High-flying TSG 1899 Hoffenheim were handed a stern test by Hamburger SV, who battled their hosts to a hard-fought 2-2 draw at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar Arena on Sunday.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-2 Hamburger SV
Goals: 0-1 Kostic (28’), 1-1 Wagner (45’), 2-1 Zuber (49’), 2-2 Müller (61’)
Hoffenheim managed to put the visitors on the back foot from the outset, dominating the ball and keeping the brunt of the action deep in Hamburg’s end. Andrej Kramaric and Pavel Kaderabek each had chances to put the Sinsheim in front, but couldn’t convert - missed chances that would prove costly. Hamburg began to find their legs midway through the half, and Filip Kostic put them in front just inside the half-hour after a solo run inside from the left wing. Sandro Wagner levelled the match just before the interval, though, when he jabbed in a corner kick from close range.
The home side started the second half just as strongly as they’d finished the first. Four minutes after the restart, Kaderabek picked out Steven Zuber with a pinpoint cross from the right wing - one to which the Swiss international applied an emphatic one-touch finish. HSV weren’t ready to give up however - just after the hour mark they took advantage of a midfield giveaway to launch a quick counter-attack which Nicolai Müller capped off. Wanger had a golden chance to tip the balance the hosts’ way in injury time, but pushed his shot just wide.
With this draw, Hoffenheim are unbeaten through 11 Bundesliga matchdays for the first time in their history. Coach Julian Nagelsmann has now led them to their best start in any division. Relegation fodder when the then-28-year-old took over in February, European football remains the target for the Bundesliga’s youngest ever coach in 2016/17, despite Müller’s frustrating equaliser here.
- Hoffenheim’s draw snaps a three-game home winning streak.Kostic’s 28th minute goal was his first for Hamburg, and first Bundesliga goal since March.Markus Gisdol is the first Hamburg coach to have failed to win any of his first six games in charge.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Süle, Vogt (Bicakcic 22’), Hübner - Rudy (c) - Kaderabek, Amiri, Demirbay (Rupp 69’), Zuber - Wagner, Kramaric (Vargas 78’)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Hamburg: Mathenia - Diekmeier, Djourou, Douglas, Ostrzolek - Sakai (c), Jung - Müller (Porath 90+5’), Holtby, Kostic (Hunt 90+2’) - Gregoritsch (Lasogga 80’)
Coach: Markus Gisdol