NUREMBERG, May 12 (Bundesliga) - Nurnberg's hopes of a UEFA Cup place were dealt a massive blow after they were beaten by Hamburg at the EasyCredit Stadion.
Goals at the end of the first-half from Rafael van der Vaart and David Jarolim were enough to condemn Nurnberg to a defeat which leaves them three points adrift of Bayer Leverkusen in the final UEFA Cup spot with one game remaining.
The home side never really got going and Hamburg seized the initiative quickly in the first half.
In the 10th minute Van der Vaart put a 20-yard effort just over the bar and just on the half hour mark, he crossed for Guy Demel who failed to make contact with the ball from close range.
Nurnberg were unable to cope with Van der Vaart and he made them pay after 39 minutes with a fantastic free-kick from 25 yards.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 when Jarolim got on the end of Ivica Olic's cross and fired the ball through Nurnberg goalkeeper Raphael Schafer's legs.
Leandro Glauber might have brought Nurnberg back into the game on the stroke of half-time but he planted a header straight at Frank Rost when he should have done better.
Nurnberg were made to rue that miss as Hamburg completely dominated the second half, with Van der Vaart instrumental once more.
In the 67th minute, he met Olic's cross but put his shot narrowly past the post.
Demel missed another chance to kill the game off with 15 minutes left, but Hamburg held on for the win to move up to ninth.