MONCHENGLADBACH, April 13 (Bundesliga) - A last-minute goal by Hamburg substitute Paolo Guerrero gave the north Germany side a 1-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday night.
The result at the Borussia Park Stadium practically condemns the Foals to relegation to the second division with five games of the season remaining.
In a tight game, a draw was the likely outcome until the Peruvian struck just seconds after coming on, and just seconds into stoppage time.
Gladbach knew they needed to pick up at least a point against fellow strugglers Hamburg.
And they made a bright start, with Marcell Jansen in particular shining on the left wing.
He provided the first chance of the game for Federico Insua, who was beaten to the Germany international's cross by a Hamburg defender.
The same pair combined again just before half-time with Insua striking his shot against the crossbar and Peer Kluge failed to convert the ball as it rebounded out.
Both sides were equally cautious at the start of the second half and a share of the spoils seemed the only logical outcome until the game burst into life in the final 10 minutes.
Again, it was the home side who went closest with substitute Oliver Neuville heading Jansen's cross straight at Frank Rost and Eugen Polanski almost reaching Michael Delura's pull-back.
Hamburg had their best chances of the game in the last five minutes when Rafael van der Vaart shot just wide and had another effort tipped round the post by Kasey Keller.
Then up stepped Guerrero and his first and second touches of the game were all that were required to give Hamburg the three points.
He received the ball in the middle and distributed it to Mehdi Mahdavikia on his right.
The Iranian returned the ball into the centre where the Peruvian sidefooted it past Keller from close range.
Referee Markus Merk soon blew the full-time whistle, condemning Gladbach to their 16th defeat of the season and, with at least six points to make up between now and the end of the season, they are close to being confirmed as the first team to go down from the Bundesliga this season.
Hamburg rise to seventh and are now five points clear of the bottom three.