Report: Brann 0-1 Hamburg

Vincent Kompany's second-half strike earned Hamburg three points from their UEFA Cup Group D opener and dampened the title celebrations of newly-crowned Norwegian champions SK Brann.

Vincent Kompany's second-half strike earned Hamburg three points from their UEFA Cup Group D opener and dampened the title celebrations of newly-crowned Norwegian champions SK Brann.

The Belgium defender slotted home just after the hour mark to secure a well-deserved victory for the German outfit in Bergen.

Brann clinched their first Norwegian Tippeligaen in 44 years on Monday without even playing a match after a 2-1 loss to Viking ended Stabaek's hopes of catching them.

And despite Brann head coach Mons Ivar Mjelde insisting beforehand that his side would wait to celebrate their first title in 44 years until after this clash, Hakon Opdal was the busier of the two goalkeepers.

He caught a right-footed free-kick from Piotr Trochowski in the seventh minute and a long-range shot from Mohamed Zidan a quarter of an hour later before pulling off a brilliant save to again deny Trochowski from just outside the penalty area in the 27th minute.

The Bundesliga outfit continued to press for the opener, with Zidan forcing another save out of Opdal from 12 yards and David Jarolim seeing a left-footed effort blocked by Olafur Orn Bjarnason around the half-hour mark.

Ivica Olic tried his luck for the visitors with a left-footed strike in first-half injury time, but again Opdal was equal to it and the sides went in at half-time level.

Brann's first shot arrived in the fourth minute of the second half, but Thorstein Helstad's blast was too high to trouble Frank Rost.

Kompany - twice - and Trochowski then also skied attempts at the other end as Huub Stevens' side struggled to break the deadlock.

The breakthrough finally arrived in the 62nd minute when Kompany found the bottom-left corner with a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area.

Brann hardly threatened to restore parity, Petter Vaagan Moen's long-range effort never looking likely to test Rost as it flew over the crossbar in the 68th minute.

Opdal had to be on his guard to keep his side in contention as Jarolim and Guy Demel looked to double Hamburg's advantage from distance.

Helstad again fired over on a rare foray forward by Brann shortly afterwards,

Olic had one last chance to stretch Hamburg's lead in the final minute but was denied by Opdal, although it did not matter with the points already in the bag.
Source PRESS ASSOCIATION