Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nicht schon wieder

1899 Hoffenheim's hopes for European Football took a further hit as they lost 1-0 to HSV. The loss extends 1899's win-less streak to eight matches and further emphasizes the start contrast with the Rückrunde compared to the first half of the year. In the first nine weeks of the Hinrude, 1899 amassed twenty-four points while pounding an astounding twenty-four balls into the net. However while the loss of Vedad Ibišević over the same period in the second-half of the year, they have only nine points for their toils and ten goals. If ever there was an example of the impact of the Bosnian striker Ibišević has been, without him 1899 aren't playing for European competition but at the level of a relegation battler.

With the return to health of Sejad Salihović, 1899 coach Ralf Rangnick was able to return to the 4-3-3 using the Bosnia international with Demba Ba and Chinedu Obasi. Attacking intent aside it was Andreas Beck who stole the show early on as he stole the ball from José Paolo Guerrero deep within the box with a perfect sliding tackle with other heroics to come later. Seventeen minutes in Marcell Jansen's pinpoint cross found Jonathan Pitroipa in the close range but 1899 breathed a sigh of relief as his attempt glanced off the post. After Demba Ba's close range attempt was denied, Pitroipa gave HSV the lead two minutes before the half-hour. On a near sixty metre run Piotr Trochowski split though the 1899 defenders before sending the ball through to the Pitroipa, who then rounded the Timo Hildebrand and sent the ball in. The goal highlighted a midfield that has not only been exposed for varied play making abilities and now relying upon long ball efforts but allowing Trochowski go through a training ground run without a single challenge. A fast counter attack nearly had HSV up 2-0 as Pitroipa sent the ball towards the goal but never giving up, Andreas Beck cleared it off the line. 1899 looked to have tied it at the seventy-fifth minute but HSV 'keeper Frank Rost dove to save Ba's close range header. In the final five minutes of the match David Jarolím was sent off with his second yellow but 1899 still couldn't break through and lost 1-0.