Hoffenheim's European hopes take a dent following scoreless draw with rock-bottom Greuther Fürth
Hoffenheim's European hopes took a major dent following a 0-0 draw with rock-bottom Greuther Fürth, who staved off relegation for at least one more week.
After three losses on the bounce, Hoffenheim were looking to return to winning ways as they sought to keep up the chase for European qualification for next season. But while they boasted many of the better chances against Greuther Fürth, they were unable to find the breakthrough in a quiet opening 45 minutes. Andrej Kramaric had a shot well-saved by Andreas Linde after some lovely footwork from the Croatian in the build-up. It was Kramaric who looked the most threatening for the home side, with another piercing shot deflecting just wide of Linde’s net and out for a corner.
By the second period, Fürth remained on the back foot against Hoffenheim’s danger in the counter-attack and found opportunities in the box hard to find. However, against the run of play, they produced the best chance of the game just before the midway point of the second half. Branimir Hrgota and Jetro Willems combined on the left-hand side to allow the space for Julian Green to send a searching effort on target – only for Oliver Baumann to stretch and push the shot from the American around the post. Georginio Rutter joined the action for Hoffenheim and immediately sent a powerful shot straight into the arms of Linde. Kramaric again forced a good save from the Fürth keeper whilst continuing to threaten to break the deadlock. Bruun Larsen sent a header late on just wide as the game remained goalless.
- Havard Nielsen was substituted off in the ninth minute without having had a single touch of the ball.
- Hoffenheim have never lost a Bundesliga game against the team bottom of the table (W7, D4).
- This was only the second time this season that Hoffenheim failed to find the net at home, following a 2-0 defeat against Mainz on Matchday 4.
- This was also the first goalless draw between these sides, in their 10th competitive meeting.
- Despite their difficulties earlier on the season, Fürth have kept a clean sheet on three occasions over their last four games.
- Richards has made 13 appearances for Bayern (first team, reserves and U19s) alongside Malik Tillman, the brother of Fürth’s US-eligible Timothy.
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) – Posch (Nordtveit 50’), Vogt, Richards (Akpoguma 45’)- Kaderabek (Bruun Larsen 71’), Samassekou, Baumgartner, Raum (Skov 87’) - Kramaric - Bebou, Dabbur (Rutter 71’)
Subs not used: Philipp, Adams, Stiller, Rudy
Out: Bicakcic (knee), Geiger (not included), Grillitsch (muscular), Hübner (back), John (shoulder)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
Fürth: Linde – Bauer (Willems 45’), Griesbeck, Viergever, Itter – Raschl - Tillman; Nielsen (Abiama 11’, Ngankam 76’), Green (Jung 90’) – Leweling, Hrgota (c)
Subs not used: Funk, Burchert, Asta, Fobassam Nawe, Barry
Out: Kehr (knee), Christiansen (not included), Dudziak (Achilles), Meyerhöfer (ankle), Pululu (suspended), Seguin (calf), Funk (knee)
Coach: Stefan Leitl
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