AIronically, TSG Hoffenheim missed the preliminary decision in the fight against relegation against their previous favorite opponent. The Kraichgau lost on the 29th matchday of the Bundesliga 1:3 (0:2) against the strong 1. FC Köln and have to worry about staying in the class again.
Florian Kainz (18th) with a hand penalty, Davie Selke (39th) and Jan Thielmann (90th + 2) scored for the Cologne team, who, after 13 league games without a win, were able to win against the Kraichgauer again for the first time since April 2015. Kasper Dolberg (90+4) scored the consolation goal for the hosts. With the three, FC increased their lead over Hoffenheim to six points. After the strong intermediate spurt with ten points from four games, TSG suffered a severe setback.
“This is extremely disappointing. We know what a step we could have taken. We brutally lacked the energy. No player brought his top performance today. That was far too little, it annoys me,” commented Hoffenheim’s Christoph Baumgartner.
Short-term referee exchange
Shortly before kick-off, both teams had to adjust to a change in the referee team. The only 27-year-old Robin Braun (Wuppertal) made his first appearance in the Bundesliga as a referee. Braun, who was actually intended to be the 4th official, had to replace Benjamin Brand (Unterspiesheim), who had suffered an allergic reaction.
The 30,150 spectators in the sold-out Sinsheimer Arena, including around 7,000 FC fans, saw an entertaining game at high speed in the first few minutes. Kainz caused danger for the first time with a shot in the 11th minute.
After that it became difficult for referee Braun. Only after studying the video did he rightly decide to give Cologne a penalty. TSG defense chief John Anthony Brooks had blocked a shot by Linton Maina with his hand. Kainz converted confidently.
Even after the goal, the guests remained the more dangerous side in a game of extremely high intensity. Selke failed with a header to Oliver Baumann (32′), shortly afterwards the striker overcame the TSG goalkeeper – who, like defender Kevin Akpoguma, did not cut a good figure.
At the beginning of the second half, the hosts pushed for the connection. Angelinho fired a first warning shot (48′), Ihlas Bebou missed in a promising position (50′). In the 57th minute, Andrej Kramaric was also unable to execute, the same applied to Christoph Baumgartner (61st).
After the Cologne side had survived this phase, they controlled the game again from the 65th minute. Substitute Steffen Tigges missed the preliminary decision (74th). Thielmann then made everything clear.