TSG Hoffenheim’s winning streak has come to an end. The previous surprise team of the season conceded a defeat after seven unbeaten games with the 1: 2 (1: 1) at home strong FC Union Berlin. The Berliners, who have only lost once in the past 26 games in the Alte Försterei, drew level with the Kraichgauers on points (31).
Attackers Andreas Voglsammer (22nd) and Grischa Prömel (73rd) scored the goals for Union. Hoffenheim took the lead with an own goal from Union defender Timo Baumgartl (17th). The game in the Alte Försterei took place in front of 3,000 fans because Berlin takes a different approach when it comes to spectator regulations. For Union, it was also a successful dress rehearsal for the prestigious round of 16 in the DFB Cup next Wednesday at city rivals Hertha BSC.
At Union, new signing Dominique Heintz replaced Marvin Friedrich, who had migrated to league rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach, in the three-man defense chain. This time Voglsammer played alongside Max Kruse in attack for Taiwo Awoniyi, who was at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Both teams initially presented themselves with many mistakes, the ball often bounced and the passes rarely arrived. Hoffenheim were the first to catch themselves and did not take the lead undeservedly: on the right attacking side, the nimble Ihlas Bebou ran past the Union defender Robin Knoche, and Baumgartl headed his sharp cross into his own goal.
Hard exchange of blows between Union and Hoffenheim
The Berliners shook themselves briefly – and immediately pushed for the equalizer. That was achieved just five minutes later, even though goalscorer Voglsammer was a bit lucky with his header following a cross from Bastian Oczipka: the ball bounced off the crossbar onto the upper body of TSG keeper Oliver Baumann and from there into the goal.
The Hoffenheim team played the technically better football, the Unioners countered with running and tackling strength. Neither team was able to develop a noticeable overweight, every goal chance had to be worked hard.
At Union, the absence of Awoniyi was clearly noticeable, the Nigerian’s dynamism was missing in the last third. After a little over an hour, Union coach Urs Fischer brought on the fast Sheraldo Becker for the weak Levin Öztunali, and the Dutchman brought more momentum into the offensive game. Becker initially had a great chance with a header in the 71st minute and a little later Prömel made it 2-1.