TSG into the DFB Cup quarterfinals

1,200 fans travelled to watch TSG in their DFB Cup last-16 tie against second-division side VfR Aalen, a journey they certainly didn't regret. A clean sheet and goals from Eugen Polanski and Kevin Volland were enough for see Hoffenheim reach the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win.

Tactics and line-up:

Manager Markus Gisdol built today's team around three holding midfielders and made four changes to the side that beat Mainz 05 on Saturday, the stand-out one being Jens Grahl in goal in place of Oliver Baumann. “We're rewarding him for his fantastic work in training,” explained manager Markus Gisdol. Jeremy Toljan replaced Jin-Su Kim at left back, while Pirmin Schwegler was preferred in the middle to Sejad Salihovic. Sven Schipplock led the attack as the lone striker instead of Adam Szalai.

The back four consisted of captain Beck, Bicakcic, Strobl and Toljan, with the trio of Rudy, Polanski and Schwegler making up the midfield. Volland and Firmino rotated ahead of them, with Schipplock out in front.

Steven Zuber was also in the squad having recovered from the flu, and came on for Roberto Firmino in the second half. Shortly afterwards, Anthony Modeste was brought on for Sven Schipplock and in injury time, goalscorer Volland made way for Nadiem Amiri.

Match highlights:

12th minute: The first chance of the match falls to VfR Aalen as Toljan's miscued clearance falls to the unmarked Fabio Kaufmann inside the box and fortunately he volleys wide.

16th minute: GOOOAAAAALLLL for TSG!!! 1-0: First chance, first goal! Volland turns his marker brilliantly inside the box and Polanski is first to react to his deflected pass to put the ball past Daniel Bernhardt!

24th minute: PINBALL! Bernhardt fumbles the ball from Rudy's corner and the ball ricochets around the box as TSG scrap for a chance on goal. Aalen eventually clear but Hoffenheim are looking good for a second goal.

32nd minute: Chance for Volland who skilfully turns in the box but fires straight at the keeper who saves easily. Polanski fires well over from the rebound.

35th minute: WOODWORK! TSG survive some good link-up play from Aalen as Hofmann hits the crossbar after sustained pressure. TSG need to be careful here. Grahl is also showing exactly why the boss picked him with a fine point-blank save moments before!

49th minute: Aalen have started the half well coming close through Phil Ofosu-Ayeh who makes a deep run from defence and fires wide from 25 yards. The home side continue to create chances and Hoffenheim need to regain their composure.

56th minute: GOOOAAAALLLLL for TSG!!!! 2-0: Super cool first-time finish from Volland who catches Bernhardt off guard at the near post after a great run and pass from Schwegler and then Sven Schipplock.

59th minute: Aalen come close to pulling one back with an almost perfect response but Quaner can't quite finish from six yards out and TSG survive unscathed.

63rd minute: Aalen appeal for a penalty after Kaufmann bursts into box and falls to ground. The referee award a corner. Phew!

73rd minute: ANOTHER penalty appeal for Aalen, but just like the first, there was no foul. TSG need to stay focused for the last 15 minutes to ensure their passage to the quarterfinals.

85th minute: Close from Aalen who manage a shot on goal through Hofmann, but it doesn't test Grahl who saves comfortably.

Moment of the match:

It happened just before the start of the game and doesn't really comply to the rules for “Moment of the match” but so be it! Usually fireworks are saved for the biggest finals in world football...unless we're in Aalen! The home side welcomed the TSG fans, as well as the teams, with this pleasant surprise. How kind!

Number of the match:7

This is the seventh time Hoffenheim have reached the quarterfinals of the DFB Cup. Fingers crossed then that we can also make it seventh time lucky in terms of making the semi finals, something that unfortunately has never happened before! Let's wait and see who our opponent is in Sunday's draw.

Match facts and statistics »

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