Sinsheim - 1899 Hoffenheim were run close, but managed to preserve their unbeaten start to the season courtesy of a narrow 1-0 win over SC Paderborn 07 at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar Arena.
While an entertaining first half failed to produce a break through, with Sebastian Rudy unable to convert an early penalty, Kevin Volland’s 73rd-minute strike, his first in the current campaign, proved the difference between the two sides in an evenly-matched encounter.
As two of the Bundesliga’s entertainers, it came as no surprise that the sides got proceedings off to frantic start with Oliver Baumann tipping a Lukas Rupp effort over and Rudy’s penalty striking the post, all inside the opening five minutes. Keen to atone for the squandered opportunity, Hoffenheim remained the more ambitious outfit, but Volland and Roberto Firmino were both unable to get the better of visiting keeper Lukas Kruse, as the sides entered the dressing room with the encounter still deadlocked.
The introduction of Marvin Ducksch breathed new life into Paderborn’s performance with top goalscorer Elias Kachunga causing Hoffenheim problems. Moritz Stoppelkamp and Volland both rattled the woodwork shortly after the hour mark, but it was the hosts who grabbed the all-important opener, Volland collecting Andreas Beck’s cross to fire home at the front post. A late penalty shout was as close as Paderborn came to an equaliser, allowing Hoffenheim to see out the closing stages with few problems.
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