoot.
The Serbia striker got back up to take the spot-kick, but a fine save at full-stretch by Frank Rost thwarted him.
The game degenerated into a battle with both sides picking up yellow cards before Hamburg took a surprise lead.
Ivica Olic stole the ball off Malik Fathi and instantly found Laas, who swept the ball in from 15 yards out.
Hertha goalkeeper Christian Fiedler perhaps should have done better as the ball squirmed under his body.
Yildiray Basturk tried to lead the Berlin revival in the second half and only narrowly missed the equaliser, striking the crossbar with a 20-yard free-kick.
His next set-piece effort sailed harmlessly over the crossbar, but Berlin were beginning to increase the tempo in search of a goal.
And it was captain Friedrich who finally found the back of the net from another set-piece.
This time, it was Gilberto who sent in a cross from the left and the Germany international met the ball with a powerful header from 15 yards and left Rost flat-footed as the ball nestled in the bottom corner.
Hamburg almost went back ahead immediately after when van der Vaart raced through, but his last touch took the ball too far wide and he could not find the target from an acute angle.
Stevens' side then inexplicably failed to go ahead as three Hamburg players stood free in front of Fiedler.
Sorin was the first to fail with a reaction save from Fiedler blocking his close range effort before Mathijsen fired the follow-up straight at Sanogo, who did the Hertha goalkeeper a favour by standing in the way of the goalbound shot.
The curse which had hung over Doll remained for Stevens as Mineiro scored on his debut with a fine strike from 25-yards out in stoppage time, earning the home side all three points and leaving Hamburg rooted to the bottom of the table.