HERTHA were in the play-off as the third-last Bundesliga finisher after failing to win in their last three games while Hamburg came third in the second tier with five straight wins.
“We saw in the past weeks that something is growing. It was a good first leg,” Hamburg board member for sport Jonas Boldt told Sky TV.
“Now we have a home leg. We are in a comfortable position. We have invested a lot and now we want to clinch matters.”
Hertha defender, Niklas Stark said: “It is only 1-0. Everything is still possible. We wanted to get a result. All that counts now is Monday. We have to stay positive.”
Hertha thought they had taken the lead just before half-time from Ishak Belfodil’s header but he was ruled offside in the build-up by video review.
Instead it was Hamburg who got the breakthrough from Reis which boosted their morale, and they were closer to a second goal than rattled Hertha to an equaliser in the remaining minutes.
Hertha Berlin are tottering on the verge of Bundesliga relegation after a 1-0 home defeat to Hamburger SV in the first leg of their playoff.