Mith a remarkable feat of strength, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim defied its many Corona failures – and only gave a victory over VfB Stuttgart in stoppage time. The team of coach Sebastian Hoeneß came on Saturday against their rivals VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga to a 3: 3 (1: 2).

Christoph Baumgartner brought the weakened Kraichgauer in the empty Sinsheimer stadium initially in the lead (16th minute). Then Nicolás González (18th) and Silas Wamangituka (27th) met for the Swabians, before Ryan Sessegnon (48th) equalized. The Croatian top striker Kramaric converted a penalty to 3-2 (71st) on his comeback. Marc Oliver Kempf equalized (90 + 3).

In the table, the team from Hoffenheim, who have not won six games, are still three points behind the promoted team. Before the kick-off at Sky, however, sports director Alexander Rosen emphasized that in view of the current seven corona cases, looking at them was not the top priority: “I’m just so happy that we can play this game today.” The German Football League (DFL) did not approve of postponing the game to at least Sunday.

For VfB, who were clearly superior in the first half with the former Hoffenheim assistant coach Pellegrino Matarazzo as head coach, the first defeat after six unbeaten games was barely prevented. In a brisk early phase of the Stuttgart, the guests had 5-0 shots on goal – but Hoffenheim scored the first goal with a deliberate low shot by the Austrian Baumgartner.

González did it on the other side just as skillfully as Baumgartner and scored just 110 seconds later to equalize. It was the third goal in the third league game in a row by the 22-year-old Argentine – he has had a grueling journey to qualify for the World Cup in South America. The attacker then prepared the 2-1 with a header on the crossbar: Wamangituka hit the post in the margin, but then hit the goal. For Gonzáles it was the final action: after 32 minutes the attacker had to limp off the pitch.

As the game progressed, Hoffenheim’s hopeful Kramaric got better. The Croatian World Cup runner-up tested positive for the corona virus in mid-October and missed the last seven competitive games. Five days before the next Europa League match at Slovan Liberec in the Czech Republic, the Hoffenheim team were initially unable to show their true capabilities.

The second goal by the hitherto weak Sessegnon, who shot goalkeeper Gregor Kobel through the legs, gave the hosts courage. The people of Hoffenheim resisted more and more vehemently. Kramaric increasingly occupied the VfB defense and checked Kobel with a full shot after an hour before he fooled the former Hoffenheimer from the penalty spot with his seventh goal of the season. Kempf’s late compensation then again caused disillusionment among the hosts.


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