Tue, Oct 28, 2008 - Page 18 News List

BUNDES LIGA: Hoffenheim stick three past Hamburg to return to summit

AFP , BERLIN

Hoffenheim’s Nigerian striker Chinedu Obasi scores past Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost during their German Bundesliga match in Mannheim, Germany, on Sunday.

PHOTO: AFP

Hoffenheim went back to the top of the Bundesliga on Sunday after their 3-0 victory at home to title-rivals Hamburg, thanks to two first-half goals from Hoffenheim’s Nigeria striker Chinedu Obasi.

Martin Jol-coached Hamburg were humbled and drop to third as Hoffenheim blitzed the visitors with three goals after just 35 minutes to regain the top spot they held briefly at the start of the season. And Hoffenheim squandered a number of late chances to add to the score as the Hamburg defense collapsed in the closing stages.

“The team played just the way we had planned,” Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick said. “This team has been together about a year and we have made a few changes, but everyone knows what they have to do. It was a good performance and the league position is pleasing.”

Obasi opened the scoring on seven minutes after Brazilian midfielder Carlos Eduardo Marques set up the chance and the Nigerian forward drove his shot past diving Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost. And just six minutes later, Hoffenheim striker Vedad Ibisevic — the league’s top scorer — scored his 10th goal of the season with a simple tap in, after Senegal striker Demba Ba pulled the defense out of position. Midfielder Sejad Salihovic then put Obasi into space to round Rost, who tapped the ball into the empty net to make it 3-0 at the break.

“We were not there mentally,” disgruntled Hamburg boss Jol said. “And that is when you get problems. We made mistakes for the first, second and third goals and you can’t afford to do that against a side like Hoffenheim.”

Having won two promotions in the last two seasons, Hoffenheim have now gone from the regional leagues to the peak of the Bundesliga thanks to the financial backing of software entrepreneur Dietmar Hopp.

German Bundesliga

Team
P
GD
PTS
1
TSG Hoffenheim 
9
10
19
2
Bayer Leverkusen
9
11
18
3
Hamburg
9
0
17
4
VfB Stuttgart 
9
5
16
5
Bayern Munich 
9
5
15
6
Hertha Berlin 
9
1
15
7
Schalke 04
9
4
14
8
Borussia Dortmund
9
2
14
9
Wolfsburg 
9
4
13
10
Werder Bremen
9
3
13
11
Cologne
9
-3
13
12
Eintracht Frankfurt 
9
-4
9
13
Karlsruhe 
9
-5
9
14
Hannover 96 
9
-7
9
15
VfL Bochum 
9
-3
7
16
Arminia Bielefeld 
9
-6
7
17
Borussia M’gladbach
9
-8
7
18
Cottbus
9
-9
5


Also on Sunday, VfB Stuttgart are up to fourth in the table thanks to two late goals from Germany striker Mario Gomez who scored twice in the last 10 minutes to seal a 2-0 win at home to VfL Bochum.

Borussia Dortmund drew 1-1 with Hertha Berlin at the Westfalen Stadium.

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