TSG Hoffenheim made a winning start to pre-season as they comfortably beat Eintracht Braunschweig 3-0. Andrej Kramaric, Pavel Kaderabek and Vincenzo Grifo got the goals on Alfred Schreuder's debut in the dugout.
TSG dominated their third-flight opponents from the off and carved open their first goalscoring opportunity on 11 minutes, only for Leonardo Bittencourt to get insufficient contact on Joshua Brenet's cross and fire wide. Schreuder's charges looked to have opened the scoring 12 minutes later, but Benjamin Hübner's goal was ruled out because provider Brenet was deemed to be in an offside position. Joelinton missed what was at that stage the best opportunity of the game three minutes later when he was denied by Braunschweig's Fejzic in a one-on-one. The Brazilian forward then saw his follow-up effort cleared off the line.
Kramaric breaks deadlock
TSG finally got their reward in the 33rd minute when Andrej Kramaric slotted home. After Bittencourt had been thwarted by Fejzic, new signing Sargis Adamyan gathered the ball and cut it back to Kramaric, who was left with a close range tap-in from 11 metres out.
New signing Philipp Pentke had his first opportunity to shine between the sticks in the 39th minute, comfortably dealing with a free-kick by Kobylanski from 20 metres out. There were no further goals before the break.
Alfred Schreuder named an entirely different team for the second period, and the new boys doubled the lead within five minutes when Kaderabek fired home from a centre-right position after being nicely set up by Lukas Rupp. Ihlas Bebou and Adam Szalai had further chances to extend the advantage but it was not until the 81st minute, when midfielder Vincenzo Grifo sensationally converted a direct free-kick from almost 25 metres out, that the third goal arrived.
Coach Alfred Schreuder was satisfied with the performance, saying: "It was important that all the lads got the chance to play 45 minutes today. All of them finished the game injury-free. That's the most important thing in pre-season. We were playing against a well-organised opponent."
TSG Hoffenheim are next in friendly action on Wednesday (15:30 CET), when they take on Jahn Regensburg at FC Zuzenhausen's ground.
TSG Hoffenheim line-up, first half: Pentke – Posch, Vogt, Hübner – Brenet, Nordtveit, Bittencourt, Stafylidis – Kramaric, Joelinton, Adamyan
TSG Hoffenheim line-up, second half: Stolz – Akpoguma, Hoogma, Bicakcic – Kaderabek, Rupp, Grillitsch, Zuber – Bebou, Szalai, Grifo
Eintracht Braunschweig line-up: Fejzic, Kessel, Nkansah (Becker, 46), Nehrig (Wiebe, 46), Ademi (Bürger, 73), Kobylanski (Schwenk, 73), Bär, Kijewski, Pfitzner, Proschwitz (Feigenspann, 65), Ziegele
Goals: 1-0 Kramaric (33), 2-0 Kaderabek (50), 3-0 Grifo (81)