Goalless at the break
Sebastian Hoeneß’ side began the game in a controlled fashion and passed the ball around comfortably in the opening stages. Josha Vagnoman registered VfB’s first attempt in the 11th minute but fired well over. The hosts persevered in their search of an opening goal, while Hoffenheim looked for their opportunities on the counter – and almost took advantage of one of them when Hiroki Ito denied Ihlas Bebou with a last-ditch block (38’). Two minutes later, Serhou Guirassy could have given Stuttgart the lead but the striker just missed the target one-on-one with Oliver Baumann. And so the first half ended goalless and with VfB in the play-off position.
No happy ending
VfB upped the pressure after the restart, with Silas (53’) and Chris Führich (62’) both going close to breaking the deadlock while the visitors offered little threat going forward. As time went on the Cannstatt boys became bolder, Tiago Tomas striking the outside of the post (74’), but just a minute later Hoffenheim took the lead against the run of play when Bebou headed into the net to break Stuttgart hearts. But with their 12th man behind them, VfB didn’t give up and equalised five minutes later when Tomas beat his man and fired home. Hoeneß’ men pushed on for a winner that would have lifted them to safety, but it didn’t come and they will have to compete in the play-off to stay up.
75th minute (0-1): Bebou gives Hoffenheim the lead with a header.
80th minute (1-1): Tomas beats his opponent for pace and slots in the equaliser.
Waldemar Anton: “We tried to win this game. We’ll allow ourselves to feel disappointed today, but from tomorrow onwards we’ll focus on the relegation play-offs. It doesn’t matter who our opponent is, we’re only concentrating on ourselves. We’ll have to take the long road to safety. We’re prepared for it.”