Andrej Kramaric’s hat-trick ensured Hoffenheim got off to a winning start under Sebastian Hoeneß with a 3-2 triumph in Cologne.
Cologne 2-3 Hoffenheim
Goals: 0-1 Kramaric (4’), 1-1 Andersson (22’), 1-2 Kramaric (pen. 45’+3), 2-2 Drexler (86'), 2-3 Kramaric (90'+2)
Having failed to win any of their 10 Bundesliga games following last season’s restart, Cologne were desperate to wipe the slate clean in their opening match of 2020/21. However, they found themselves a goal down inside four minutes at the RheinEnergieStadion when captain Jonas Hector’s lax pass back was intercepted by Kramaric, who nutmegged the stranded Timo Horn and rolled home. Hoffenheim continued to push on the front foot, but Horn – who has seen off competition from FIFA World Cup winner Ron-Robert Zieler to retain his No.1 status – twice produced good saves to deny Kramaric again and then Pavel Kaderabek. The Billy Goats suddenly burst into life and were immediately rewarded when Sebastian Andersson, who signed from Union Berlin just four days ago, headed in a Jan Thielmann cross. The advantage swung back the way of TSG, however, when Christoph Baumgartner was taken down in the box by Rafael Czichos. A penalty was awarded after a VAR review and confidently converted by Kramaric shortly before the break.
Cologne were close to an immediate reply at the start of the second half but Andersson, this time with his foot, was denied from point-blank range by Baumann. The hosts remained the most likely as they pushed for a second equaliser but failed to create any clear-cut chances. It took Hoffenheim until almost the 70th minute to register their first attempt of the second period when Dennis Geiger forced a save out of Horn. Another new signing from Berlin, Ondrej Duda tested Baumann late on with a curling effort that could only be parried into the path of Dominick Drexler, but the Cologne sub put his rebound into the side netting. He made amends five minutes from time, though, after Andersson’s header from a free-kick had come back off the post and provided a simple tap-in. It was Kramaric, though, who had the final say as he completed his hat-trick in injury time after deceiving a number of Cologne defenders. It leaves Effzeh without a league win since the start of March, while UEFA Europa League qualifiers Hoffenheim get new boss Hoeneß’s reign off to a successful start in his first Bundesliga game as a coach.
- Kramaric has scored each of Hoffenheim’s last nine goals in all competitions, scoring 10 in the last four.
- The Croatian has now scored back-to-back hat-tricks in the Bundesliga.
- Andersson is the 24th player to score on his Bundesliga debut for Cologne, but the first since Philipp Hosiner in 2015.
- Hoeneß is the first Hoffenheim coach to win his first Bundesliga game in charge since Markus Gisdol - the current Cologne boss - against Düsseldorf in April 2013 (3-0).
- The Billy Goats have scored in each of their last 21 Bundesliga matches, which is the longest current run in the league. It’s the club’s longest streak since going 22 games between November 1986 and August 1987.
- However, only Schalke (13 games) are on a longer wait for a clean sheet in the Bundesliga than Cologne (12).
Watch: Andrej Kramaric says Hoffenheim have to improve against Bayern on Matchday 2
Cologne: T. Horn – Höger (Ehizibue 46’), Bornauw, Czichos, J. Horn - Skhiri (Sörsensen 85’), Hector (c) - Rexhbecaj (Drexler 71’), Duda (Katterbach 88’), Thielmann (Özcan 71’) – Andersson
Unused subs: Zieler, Mere, Lemperle
Out: Jakobs (muscular), Kainz (knee), Schmitz (ankle), Modeste (knee)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Adams, Vogt, Bicakcic - Akpoguma (Brenet 90'+5), Samassekou (Gacinovic 76’), Geiger (Belfodil 76’), Kaderabek - Baumgartner – Dabbur (Bebou 62’), Kramaric
Unused subs: Pentke, Bruun Larsen, Adamyan, Bogarde, Klauss
Out: Hübner (ankle), Nordtveit (foot), Stafylidis (shoulder)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß