The was Braunschweig’s most important game of the season as they looked to stay in the Bundesliga, they sat at the bottom of the table but a victory today would’ve seen them move up to the relegation play-off spot providing Hamburg and Nürnberg both lost. Hoffenheim have drawn once and lost twice in their last three games, while Braunschweig have lost their last four games.
This is only the second Bundesliga meeting between the two sides and Braunschweig will need to do what they did in the first meeting and that’s to keep out Hoffenheim which is no easy task.
Braunschweig started the game well as they looked promising going forward but Hoffenheim quickly responded and took control of the game. Hoffenheim’s made the most of their possession in the 15th minute, Beck avoided a challenge and delivered a dangerous cross into the box. Rudy found himself free in the middle of the area and was able to direct his header towards the back post despite the ball being behind him. Davari was left helpless as Rudy ran off celebrating.
Not long after Süle had the chance to double his sides lead when he was found free at the back from Johnson’s corner, however he rushed his effort and blazed it over.
If Braunschweig were score you could only see it coming through Bellarabi, he was enjoying the most of Braunschweig’s possession and he came close to getting them level when he broke down the left. Unfortunatey he wasn’t able to make the most of his chance and it was well saved by Grahl.
HT: Hoffenheim 1-0 Eintracht Braunschweig.
Just under ten minutes into the second half Salihović had a golden chance to make it 2-0, from close range he tried directing his shot towards the far post but his sliding attempt was cleared off the line.
Kumbela was just too short to pounce on a loose ball, but he almost had some luck as Grahl kicked his clearance straight at him but thankfully for the Hoffenheim keeper the ball fell nicely so he could gather. Kumbela was almost in once again shortly after, Grahl reacted quickly to gather forcing Kumbela to jump over him.
Hoffenheim grabbed a second in spectacular fashion, Strobl lifted his cross from the left to the edge of the area and Firminio showed fantastic technique and unleashed an outstanding volley which flew into the bottom corner.
Not long after making it 2-0 Hoffenheim made it 3. Johnson broke down the right and managed to test Davari from a tough angle, as Davari failed to keep hold of the shot this allowed Volland to easily tap in the final nail in Braunschweig’s Bundesliga coffin.
Both sides came close with just under ten minutes to play. First up was Bruno Nazário for Hoffenheim, he managed to turn in the box but thankfully for Braunschweig his effort trickled just past the post. Nielsen came close for the visitors but after finding space on the edge of the area he fired his shot wide.
Late on Braunschweig were able to give their fans something to cheer about when Davari’s long kick up field wasn’t dealt with by Hoffenheim, Hochscheidt latched onto the ball and despite a slip he managed to loop the ball over Grahl and in.
FT: Hoffenheim 3-1 Eintracht Braunschweig
Hoffenheim dominated large parts of this game but failed to create enough clear cut chances. Braunschweig had some promising moments when hitting Hoffenhiem on the break but most of their attacks broke down just outside the Hoffenheim area. Despite the scoreline this wasn’t thriller.
So we bid farewell to Braunschweig who weren’t able to keep their place in the top tier, they showed tremendous spirit in the second half of the season and it was fantastic to see their fans staying behind to sing for their team.
Article for VAVEL Bundesliga.