TSG battle for a point in Berlin

The mid-table battle between Hertha BSC and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim ended in a deserved 1-1 draw, with Allagui given the hosts an early lead, but Polanski scored the equaliser shortly after. It was a hard fought match, with true excitement only being produced in the closing stages of the second half. Hoffenheim keeper Koen Casteels was required to be carried off the pitch on a stretcher, following a collision with Adrian Ramos in the second half.

Markus Gisdol made two changes compared to the side that held FC Bayern to a 3-3 draw in Munich last weekend, with Koen Casteels replacing Jens Grahl in goal and Tarik Elyounoussi coming in for the injured Anthony Modeste. After a quiet opening ten minutes in which Hoffenheim looked to be in control, Hertha took the lead from the first opportunity of the match. Sami Allagui profited from Jannik Vestergaard losing his footing and then slotted home from the edge of the area with a low, accurately curled shot leaving Casteels with no chance.

TSG were struggling to find a breakthrough in attack, with the final pass often lacking precision. Instead, the game started to develop a certain level of aggression with Eugen Polanski and Elyounoussi both receiving bookings within the space of just three minutes. The former then brought Hoffenheim back level in this match. Similar to Allagui earlier, Polanski found himself in a bit of space and roughly 20 yards from goal, he hit a low left-footed strike into the right hand corner of Thomas Kraft's goal (30'). Soon after, Firmino had a shot saved by Kraft to deny Hoffenheim taking the lead.

Just as things were winding down in the first half, Casteels was forced into action by first preventing Adrian Ramos, who was released down the left hand side of the penalty area, which demanded an outstanding block by the TSG keeper to keep the score level. The rebound fell to Allagui, but Casteels was quickly back on his feet to save his shot as well. Hoffenheim had a slight advantage in terms of possession, but overall it was a very balanced first half.

There were no changes at half time and the pace of the game remained the same. Both teams were fighting hard for control in midfield, but chances were few and far between. Gisdol felt that it was time for a change and brought on Herdling for Elyounoussi, who was in danger of receiving his second booking. Sejad Salihovic had a golden chance in the 68th minute, but his attempt from a difficult angle went just wide of the post. At the other end of the pitch Casteels picked up what look like a very serious injury. He collided with Ramos and landed awkwardly after he rushed from his goal to clear the ball. Casteels was not able to continue and was carried off on a stretcher. Alexander Stolz replaced him in the 73rd minute to give him his Bundesliga debut.

1899 were setting their sights on a winner in the final stages of the game, with Kevin Volland's long range attempt skimming the bar in the 83rd minute. While chances in the first 80 minutes of this game were rare, both teams appeared to look for a final knockout punch as the game was drawing to a conclusion. First, Ramos was denied by a crucial save from Stolz and shortly afterwards the young keeper again kept TSG level, by guiding a Ronny free kick over the bar. In stoppage time, Volland nearly gave Hoffenheim a late winner but his free kick was denied by Kraft. Volland's free kick was the final action of a very even Bundesliga match that ended in a deserved 1-1 draw.

Hertha BSC: Kraft – Ndjeng, Langkamp, Brooks (62' Baumjohann), Pekarik – Hosogai, Skjelbred – Allagui, Ronny, Ben-Hatira (86' Wagner) - Ramos

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Casteels (73' Stolz) – Johnson, Strobl, Vestergaard, Beck – Rudy, Polanski, Salihovic (89' Karaman) – Volland, Firmino – Elyounoussi (62' Herding)

Goals: 1-0 Allagui (11'), 1-1 Polanski (30')

Yellow cards: Brooks - Polanski, Ellyounoussi

Referee: Dr. Felix Brych

Attendance: 45,000

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