Alfred Schreuder opted for three changes from the team that drew with Paderborn on Saturday. Ermin Bicakcic, Sebastian Rudy and Ihlas Bebou dropped to the bench, as Jacob Bruun Larsen, Diadie Samassekou and Munas Dabbur earned a starting spot.
Markus Gisdol, on his 150th Bundesliga game as head coach, also made three changes. Noah Katterbach, Jonas Hector and Florian Kainz were replaced by Benno Schmitz, Elvis Rexhbecaj and
After a fairly even first 10 minutes, where both sides struggled to move through midfield, Hoffenheim struck the opening blow. Jacob Bruunn Larsen moved down the left and crossed into the middle, where Christoph Baumgartner managed to fire home from 12 yards.
Things didn’t get any easier for FC when Sebastiaan Bornauw was shown red for a late tackle on Baumgartner. Initially booked by Dr. Felix Byrch, the referee opted for a straight red on second inspection. Jorge Meré then replaced Kingsley Ehizibue, as Markus Gisdol attempted to reshuffle the defence.
The end of the half did give FC some reason to be positive, however. Elvis Rexhbecaj’s drive from the edge of the box went narrowly wide of the far upright, while Ismail Jakobs’ effort at the back post was cleared off the line by Pavel Kaderabeck. Timo Horn did make an important save to deny Munas Dabbur late on.
The second period had barely begun before Hoffenheim had doubled their lead. Christoph Baumgartner was at the right place at the right time to nod home from Robert Skov’s cross, despite Jorge Meré’s best attempts to clear. Steven Zuber then compounded things further, as some Baumgartner’s clever flick allowed Zuber to curl past the helpless Timo Horn.
Not long later, a second yellow card for Benjamin Hübner meant that both sides were then down to 10 men. 10 minutes later, FC had a glimmer of hope. Jhon Cordoba fed Florian Kainz out wide, and the Austrian fired a strong shot across goal into the far corner.
FC were then awarded a penalty in the final 15 minutes after Havard Nordtveit handled in the area. For the third game in a row, it was Mark Uth to take but Oliver Baumann was on hand to save. Unfortunately for FC, despite throwing everything at Hoffenheim in the final knockings, they couldn’t find that second goal.
FC are next in action on Monday evening, and will take on RB Leipzig at the RheinEnergieSTADION.
TSG Hoffenheim (4-3-3): Baumann – Kaderabeck, Posch, Hübner, Zuber – Baumgartner (Geiger 77‘), Grillitsch (Rudy 46‘), Samassekou – Skov, Dabbur (Bebou 58‘), Bruun Larsen (Nordtveit 52‘).
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): Horn – Ehizibue (Meré 32‘), Bornauw, Leistner, Schmitz (Hector 82‘) – Skhiri, Rexhbecaj – Drexler (Kainz 56‘), Uth (Terodde 82‘), Jakobs – Cordoba (Modeste 82‘).
Goals: 1:0, Baumgartner 11’. 2:0, Baumgartner 46’. 3:0, Zuber 48‘. 3:1, Kainz 60‘.
Referee: Dr. Felix Byrch (Munich).
Booked: Hübner (3‘ & 50‘), Grillitsch (28’), Dabbur (45+2’), Jakobs (65‘), Nordtveit (76‘), Bebou (84‘).
Sent-off: Bornauw (26’), Hübner (50’).