Substitute Kevin Akpoguma scored an added-time equaliser to earn Hoffenheim a 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Hoffenheim began the game like a team flying high in fourth – and Gladbach, conversely, like a team who’d lost their last four – as they peppered Yann Sommer’s goal. The Switzerland goalkeeper was forced into good stops several times, with Georginio Rutter firing off four of the hosts’ seven shots in the opening half hour. Pavel Kaderabek was also lively in attack on his first start in two months, testing Sommer at his near post and seeing a powerful effort blocked by the chest of Matthias Ginter just in front of goal. Borussia’s only chance of note by that stage had come from Lars Stindl, but the captain failed to get any power behind his shot when clean through. Gladbach then suddenly flipped a switch and went on the attack. Patrick Herrmann flashed an effort across goal before Breel Embolo burst through the centre but was denied one-on-one by Oliver Baumann. Marcus Thuram then had his goal-bound rebound deflected. Embolo made no mistake on 35 minutes, though, when Herrmann’s corner was inadvertently flicked on by the head of Munas Dabbur and the Switzerland striker tapped in unmarked.
The second half started in a similar pattern to the first, with Hoffenheim on the front foot against a deep-sitting Gladbach. Dennis Geiger fizzed an effort wide and substitute Ihlas Bebou – fresh from signing a new contract – was blocked by Joe Scally. Sommer was once again called upon to rescue the Foals from Rutter, flinging himself to his left to turn a header around the post. The Sinsheimers then came even closer when Andrej Kramaric struck the crossbar from close range after a knockdown in the box. The offside flag meant it wouldn’t have counted anyway. TSG continued to throw everything forward, finally making the breakthrough in stoppage time when Akpoguma popped up free in front of goal to turn in Bebou's header back into the mixer. It means Hoffenheim will at least go into the Rückrunde no lower than fifth and on a six-match unbeaten run. Gladbach end 2021 without a win in five.
- Embolo’s goal was just his second of the Bundesliga campaign. His first also came away from home and from a set piece, at Wolfsburg on Matchday 7.
- Gladbach have scored three of their last four goals from dead balls.
- Herrmann delivered a corner leading to a goal for the first time in the Bundesliga.
- Hoffenheim's goal was their seventh from a substitute this season - a league high.
- It was also their 12th in the final 15 minutes of games - also a league high.
- Even without Kramaric’s effort against the bar not counting because of offside, Hoffenheim have struck the woodwork a league-high 10 times this season.
Watch: Gladbach's Joe Scally - 'We'll keep fighting'
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) – Posch, Grillitsch, Vogt – Kaderabek (Akpoguma 87’), Geiger, Stiller (Baumgartner 62’), Raum –Kramaric – Dabbur (Bebou 46’), Rutter
Unused subs: Pentke, Nordtveit, Rudy, Samassekou, Hübner, Richards
Out: Bicakcic (knee), Bruun Larsen (muscular), John (ill), Skov (thigh)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
Gladbach: Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Bensebaini, Scally – Kramer, Zakaria – Herrmann, Stindl (c), Thuram (Netz 73’) – Embolo (Plea 88’)
Unused subs: Sippel, Wolf, Plea, Benes, Müsel, Neuhaus, Noß, Bennetts
Out: Beyer (thigh), Elvedi (ill), Hofmann (knee), Jantschke (match fitness), Kone (suspended)
Coach: Adi Hütter
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