Draw with plenty of goals: Hoffenheim does not jump to the top

A draw with plenty of goals
Hoffenheim does not jump to the top

Union Berlin and TSG Hoffenheim each win their last competitive game 4-0. In the encounter there are again four hits – evenly distributed. After half an hour it had looked like a real spectacle.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim missed the leap to the top of the table in the Bundesliga and left important points in front of their own audience. Despite being in the lead, coach Sebastian Hoeneß’s team did not get beyond a 2: 2 (2: 1) against European starter 1. FC Union Berlin. Kevin Akpoguma (14th minute) and Jacob Bruun Larsen (30th) scored the goals for the hosts in front of 8014 spectators, Niko Gießelmann (10th) scored for Union to lead and Taiwo Awoniyi (47th) later to equalize. Both clubs are still undefeated in the current competitive season. In the final phase, Berlin’s Marvin Friedrich saw the yellow-red card (90 + 4).

After their most recent 4-0 victories (Hoffenheim in Augsburg, Union at Kuopio), the teams went into the game with a lot of self-confidence – and you could tell. In the drizzle of Sinsheim, both teams acted bravely and aggressively, the first goal area scenes were not long in coming. Outside player Gießelmann, who rotated into coach Urs Fischer’s team for Poland’s European Championship participant Tymoteusz Puchacz, came to a free end after a ricochet in the penalty area and turned into the lead.

TSG could not be shocked when the fans returned to the arena, which was still rather sparsely attended. Just three minutes later, midfielder Angelo Stiller, who was preferred to Dennis Geiger, served from the right, precisely to the center, where Akpoguma only had to head in. The Bundesliga game, characterized by wit and speed, delivered strong individual actions from the start. Union striker Max Kruse first thundered a free kick to the crossbar (17th), shortly afterwards he played very hard for his attacking partner Awoniyi, who failed when Oliver Baumann rushed out. Andreas Luthe was also able to excel in the goal of the capital city, he parried a powerful shot by Bruun Larsen (24th).

In contrast to the current trend to change coaches, which felt like half the league took part in the summer, Hoffenheim and Union kept their trainers in the summer. This has paid off in the course of the season so far: the processes are well established, the system and automatisms work. TSG first demonstrated this on Sunday. With director Andrej Kramaric and the wing players Bruun Larsen and Christoph Baumgartner it went rapidly to the top, the strong impression of the victory in Augsburg was confirmed by the Hoeneß-Elf. This was ideal to see in front of the second Hoffenheim goal. The World Cup runner-up Kramaric, who delivered three assists the week before, got through perfectly to Bruun Larsen, who only had to shoot past Luthe to make it 2-1. For Kramaric it was the seventh Bundesliga game in a row in which he was involved in at least one goal.

During the half-time break, heavy rain set in in Sinsheim – and Union came back much more alert on the field. The omnipresent Kruse initiated another attack, his strike partner Awoniyi converted to the 2-2 equalizer in the margin. As a result, Kruse even had the winning goal on his feet, but Baumann, who repeatedly reacted strongly, held the draw for TSG.