Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim are still searching for their first league victories of 2018 after Salomon Kalou’s second-half header earned the Old Lady a 1-1 draw against Julian Nagelsmann’s side.
Hertha 1-1 Hoffenheim
Goals: 0-1 Kramaric (pen. 39’), 1-1 Kalou (58’)
The visitors, who raced into a two-goal lead at Bayern Munich in their last league outing, very nearly broke the deadlock at the Olympiastadion when Andrej Kramaric - making his first league start of the calendar year - volleyed just past the post with six minutes on the clock. Hertha’s Peter Pekarik prodded inches wide after latching onto Davie Selke’s clever flick, before Kramaric opened the scoring from the penalty spot following Niklas Stark’s clumsy tackle on Nico Schulz.
Hertha were fortunate not to fall further behind when Dennis Geiger forced a smart save out of Thomas Kraft within minutes of the restart, but Pal Dardai’s charges were level moments later when Kalou planted an unstoppable header past Oliver Baumann for his eighth league goal of the season. Hoffenheim could have snatched all three points in second-half stoppage time, but Kraft managed to tip Nadiem Amiri’s deflected drive over the crossbar.
- Kramaric scored his first Bundesliga goal since August.Kalou netted his fourth headed goal of the current campaign.Kramaric, Schulz, Kerem Demirbay and Kevin Akpoguma all made their first league starts of 2018. Demirbay was forced off after just 19 minutes with an ankle injury.Hertha midfielder Vladimir Darida made his first Bundesliga start for the club since Matchday 8.This was the first time Nagelsmann made more than four changes to his previous starting XI in 2017/18 (he made five in total against Hertha).
Hertha: Kraft - Pekarik, Stark, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt - Darida, Skjelbred (c) - Esswein (Ibisevic 57’), Lazaro, Kalou – Selke
Unused subs: Klinsmann, Mittelstadt, Covic, Leckie, Lustenberger, Maier
Absentees: Rekik (muscle strain), Kade (ankle), Kurt (fitness), Weiser (muscular), Jarstein (thigh), Schieber (thigh)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Akpoguma, Vogt (c), Hübner - Schulz, Geiger, Grillitsch, Kramaric (Kaderabek 83’) - Demirbay (Amiri 19’) - Szalai (Zulj 70’), Gnabry
Unused subs: Stolz, Bicakcic, Polanksi, Zuber
Absentees: Rupp (knee), Kobel (cold), Uth (calf)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann