Honours even in Lilleström SK friendly

TSG played the first of three pre-season friendlies in Norway on Tuesday evening. Markus Gisdol’s men took on top-flight side Lilleström SK to put into practice what the players had done in training.

TSG made a resolute start, pushing forward well. They were asked to press inside of the opponents‘ penalty area. That tactic didn’t change after a hectic moment after three minutes – Adam Szalai was left dazed following a coming-together with Imoh Fred Friday. The forward was treated but was okay to continue.

The team was set up in a traditional 4-4-2 formation. Jonathan Schmid started at right-back with Mark Uth, the second new signing in the starting XI, began up top alongside partnering striker Szalai. The Hungarian had the best chance of the game so far in the 18th minute. After a Schmid corner from the left flank, Szalai headed the ball with his back to goal towards the far post – crossbar.

Knudtzon opens the scoring

It was the hosts who took the lead though. Erling Knudtzon netted the opener after a fine solo run in the 22nd minute. One shot, one goal. Uth had the chance to equalise just a few minutes later, played through by Zuber in the box but his attempt from five metres went over the bar.

There were then chances for both sides – Joshua Mees, Adam Szalai and Steven Zuber came close for TSG but the ball was unable to find its way into the back of the net and past the Norwegian keeper.

Schipplock comes on, Schipplock scores

Things picked up in the second half. Just three minutes after the restart, substitute Sven Schipplock struck the ball into the far corner of the net from 11 metres out. The forward was one of nine replacements brought on at the interval – only Ermin Bicakcic and Jin-Su Kim kept their places.

TSG’s fundamental strategy remained the same though in spite of the numerous changes – the team pushed high up the pitch and attempted to force the Norwegian side into losing possession early on. Hoffenheim created chance after chance. A shot from Kingsley Schindler caused Lilleström keeper Origi some problems after 60 minutes. But it stayed 1-1.

Gisdol happy

Patrick Kapp and Benedikt Gimber were also both subbed on during the course of the second half, with Markus Gisdol therefore switching the entire team. The many substitutions were necessary too as Hoffenheim completed a 90-minute intense training session in pouring rain on the morning of the game.

“It was a good match against an opponent who are in the middle of their season. That was evident to us. We’ll approach the opener against 1860 München in the DFB Cup honestly – they’re a side who are into the swing of things as they’d have already played a few matches in their league,” a happy Markus Gisdol stated following the final whistle.

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