Markus Gisdol made four changes from the previous weekend. Marco Höger, Sebastiaan Bornauw, Ondrej Duda and Sebastian Andersson came into the team after the DFB-Pokal win against VSG Altglienicke. Benno Schmitz, Jorge Meré, Salih Özcan and Dominick Drexler dropped out of the side.
As for Hoffenheim, Sebastian Hoeneß he opted for three alterations following the penalty shoot-out victory over Chemnitz. Stefan Posch, Florian Grillitsch and Ihlas Bebou were replaced by Kasim Adams, Diadie Samassekou and Munas Dabbur.
An unfortunate moment in the third minute would open the scoring for Hoffenheim. As Timo Horn played the ball into Jonas Hector, the FC captain’s backpass was too short and Andrej Kramaric nipped in to round Horn and slot into the back of the net. The visitors continued to look dangerous after the goal; though Timo Horn made two excellent saves to deny Kramaric and Pavel Kaderabek.
However, as the half went on, FC began to get back into things more and more. Sebastian Andersson headed narrowly off target from a Jannes Horn cross, and wouldn’t pass up a second chance. It was Jan Thielmann’s superb delivery that required a simple flick from the Swedish forward to notch up his first FC goal on his debut.
The remainder of the half brought little in the way of chances for either side, as a midfield battle broke out. There would be late drama, though. As Christoph Baumgartner went down inside the area, Daniel Siebert initially signalled all was okay. Despite that, VAR intervened and after several minute reviewing the incident, the Berliner opted for a penalty. Kramaric converted to give Hoffenheim the advantage at the break.
Markus Gisdol made one change at the break as Kingsley Ehizibue replaced Marco Höger at right-back. FC almost had the lead immediately after the restart, though Oliver Baumann’s boot denied Sebastian Andersson after Jannes Horn’s cross. Ondrej Duda and Ellyes Skhiri both had good openings but failed to find the target in a positive spell after half-time.
FC continued to pile on the pressure as the game went on but were finding Hoffenheim a tough nut to crack. The visitors were happy to keep possession and were not troubling Timo Horn as much as in the first half. The game went on without any real chances and the substitutions were the only real moments of note until a superb save from Baumann kept out Duda’s low drive.
The second-half was rewarded late on as a Salih Özcan free-kick was headed onto the post by Sebastian Andersson. Dominick Drexler was on hand to sweep up the rebound and deservedly get FC back on terms. There would, however, be another late twist. As Mijat Gacinovic picked out Andrej Kramaric and the attacker managed to find the back of the net once more to win it for the visitors.
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): T. Horn – Höger (Ehizibue 46’), Bornauw, Czichos, J. Horn – Skhiri (Sörensen 85’), Hector – Rexhbecaj (Özcan 71’), Duda (Katterbach 88’), Thielmann (Drexler 71’) – Andersson.
TSG Hoffenheim (3-4-1-2): Baumann – Adams, Vogt, Bicakcic – Akpoguma (Brenet 90+5’), Geiger (Gacinovic 76’), Samassekou (Belfodil 76‘), Kaderabek – Baumgartner – Kramaric, Dabbur (Bebou 61‘).
Goals: 0:1, Kramaric 3‘. 1:1, Andersson 22‘. 1:2, Kramaric (PEN) 45+3‘. 2:2, Drexler 86’. 2:3, Kramaric 90+2’.
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Berlin).
Booked: Bornauw (33‘), Bicakcic (45+4‘), Duda (69‘), Hector (85‘), Baumann (90‘), Bebou (90‘), Kaderabek (90+5‘).