Van der Vaart starts second Bundesliga life with loss
Rafael van der Vaart returned to the Bundesliga with a loss
FRANKFURT, Germany ● Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart lost on his first appearance back in the Bundesliga with Hamburg on Sunday as his 10-man team went down 3-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt.
The three points put Frankfurt second in the table behind leaders Bayern Munich, but having returned to Hamburg from Tottenham Hotspur last month, this was not the return Van der Vaart wanted.
Frankfurt raced into a 2-0 lead after only 18 minutes as first Japan midfielder Takashi Inui, then Canadian striker Olivier Occean scored at the Frankfurter Arena.
Hamburg pulled a goal back through defender Heiko Westermann, but the guests were reduced to 10 men when Petr Jiracek was shown a straight red two minutes into added time at the end of the first-half for a heavy challenge on Brazilian defender Anderson.
Frankfurt pulled further ahead when Stefan Aigner made it 3-1 with 52 minutes played before Van der Vaart set up South Korea’s Son Heung-Min to score on 63 minutes.
Earlier, Hoffenheim crashed to their third league defeat of the season despite coming from behind twice in losing 5-3 at Freiburg with the hosts scoring twice in a dramatic last 10 minutes.
Midfielder Max Kruse was Freiburg’s star after scoring his team’s second goal, then creating two more to pile more pressure on Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel whose team are rock bottom of the Bundesliga.
Hoffenheim took the lead when French defender Matthieu Delpierre scored after two minutes, but goals by Karim Guede and Kruse put the hosts ahead with 27 minutes gone.
Hoffenheim equalised after the break when Japanese midfielder Takashi Usami set up Boris Vukcevic to make it 2-2 on 57 minutes.