Hack scored early but his side had been poor until Asger Sörensen added a second and the youngster added the third.
Both struck again in the second half before substitute Adam Zreľák finished the rout to lift Nürnberg back up to 15th in the 2. Bundesliga table.
Hack gives life to Nürnberg, puts Wiesbaden on life support
Nürnberg coach Jens Keller had said before the game that Wiesbaden would be all but down if they lost this game. That might not be strictly true but the manner of this defeat may prove to be a fatal blow. Despite going behind early, they were the better team for the first 35 minutes or so and it was only the second and third goals that changed the direction of the game.
For once, Keller had got his team right. Johannes Geis and Nikola Dovedan, the latter of whom hadn’t even been in the squad for the derby defeat to SpVgg
Greuther Fürth at the weekend, have been disappointing recently but both played key roles here. The fact that Hack, who has been one of the few bright spots for Der Club this season, was able to shake off a knock to start here was also a blessing.
The first goal was a classy finish from the edge of the box, but he lucked out with his second, which came off Wiesbaden goalkeeper Heinz Lindner but rebounded across the line before anyone else could get to the ball. His third came when the hosts were already out for the count, an easy tap in provided to him by Geis.
With games against a faltering VfB Stuttgart and Holstein Kiel, who have little to play for, to come, Nürnberg now have the perfect chance to avoid a shock relegation to the 3. Liga. This defeat could have crushed Wiesbaden’s spirit ahead of their last two matches.
Wiesbaden dominate but are blown away
The defeat against Fürth and Karlsruher SC’s subsequent win a day later left Nürnberg, relegated from the Bundesliga just last season, in the bottom three with just three games to go. Keller made five changes, with Oliver Sorg, Sörensen and Michael Frey also coming in. There was just one change for Wiesbaden – the captain Sebastian Mrowca returned for the suspended Paterson Chato.
Defeat here would have seen Wiesbaden, winners against Holstein Kiel on Saturday, leapfrog Der Club, but Keller’s side were given the perfect start by Hack. A good move passed through several players before Frey found Hack. There was enough of a gap in the box for him to strike through.
The goal though was a rare high point in the early stages. Stefan Aigner had already had a headed chance saved by Christian Mathenia and the veteran winger was noticeably potent in the first half. He very quickly forced another, more dramatic save from the Nürnberg goalkeeper, who later also had to put over a long-range Jeremias Lorch shot. Gökhan Gül headed wide as well before just missing a connection on a Manuel Schäffler header.
Nürnberg had little to offer in return, a Frey shot that went wide summing up their attacking efforts. Yet, somehow, they were soon three up. The second came from a Geis corner, which was headed in by Sörensen. Just a few minutes later, Dovedan played Hack through, and although Heinz Lindner blocked the effort, the rebound still bounced in. It could have been four, if Frey hadn’t back-heeled what should have been an easy finish wide.
Wiesbaden torn apart
Rüdiger Rehm switched to 4-4-2 for the hosts at the break but if anything it made them less potent than they had been in the first half. Nürnberg looked more comfortable now, and were denied a fourth when Lindner made a double save from Hack and Dovedan. The reprieve was only temporary though. Again from a corner, Geis found Sörensen, and although his initial defender came off a defender, he was able to squeeze the ball in on the rebound.
It would soon get worse. Hanno Behrens received a ball from Frey, picking out Geis in the box. He teed it up for Hack, and with Lindner essentially beaten by the pass, Hack tapped home to complete his hat-trick. Wiesbaden were truly deflated now.
After that, Keller understandably gave his more goal-shy attackers some game time in what was little more than a training exercise by this point. Felix Lohkemper hit the side netting, Fabian Schleusener had an effort saved by Lindner, but in between Zreľák was able to finally hit his first goal of the season, taking control of a long ball into the box and having only Lindner to beat, which is what he did.
The fact that the referee didn’t even wait for the clock to reach 90 minutes to blow up for full-time said it all. Nürnberg had breathed new life into the battle against relegation, but the grim reaper will be making plans to a visit to Wiesbaden. Sunday could be their last chance of salvation.
Wiesbaden: Lindner; Mockenhaupt, Gül, Röcker (Tietz HT); Mrowca (Medić 75‘), Lorch (Ajani 72‘), Schwede; Aigner (Kuhn 72‘), Titsch Rivero, Kyereh (Niemeyer 62‘); Schäffler.
Nürnberg: Mathenia; Sorg (Valentini 52‘), Sörensen, Magreitter, Handwerker; Erras (Schleusener 71‘), Geis, Behrens (Cerin 71‘); Dovedan (Lohkemper 71‘), Frey, Hack (Zreľák 77‘).
Goals: Hack (7‘, 41‘, 65‘), Sörensen (38‘, 58‘), Zreľák (83‘).
Referee: Daniel Schlager.
Elsewhere on Tuesday
Arminia Bielefeld’s promotion to the Bundesliga is confirmed after Hamburger SV could only draw 1-1 with VfL Osnabrück, who remain above Nürnberg on goal difference. Martin Harnik gave the hosts the lead, only for Moritz Heyer to equalise in the second half.