Huub Stevens' first game in charge of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim ended in a stalemate with 1. FC Köln at the RheinEnergieSTADION.
While the pre-match focus centred on new Hoffenheim coach Stevens, it was the hosts who made a more enterprising start. Kazuki Nagasawa, on his first start of the season, twice came close in the opening 15 minutes, although Köln's bright start faded thereafter as the visitors began to gain a foothold. Jonathan Schmid's creativity was influential and, with the Frenchman heavily involved, Eduardo Vargas spurned a pair of gilt-edged chances to leave the sides level at the break.
Restricted to no shots since the quarter-hour mark, the Billy Goats burst out of the blocks at the start of the second period. Anthony Modeste suddenly looked lively, although failed to take two good chances within ten minutes of the restart, while his strike-partner Philipp Hosiner shot wide. The hosts upping the ante, Modeste tested Oliver Baumann with a powerful header, while Schmid's 75th-minute free-kick had Timo Horn briefly worried at the other end. As it was, however, defences dominated the closing stages leaving both sides to settle for a point.
MAN OF THE MATCH
The half-time introduction of Leonardo Bittencourt was crucial in Köln dominating the second period and coming closest to taking three points. The Germany U21 international was a constant outlet on the left and his arrival provided Modeste and Hosiner with plenty of chances.
While the point puts an end to both sides' losing runs, the lack of chances will worry both Peter Stöger and Stevens. Modeste spurned several good opportunities for the hosts, while Chile international Vargas should also have done better at the end of the first half.
- Huub Stevens made the 1,000th substitution of his Bundesliga career.
- Köln have now failed to score in their last four Bundesliga games.
- With seven attempts, Modeste enjoyed over three times as many shots as any other player.
Köln: Horn – Risse, Sörensen (Maroh, 58’), Heintz, Hector - Lehmann, Vogt - Osako, Nagasawa (Bittencourt, 46’) - Hosiner, Modeste
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Kaderabek (Toljan, 60’), Strobl, Süle, Kim - Rudy, Schwegler, Polanski - Uth (Kuranyi, 74’), Vargas (Amri 90'), Schmid