Cheers and applause echoed across the pitch even before the game kicked off, as fans found out that Niklas Süle would make his first appearance for TSG since tearing his ACL seven months ago. The centre back featured in the Hoffenheim starting XI.
With Jonathan Schmid, Fabian Schär and Joelinton, there were also three new signings in Hoffenheim's side during the first half, one that was fully controlled by the Bundesliga team. Apart from keeper Oliver Baumann, Hoffenheim’s players found themselves almost exclusively in the opposition half during the opening 45 minutes. Baiertal fought bravely and time and again managed to block off shots with last-ditch tackles, but they were still unable to prevent conceding nine goals before the referee blew for half time.
U19 player Philipp Ochs opened the scoring, before Steven Zuber doubled the advantage from the spot – he then went on to bag four more goals in the opening half an hour. Joelinton was on target for the first time at his new club to make it 7-0, whilst Ochs grabbed the eighth before Joelinton also completed a brace to give TSG a 9-0 lead at half time.
Schipplock and Uth also at the double
Apart from Benedikt Gimber, who was the only player to complete 90 minutes, Gisdol substituted his entire team at half time. Plenty of youngsters played alongside established top-flight professionals like Eugen Polanski and Pirmin Schwegler. In the second half, the game shifted to the other half of the pitch, as it was still Baiertal who faced all the pressure.
A brace from Sven Schipplock and a Joshua Mees strike brought up a dozen for TSG. New signing Mark Uth also scored twice, with Bahadir Özkan and Schwegler adding their names to the scoresheet to finish off the 16-0 rout.
Manager Gisdol was unsurprisingly pleased with the performance after the game: "It was a good friendly. But the main purpose for this game was to break up the monotony of training and experience some match practice."
Hoffenheim’s second pre-season friendly, against FC Zuzenhausen, will take place on Sunday morning at 11:00 CEST.