TSG 1899 Hoffenheim moved out of the bottom three for the first time since Matchday 8 as Kevin Volland's last-gasp equaliser rescued them a share of the spoil in a 1-1 draw with 1. FC Köln.
Goals: 0-1 Zoller (69'), 1-1 Volland (90+1')
With none of their fellow relegation-threatened sides picking up three points, Hoffenheim started brightly with Andrej Kramaric spurning the first real sight of goal shortly before the quarter-hour mark. However, it was Köln who began turning the screw as the half wore on and, though the hosts did well to absorb the pressure, they were lucky not to fall behind before the break when Anthony Modeste fired wide with only Oliver Baumann to beat.
There was a greater sense of urgency in Hoffenheim's performance after the restart, but as was the case in the first half, they struggled to produce the final ball to unlock Köln's disciplined backline, with only Volland going close with a deflected effort. Instead, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock minutes later with their first shot on goal in the second half, Simon Zoller sweeping home Jonas Hector's low cross from eight yards. However, Volland provided the late heroics, squeezing in the rebound after Kramaric's initial effort was saved by Horn to ensure the spoils were shared.
Man of the match
Rightly labelled one of Hoffenheim's potential saviours in the relegation battle, Volland put a frustrating afternoon behind him by stepping up when it mattered most for his side. The German international had the most shots (four) of any player on the pitch, but it was the last one that made the difference.
With SV Darmstadt 98, SV Werder Bremen, FC Augsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover 96 all dropping points on Saturday, Hoffenheim may also consider this game as a whole as a missed opportunity, and hope that the result isn't one they rue come the season's conclusion.
- Hoffenheim have picked up as many points under Julian Nagelsmann (14) as they did in their previous 20 games this season.
- Hoffenheim dropped points on home soil for the first time under Nagelsmann.
- Zoller scored with his first shot on goal of the game.
- Hoffenheim have failed to win any of their six games played on a Sunday this term.
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Strobl, Bicakcic, Süle – Kaderabek (Schmid 79'), Rudy (c), Amiri (Ochs 57'), Toljan – Uth (Vargas 57'), Volland – Kramaric
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Köln: Horn - Risse, Maroh, Heintz, Hector - Lehmann (c) – Zoller (Klütner 76'), Vogt (Hartel 86'), Bittencourt (Olkowski 90'), Gerhardt – Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger