Berlin - Hertha Berlin and 1899 Hoffenheim ended the weekend just as they had started it - locked together on the same number of points - after playing out a 1-1 draw at the Olympiastadion.

Sami Allagui gave the hosts the lead in the 11th minute, but the league's entertainers Hoffenheim did not disappoint with Eugen Polanski levelling five minutes before the interval. Both sides had chances to win the game, but a draw was a fair reflection of their efforts on a warm, sunny evening in the German capital.

Goals guaranteed


When Hoffenheim are involved, you know a goal is usually just around the corner, and so it proved once again when Berlin took the lead with their first shot of the game. The ball filtered through to Allagui, who picked his spot to the right of Koen Casteels and curled the ball in to perfection. It was the 63rd goal Hoffenheim have conceded this season, ensuring their defence remains the leakiest in the league.

Only FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund had scored more goals than Hoffenheim coming into Matchday 29's final encounter, however, and true to form it wasn't long before Markus Gisdol's men were level as Polanski took a leaf out of Allagui's book by curling an almost identical shot beyond the reach of Thomas Kraft.

Casteels injury, Stolz debut


Hoffenheim were now in their element and a clever pass from Kevin Volland put Roberto Firmino through, but his low shot was saved by Kraft's leg. Hertha showed a rare sign of life when Koen Casteels made two saves to deny Adrian Ramos and then Allagui.

Ramos subsequently stole what would have been a simpler chance from Allagui early in the second half, but Hoffenheim appeared equally keen to attack and seek victory. Their football was flowing and purposeful, albeit for the most part lacking a cutting edge in the final third.

Goalkeepers tested


Kraft was not being tested, but neither was Casteels, who raced out of his area only to be struck in mid-air by Ramos, and his day's work was over with 20 minutes remaining. At the age of 30, Alexander Stolz entered the fray for his Bundesliga debut. He stretched to cover his goal with Petar Pekarik's shot finding only the side-netting, before Volland curled a distance effort over the crossbar.

The game was swinging from one end to the other, with Fabian Johnson coming to Hoffenheim's rescue with a lunging tackle to deny Änis Ben-Hatira a clear sight of goal. An audacious free-kick from over 35 yards tried to catch Stolz out, but the rookie responded well to tip the ball over before Kraft did likewise to deny Volland at the death.

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