Hoffenheim complete astonishing escape to avoid relegation and stay in Bundesliga

 

Hoffenheim completed one of the most astonishing escapes the Bundesliga has seen by winning 2-1 at Kaiserslautern in the second leg of their playoff on Monday, despite missing a penalty.

They completed a 5-2 aggregate win, having sneaked into the playoff in dramatic circumstances on the last day of the regular season with a victory that propelled them out of the automatic relegation spots.

Hoffenheim had the first chance when they were awarded a penalty only for Sejad Salihovic to see his effort turned over the bar by Tobias Sippel.

Sippel denied Salihovic again shortly afterwards before Argentine defender David Abraham headed Hoffenheim in front one minute before halftime.

Alexander Baumjohann curled in a free kick in the 65th minute to equalise and Mohamadou Idrissou had a goal disallowed as the hosts put Hoffenheim on the back foot.

But their hopes ended when Jannik Vestergaard headed Hoffenheim back in front in the 74th minute.

Hoffenheim had appeared doomed to the second tier when, needing a win combined with a Fortuna Duesseldorf defeat to earn a playoff place on the final day of the season, they trailed Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund 1-0 with 15 minutes left.

But two goals in five minutes from Salihovic gave them a 2-1 win and they survived a scare when Dortmund had a goal disallowed with the last kick of the game.

Fortuna lost 3-0 to Hanover 96.

Bankrolled by Dietmar Hopp, the co-founder of software giant SAP, Hoffenheim rose from amateur status in the 1990s to the third tier before winning promotion in successive seasons between 2006 and 2008.

In 2009, Hoffenheim, originally from the village of Sinsheim, moved to a new 30,000 capacity stadium, the Rhein-Neckar Arena.

Four-times German champions Kaiserslautern had been attempting to bounce back at the first attempt after their relegation last season.

Reuters

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there