Joshua Brenet, Pavel Kaderabek and Ishak Belfodil struck for Hoffenheim, drowning out Niclas Füllkrug’s penalty for the hosts, as Julian Nagelsmann’s men beat Hannover 3-1 at their HDI Arena on Tuesday evening.
Hannover 1-3 Hoffenheim
Goals: 0-1 Brenet (20’), 0-2 Kaderabek (49’), 1-2 Füllkrug (pen. 55’), 1-3 Belfodil (90+3')
Hannover started on the front foot and could have taken the lead early on when Linton Maina’s corner found its way to an unmarked Waldemar Anton at the back post, but the big centre-back miscued his chance. That profligacy was punished midway through the half, with Joelinton feeding the ball through to Brenet, who fired his second Hoffenheim goal low past Michael Esser. Brenet – signed in the summer from PSV Eindhoven – could have doubled his and the Sinsheimers' tally towards the end of the half, but his shot deflected wide for a corner.
The second half was less than five minutes old when Hoffenheim did make it 2-0, Kaderabek cutting in from the right flank and unleashing an unstoppable effort into the far top corner on his allegedly weaker left foot. Hannover pulled one back through Füllkrug, who dusted himself down after being fouled in the box before sending Gregor Kobel the wrong way from the spot. Füllkrug blazed another chance high and wide, before having a fine diving header ruled out for offside, and Hoffenheim added insult to injury, with second-half substitute Belfodil making it 3-1 on the counter with the final kick of the game.
Hannover: Esser – Sorg, Anton (c), Wimmer, Ostrzolek – Schwegler (Weydandt 73'), Bakalorz (Asano 65’), Walace – Bebou, Füllkrug, Maina (Fossum 78')
Unused subs: Tschauner, Elez, Korb, Wood
Absentees: Albornoz (suspended), Hübers, Prib (both knee)
Coach: Andre Breitenreiter
Hoffenheim: Kobel – Bicakcic, Vogt (c), Akpoguma – Kaderabek, Bittencourt (Kramaric 65’), Grillitsch, Nelson (Zuber 46’), Brenet – Joelinton (Belfodil 76'), Szalai
Unused subs: Stolz, Pires-Rodrigues, Grifo, Posch
Absentees: Adams (ankle), Amiri (foot), Hübner (concussion), Geiger (thigh), Amiri (foot)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann