Head coach Sebastian Hoeness had to make do without 13 players for the friendly against SpVgg Greuther Fürth. The list of absentees was made up of: Håvard Nordtveit, Konstantinos Stafylidis, Ishak Belfodil, Sargis Adamyan (all injured), Oliver Baumann, Ermin Bičakčić, Benjamin Hübner, Diadie Samassékou (all lacking match fitness), Florian Grillitsch (best friend's wedding) as well as the three EURO returnees Andrej Kramarić, Pavel Kadeřábek and Robert Skov. In addition, David Raum is currently in Japan representing Germany at the Olympic Games.
TSG got off to a bad start. After Hoffenheim gave the ball away, Fürth worked the ball down the right wing and played a cross into the middle, where Branimir Hrgota was well-placed to finish from close range and give the Franconians an early lead (2). However, TSG remained unshaken and soon had two chances to equalise: first a shot on goal from Christoph Baumgartner was blocked, then Munas Dabbur was denied by Fürth goalkeeper Marius Funk (7).
The next good chance fell to Jacob Bruun Larsen after Some nice combination play paved the way for the next big chance, which fell to Jacob Bruun Larsen, but his close-range effort was wide of the mark (20). As the first 30 minutes drew to a close, the score remained 1-0 in favour of Fürth. The newly-promoted Bundesliga club again managed to get off to a better start in the second 30-minute period and soon found themselves 2-0 up after Håvard Nielsen drilled the ball past Philipp Pentke to finish off a counter-attacking move (37).
Once again, TSG managed to muster up a strong response and they didn't have to wait long to reap the rewards: substitute Georginio Rutter dribbled his way into space on the right and got his head up to pick out Bruun Larsen. The Dane made no mistake this time and drew TSG back to within a goal at 2-1 in the 37th minute. Hoffenheim continued to pile on the pressure, but they were unable to convert their superiority into an equaliser.
As the game continued, Sebastian Hoeness substituted his entire team. Goalscoring chances were few and far between for both sides, but Rutter managed to crown an impressive performance with a goal in the 87th minute: the Frenchman played a neat exchange of passes with a teammate before firing home a deserved equaliser. No more goals were scored, meaning the two sides finished level at 2-2 after 105 minutes of football.
"The game was very up and down. We started the match very badly and trailed 1-0 for too long. After that, we were well in the game, but we didn't make the most of our chances. Our opponents were more effective in the final third today. We showed a good reaction to going down 2-0. 2-2 was definitely a fair result in the end, we might even have won the game. There were some real positives, but also things we have to work on," said head coach Sebastian Hoeness after the final whistle.
Goalscorer Jacon Bruun Larsen had a similar view to his head coach: ''We had a good week together on the banks of the Tegernsee. It was a good game against Fürth. Of course I'm delighted that I was able to score and get my first ever goal for Hoffenheim.''
Coach Sebastian Hoeness's side will next play a friendly game in a week's time (31 July), when they'll face Stade de Reims (kick-off 15:30 CET) as part of the club's season-opening event.
TSG Hoffenheim line-up: Pentke (61, Philipp/89, Noll) – Gaćinović (77, Haider), Akpoguma (61, Posch/89, König), Vogt (77, Adams), Bogarde (61, John) – Geiger (31, Stiller/89, Zaiser), Rudy (77, Rüth) – Bebou (61, Beier), Baumgartner (31, Rutter), Bruun Larsen (61, Bischof) – Dabbur (61, Asllani)
Goals: 0-1 Hrgota (2), 0-2 Nielsen (37), 1-2 Bruun Larsen (37), 2-2 Rutter (87)