BERLIN, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Raffael's second-half double strike helped Borussia Monchengladbach to overcome Hamburg 3-1 in the opener of the 17th round in Bundesliga on Friday.
After three winless games in row, the "Foals" staged an offensively minded performance to overpower Hamburg, who restored parity after the restart before Raffael's late brace smoothed the way for the 3-1 victory.
Dieter Hecking's men set the tone as youngster Reece Oxford rattled the crossbar with only six minutes into the game. It took the hosts another three minutes before Thorgan Hazard broke the deadlock after capitalizing on a through ball from Raffael.
However, with the narrow lead Monchengladbach surprisingly ceased their offensive actions, allowing Hamburg to produce two promising chances through Mergim Mavraj and Andre Hahn.
Monchengladbach remained dangerous though, as Michael Curisance hit Hamburg's woodwork from 20 meters. Hamburg's defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos defused another Monchengladbach opportunity with a fine tackle to Patrick Herrmann before the break.
After the restart, Monchengladbach wasted another chance as Hamburg's goalkeeper Christian Mathenia denied Hazard his second on of the night following a one-on-one.
Hamburg punished the host's wastefulness in the 53rd minute. The visitors forced a turnover in the midfield, allowing Aaron Hunt to set up for Andre Hahn, who made no mistake to restore parity against his former club.
The equalizer was a wakening call for the "Foals", who wrestled back their lead when Raffael drilled the ball from 15 meters into the top left corner in the 74th minute.
The Brazilian wasn't done with the scoring as he tapped home his brace to put the result beyond doubt after a square pass from Hazard five minutes later.
With the victory, Monchengladbach jumped on the 4th place for now meanwhile Hamburg continue on the 15th position of the table.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Saturday: newly promoted Stuttgart take on front-runners Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt host runner-up Schalke, Borussia Dortmund host Hoffenheim, Werder Bremen see Mainz, Augsburg encounter Freiburg and last placed Cologne clash with Wolfsburg.