Hoffenheim will not progress from the UEFA Europa League group stage after they lost to a clinical Braga side in Portugal.
Braga 3-1 Hoffenheim
Goals: 1-0 Marcelo Goiano (1’), 1-1 Mark Uth (74’), 2-1 Fransergio (81’) 3-1 Fransergio (90+3’)
The visitors were hoping to get their first away win in European competition, but they were caught cold when Braga hit the front inside 45 seconds. Joao Carlos got in down the left and when his low cutback was partially cleared, Braga skipper Marceloa Goiano squeezed a shot from the edge of the box past a crowd of bodies and into the net. Hoffenheim probed for a way back before the break, but both sides were reduced to trying their luck from distance.
Julian Nagelsmann sent on Serge Gnabry at half-time and within eight minutes the former Werder Bremen attacker had a golden chance to level. He fired wide from the edge of the six-yard box, however, and fellow substitute Mark Uth could not beat Braga keeper Matheus in a one-on-one on the hour. Another shot from Uth almost squirmed under the keeper in wet conditions before he stabbed home from a perfectly flighted Kerem Demirbay free-kick. It looked like there could be only one winner at that stage, but instead Fransergio finished off a lethal Braga counter attack with nine minutes to go before scoring a stunning third from distance in injury-time. Adam Szalai then saw red for Hoffenheim as their chances of qualifying for the last 32 evaporated.
Braga: Matheus - Marcelo Goiano (c), Ricardo Ferreira, Raul Silva, Jefferson - Fransergio, Danilo, Vukcevic - Ricardo Esgaio, Paulinho (Sousa 71'), Joao Carlos (Martins 77')
Absentees: Marafona (knee), Rosic (broken collarbone), Mauro (knee ligaments)
Coach: Abel Ferreira
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Nordtveit (Gnabry 46'), Posch, Vogt (c) - Zuber (Szalai 66'), Demirbay, Grillitsch, Geiger (Uth 52'), Schulz - Amiri - Kramaric
Absentees: Wagner (virus), Hübner (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
- Braga came out on top the last time these two teams met in September, recovering from Sandro Wagner’s early opener to win 2-1.
- Nagelsmann’s side secured their first ever European victory on Matchday 3, beating Basaksehir 3-1 at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
- Hoffenheim have scored in all seven of their European games so far this season.
- The Bundesliga outfit have won just once in their last six Bundesliga games, and needed a late Mark Uth goal to avoid defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
- Braga’s last two home fixtures against German opposition (0-1 vs. Werder Bremen in February 2008 and 2-3 vs. Wolfsburg nine months later) both ended in defeat.