Feldkirchen Day 10: 1899 secure a draw against Legia Warsaw

In their final test match of their Austrian training camp, 1899 Hoffenheim couldn't separate themselves from Legia Warsaw mustering up a 1-1 draw against the reigning Polish Cup holders. In front of 1,500 spectators, new signing Sven Schipplock pulled the Kraichgau outfit back into the first half, while Vedad Ibisevic was denied by the post late on with the game all square.

Five out for “Stani”

Following their afternoon off yesterday, Holger Stanislawski had his team on the training pitch at 10:30 for a pre-match warm-up session. Tactical finesse and passing ability were the focus, but the players also got the opportunity to blow off some steam with long-range shooting practice. “Stani” was, however, without five first team regulars who had all picked up minor injuries and would therefore also miss the match against Legia Warsaw. Matthias Jaissle, Fabian Johnson, Chinedu Obasi, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Edson Braafheid all stayed behind in Feldkirchen to recover from their respective niggles.

Hoffenheim caught cold

The Sinsheim side started the match in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Sven Schipplock playing the lone striker role up front, while Salihovic was played just in behind the new signing. Stanislawski's side failed to get to grip with the system early on though and were immediately put on the back foot when Khalon headed home from Zyro's cross to give them Polish side the lead inside the opening 5 minutes. The players reacted well as they tried to execute their game plan by being aggressive in midfield and getting the ball forward quickly in transition. Hoffenheim were growing in confidence throughout the first half creating their first real chance just after the half hour mark. Mlapa went on a mazy 40 yard run down the left before firing in an effort on goal, which Legia keeper Skaba could only parry straight into the path of Sven Schipplock who couldn't miss for the equaliser. Mlapa tried the same trick minutes later again, but on this occasion Skaba was able to push the ball behind for a corner. 1899 had hit their stride, but after Salhovic went close with an effort, Stanislawski decided to play Chinese fire drill with his side in the last ten minutes and switched everything on it's head. Salihovic and Beck became centre-backs, Schipplock switched positions with Raitala and played at left-back leaving the Finnish youngster to lead the line.

11 out, 11 in

“Stani” made wholesale changes during the break allowing U23 keeper Lück to take his place in between the sticks, while Ibisevic replaced Schipplock up front. Rudy and Kaiser came in as defensive midfielders in a more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation and Andreas Ibertsberger made his first appearance in the training camp test matches replacing Beck. The lively Firmino almost profited from a mistake by Warsaw within ten minutes of the restart, but his overhead attempt drifted over the crossbar. Ibisevic presented the Brazilian youngster with his next chance putting him through on goal only for Skaba to scupper the chance by coming off his line very quickly. The tempo certainly dropped in the final half hour although Babel and Ibisevic both squandered chances to give 1899 the lead. With just under 10 minutes remaining, the Bosnian striker should have done just that. Compper whipped in a superb ball that caught Skaba out of position, but with a virtually empty net in front of him Ibisevic's clattered his effort back off the post, while Vorsah's follow-up went sailing over the bar. “Stani” stayed true to form making all sorts of crazy changes in the final ten minutes. This time Tagoe and Firmino turned into centre-backs, Babel played right-back, while Vorsah became the striker moving Ibiseivc into defensive midfield. There was, however, no change to the scoreline with the match ending in a stalemate.

1899 Hoffenheim:
1st Half: Starke – Beck, Simunic, Vestergaard, Raitala – Mlapa, Weis, Zuculini, Thomalla – Salihovic – Schipplock.
2nd Half: Lück – Ibertsberger, Vorsah, Ruck, Compper – Rudy, Kaiser – Babel, Firmino, Tagoe – Ibisevic.
Legia Warsaw: Skaba – Zewlakow, Gol (76. Jedrezejczyk), Wawrzyniak, Rzezniczak – Zyro, Gueye, Vrdoljak, Khalon (76. Kelhar), Borysiuk (88. Wolski) – Rybus.
Goals: 0:1 Khalon (4.), 1:1 Schipplock (30.). Attendance: 1500. Yellow Cards: Gol (63.).

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