Bayern To Host Hoffenheim In German Cup Last 16

Bayern Munich’s Croatian head coach Niko Kovac celebrates with the trophy after the German Cup Final football match RB Leipzig v FC Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. AFP


Bayern Munich will face Hoffenheim in the last 16 of the German Cup as they attempt to defend their trophy, while last season’s losing finalists RB Leipzig will travel to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Borussia Dortumund, who eliminated Bundesliga leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach in the last round, travel to Werder Bremen, while Schalke host Hertha Berlin in the other all-top flight clash.

Fixtures (matches to be played February 4-5 2020):

Eintracht Frankfurt v RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim, Schalke 04 v Hertha Berlin, Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen v Stuttgart, Kaiserslautern v Fortuna Duesseldorf, SC Verl v Union Berlin, FC Saarbruecken v Karlsruhe

Bayern Munich Crash To First Defeat Of The Season

Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski (R) and Hoffenheim’s German defender Benjamin Huebner head for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in Munich, southern Germany, on October 5, 2019. Christof STACHE / AFP


Five days after thrashing Tottenham in Europe, Bayern Munich suffered their first loss this season with a shock 2-1 home defeat by Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Second-half goals by Armenian forward Sargis Adamyan sealed Hoffenheim’s first-ever win in Munich as Bayern suffered a Champions League hangover after their 7-2 romp at Tottenham on Tuesday.

It was Bayern’s first home defeat in the league for almost a year.

Robert Lewandowski equalised at the Allianz Arena with his 11th Bundesliga goal this season, scoring for the seventh straight league game, but Adamyan clinched the win with his second.

Bayern kept first place in the Bundesliga on goal difference ahead of Leipzig, Leverkusen and Freiburg, with four teams on 14 points at the top.

Schalke can take over as shock leaders if they beat strugglers Cologne later on Saturday. Borussia Moenchengladbach could also go top by beating mid-table Augsburg on Sunday.

Hoffenheim Snatch Thrilling Draw At Lyon

Lyon’s Belgian defender Jason Denayer (C) heads the ball with Hoffenheim’s Algerian forward Ishak Belfodil during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Olympique Lyonnais and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Decines-Charpieu, central-eastern France, on November 7, 2018. JEFF PACHOUD / AFP


Hoffenheim revived their hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16 as Pavel Kaderabek scored an injury-time equaliser to cap a dramatic comeback with 10 men and snatch a 2-2 draw at Lyon.

First-half strikes from Nabil Fekir and Tanguy Ndombele put Lyon in control at the Groupama Stadium, and Kasim Nuhu’s sending off shortly after the restart left Hoffenheim with a mountain to climb.

But Andrej Kramaric gave the Germans hope, and Kaderabek popped up at the back post to stab in a dramatic leveller in the second minute of added time and extend Hoffenheim’s debut group-stage campaign.

“We didn’t realise that in a football match, nothing is ever finished,” bemoaned Lyon midfielder Lucas Tousart to RMC Sport.

“These are unacceptable errors to make at this level, when you’re looking to qualify… It’s so annoying to end up with a draw when we had the game in our hands.”

Lyon slip three points behind Group F leaders Manchester City — who thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium — as they bid to qualify for the last 16 for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.

“We played a good match anyway, even if we don’t leave with victory and we are disappointed,” said Fekir.

“We must continue with the same state of mind we had before these two goals. There are still two games, nothing is done yet, and it’s up to us to learn from this match.”

But Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim are now only three points adrift of Lyon in third, and host bottom club Shakhtar at the end of the month.

“At 2-0, Lyon were full of confidence and we had lost all of ours,” said 31-year-old coach Nagelsmann. “But, after the red card, for us it was double or quits.”

Bizarre opening goal 

Lyon took the lead in bizarre circumstances as Ferland Mendy’s fierce drive against the post precipitated a frantic goalmouth scramble which ended with Fekir prodding in from just a couple of yards out.

It was a wide open game, much like the 3-3 draw between the teams in Sinsheim two weeks ago, and home goalkeeper Anthony Lopes made a magnificent save from Nico Schulz to deny the visitors an equaliser.

Lyon quickly went up the other end and doubled their advantage as Mendy powered forward again from wing-back and squared for the unmarked Ndombele to slot home with the aid of a big deflection.

It was the 21-year-old France midfielder’s second goal in as many games against Hoffenheim, having previously only scored once in his Lyon career.

Florian Grillitsch’s long-range strike was just centimetres from giving Nagelsmann’s away side a lifeline in the opening minute of the second half, but Kasim was given his marching orders for a second yellow card in the 51st minute.

Lyon missed chances to put the game to bed, though, with Jason Denayer seeing a goal ruled out for offside before Fekir fired straight at Hoffenheim ‘keeper Oliver Baumann, and Kramaric set up a tense final quarter of the match with a low 25-yard strike into the bottom corner.

Memphis Depay wasted yet another chance to seal Lyon the three points as his low effort was palmed away by Baumann, and Kaderabek met Joe Linton’s free-kick in the dying seconds to make Lyon pay for their profligacy.


Bayern Roar Back To Floor Hoffenheim

Bayern Munich’s Austrian midfielder David Alaba (C) celebrates his team’s fourth goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match, Bayern Munich v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, on January 27, 2018, in Munich, southern Germany. PHOTO: Gunter SCHIFFMANN / AFP

Bayern has won 18 of their last 19 games and is 16 points clear on the table.

However, a dreadful start left Bayern 2-0 down at home — the first time that has happened since January 1977 — after just 12 minutes.

Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich brought down Serge Gnabry, who returns to Bayern next season when his loan spell at Hoffenheim ends, in the area with two minutes gone and the referee pointed to the spot.

Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich saved Gnabry’s spot-kick from Gnabry only for Mark Uth to tap home the rebound with three minutes gone.

Bayern’s fortunes dived further when Jerome Boateng’s poor pass was snapped up by Gnabry who drove the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

However, Bayern was level with 25 minutes gone.

Lewandowski began the charge by tapping home Kimmich’s shot and Boateng made amends by heading home to make the score 2-2 at the break.

Kingsley Coman gave Bayern the lead for the first time with an hour gone before Arturo Vidal headed the fourth on 66 minutes.

To compound Hoffenheim’s misery, their ex-striker Sandro Wagner scored his first Bayern goal on 90 minutes to complete the comeback.

“We were asleep at the start – we weren’t aggressive enough and gave them too much ball,” said Boateng.

“But we reacted really well and deserved the win.”

– Aubameyang back, Dortmund draw –

Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang produced a poor display on his Borussia Dortmund return in their 2-2 draw against Freiburg whose captain Nils Petersen netted twice.

Aubameyang was dropped for Dortmund’s two previous games as his club reportedly rejected a second bid by Arsenal of 58 million euros ($72m).

The German club are reportedly holding out for 70 million euros for their top scorer.

Dortmund went ahead when Shinji Kagawa volleyed home his second goal in as many games on nine minutes.

Aubameyang, who headed over on 32 minutes, was booed by home fans whenever he went near the ball.

Freiburg drew level on 21 minutes when Petersen fired home at the near post.

Petersen grabbed his second with a spectacular shot after pouncing on a Nuri Sahin mistake and lobbed Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki from 30 metres.

However, Germany Under-21 left-back Jeremy Toljan spared Dortmund’s blushes with a 93rd-minute equaliser.

Dortmund are fifth in the table after their third straight draw.

– Schalke regain second –

Schalke reclaimed second spot from Eintracht Frankfurt, who beat Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday, with a 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart.

Brazil centre-back Naldo gave the Royal Blues the lead before Morocco’s Amine Harit slotted in a penalty.

Fourth-placed RB Leipzig were held to a 1-1 draw at home to second-from-bottom Hamburg, whose new head coach Bernd Hollerbach picked up a point on his first game in charge.

Portugal midfielder Bruma gave Leipzig the lead on nine minutes, finishing a counter-attack when Hamburg’s Aaron Hunt lost the ball.

However, Hamburg broke their run of four straight defeats when Filip Kostic hit their equaliser on 29 minutes.

Bottom-side Cologne were denied a fourth straight victory in their 1-1 draw against Augsburg.

Milos Jojic curled in a superb free-kick on 40 minutes before Brazilian midfielder Caiuby headed home an equaliser 22 minutes from time.


Champions League: Hoffenheim Out To Make History At Anfield

Hoffenheim’s Croatian forward Andrej Kramaric celebrates scoring the 1-0 during the German First division Bundesliga football match. Daniel ROLAND / AFP

Hoffenheim head to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool bidding to make history by overturning a 2-1 deficit in Wednesday’s Champions League second-leg, play-off to become the first German club to win at Anfield.

Liverpool looked to have planted one foot in the group phase after going 2-0 up in last week’s first leg in Germany, only for Mark Uth’s 87th-minute reply to bring Hoffenheim right back into the tie.

The Germans are bidding to reach the Champions League’s group stage for the first time in the club’s history.

Liverpool though have yet to lose at home to German opposition in 14 matches at home in European competition with 11 wins and three draws.

“There is always the first time, we want to win the game, but there is the additional attraction of writing our own success story,” Hoffenheim’s 24-year-old Germany midfielder Kerem Demirbay told German daily Bild.

“It’s a great time to write history.”

Read Also: Klopp Feels Heat As Liverpool Eye Group Phase

Although they need to score at least twice, Demirbay insists the Germans will not be intimidated by Anfield, but are full of respect for Klopp’s side.

“One has to say, they are simply a good team, but we are also good,” said Demirbay.

“We’re not Liverpool, but we can go there with our heads held high and play without fear.

“We’re good enough to survive there too and score at least two goals.”

Demirbay says the novelty of playing in the electric atmosphere of Anfield will motivate the Germans.

“It can also give us a push because none of us have experienced an atmosphere like Anfield.

“I won’t be intimidated, quite the opposite.

“I think it’s great when you come across a mood like that in a stadium. It’s inspiring.”


Hoffenheim Target Manchester City’s Iheanacho

iheanacho, Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Arsenal, Alex Iwobi, Arsene WengerGerman Bundesliga Club Hoffenheim are keen on a loan move for Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Nigerian footballer was an important attacker under City’s former manager, Manuel Pellegrini, last season.

He has, however, has found the first team opportunities difficult to come by in the ongoing season under current trainer, Pep Guardiola, while the return to fitness of Gabriel Jesus has also pushed him even further down the pecking order.

The 20-year-old joined City in 2015 and has made 42 appearances for the English side, scoring 12 goals.

Hoffenheim are set to be in the UEFA Champions League next season and a move there would appeal to all parties.

Brazilian Striker, Firmino, Joins Liverpool In £29m Deal

Liverpool Sign Brazil Striker, Firmino In £29m DealEngland football giants, Liverpool FC, have signed Brazilian striker, Roberto Firmino, from Hoffenheim for about £29m.

The 23-year-old’s five-year deal was subject to a medical, which would take place after his return from the Copa America in Chile.

The Brazilian forward has scored 47 goals in 151 games for Hoffenheim, becoming the Reds’ second most expensive player after Andy Carroll, who was signed from Newcastle for £35m in 2011.

Liverpool have so far resisted two offers from Manchester City for England forward, Raheem Sterling.

However, having spent the last four and a half seasons in the Bundesliga, Firmino was on target for Brazil in their 2-1 Copa America victory over Venezuela on Sunday.

FIFA U-20 World Cup: NFF Confirm Three Friendlies For Flying Eagles

flying eaglesThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has arranged three test matches for the Flying Eagles against the U-23 teams of German Bundesliga clubs Hoffenheim, Nurnberg and Freiburg ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

The Nigeria U20 team will tackle Hoffenheim U23s on May 12 in Hoffenheim with kick-off time put at 3pm local time, which is 4pm Nigerian time.

Three days later they will tackle the U23 team of Nurnberg at their training ground in Sudwest Park in Nurnberg by 4.30pm.
These two matches will be able to give Coach Manu Garba and his assistants the chance to run a final rule over the players they will pick for their final 21-man squad for the World Cup.

Their final test match is slated for Freiburg against the U23 team of Freiburg on May 19 by 2.30pm.

The team are due to fly out to New Zealand via Australia from Germany on May 23.

Flying Eagles test matches:
Vs Hoffenheim May 12
Vs Nurnberg May 15
Vs Freiburg May 19

Nigeria will submit a final squad to FIFA on May 15.