TSG 1899 Hoffenheim missed a jump to the top of the Bundesliga table and left important points in front of their fans. Coach Sebastian Hoeness’s side did not get past 2:2 (2:1) against European star 1. FC Union Berlin on Sunday despite the lead. Kevin Akpogoma (14th minute) and Jakob Braun Larsen (30) scored the hosts’ goals in front of 8,014 spectators, and Nico Geiselmann (10) scored for Lyon in the lead, and Tayo Owenyi (47) to equalize the score later. Both teams remain undefeated in the current competitive season.
After their last 4-0 victory (Hoffenheim in Augsburg, Union in Kuopio), the teams entered the match with a great deal of self-confidence. In the Sinsheim drizzle, both teams acted bravely and aggressively, and the goal-zone scenes were not long in coming. Outfield player Gesselmann, who moved to coach Urs Fischer’s side for Poland’s European Championship co-player Timothy Buchackz, finished off a freestyler after rebounding in the penalty area and switched to the lead. TSG couldn’t have been shocked when fans returned to the arena, which was still sparsely attended. Just three minutes later, he sent midfielder Angelo Stiller, who was a favourite over Dennis Geiger, exactly from the right into the middle, where Akpoguma only had to header.
At Union and TSG, the processes are well established, and the system and automation are working
Intelligent and quick, the Bundesliga made strong individual moves right from the start. Al-Ittihad striker Max Cruz first hit the free kick at the crossbar (17), and shortly thereafter played hard with his attacking partner Aouni, who failed when Oliver Baumann rushed in. Andreas Loth was also able to excel in the capital’s goal, blocking a powerful shot from Bron Larsen (24).
Contrary to the current trend of changing coaches, which looked as if half of the league participated in the summer, Hoffenheim and Union retained their coaches in the summer. This has paid off over the course of the season so far: the processes are well established, the system and mechanisms are working. TSG showed this for the first time on Sunday. With director Andrej Kramaric and wingers Bron Larsen and Christoph Baumgartner quickly climbing to the top, Hoeness-Elf confirmed the strong impression of the victory in Augsburg. This was perfect to see Hoffenheim’s second goal.
World Cup runner-up Kramaric, who had provided three assists in the previous week, perfectly reached Bron Larsen, who only had to shoot past Loth to make it 2-1. For Kramaric, this was the seventh consecutive Bundesliga game in which he participated with at least one goal. During the break, it rained heavily in Sinsheim – and Union came back more alert on the field. The omnipresent Kruse began another attack, and his attacking partner Awoniyi turned to equalize 2-2 in the sidelines. As a result, Kruse had the winning goal on his feet, but Bowman, repeatedly responding forcefully, kept the tie in favor of TSG. In the last stage, Berlin player Marvin Friedrich saw a yellow and red card (90 + 4).