Harder 13 Cup – Kurz: “Definitely not what we had expected”

On Saturday, after three days of intensive training, Hoffenheim faced their first real test. In the Harder 13 Cup in Mannheim's SAP Arena, TSG battled against 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Karlsruher SC, SV Sandhausen and SV Waldhof Mannheim for the cup. Hoffenheim found themselves out of contention in the preliminary stages after one draw and three defeats, leaving them in fifth spot.

11,420 spectators offered a great atmosphere and TSG were involved in the first game as manager Marco Kurz faced his old team, 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Both sides played an even game and after two halves of ten minutes, the game finished goalless leaving both with a point in the process.

Against Karlsruher SC, things didn't go to plan. After the first half, TSG found themselves behind. Of all people, it was former Hoffenheim player Philipp Klingmann who scored the first two goals for KSC. Hoffenheim didn't give up though and battled on. Despite goals from Joselu and Grifo, KSC ran out 3-2 winners.

In their third game against SV Sandhausen, Hoffenheim pushed forward again but still found themselves 2-1 behind at the halfway point, Sven Schipplock the goalscorer. In the second half, TSG kept scoring, Compper with the second and Williams with the third but in the end it wasn't enough as Sandhausen finished 5-3 winners. Hoffenheim had yet to register a victory.

After one draw and two defeats, TSG's final game against SV Waldhof was a battle for last place. The final was no longer achievable. Despite another goal from Joselu, Hoffenheim fell to a 3-1 defeat.

Marco Kurz was disappointed after the tournament: “It was definitely not what we had expected. We wanted better results. An experience like this might not be as irrelevant as it seems. It will help us to stay focused during our preparation.”

The final was contested between Karlsruher SC and second division SV Sandhausen. KSC ended up Harder 13 Cup 2013 winners with a 4-2 win. Hoffenheim finished in fifth.

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