Bayer 04 Leverkusen keeper and captain Lukas Hradecky made sure to thank Alejandro Grimaldo for cancelling out his mistake after Germany's red company team edged out TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon.
|Photo: Pyaet, CC BY-SA 4.0
The latest result was nevertheless not exactly the type of "cruise control" victory one had come to expect from Xabi's team. On the contrary, Pellegrino Matarazzo's Sinsheimers very nearly turned the tables on their opponents. A 2-0 halftime lead for the visiting Westphalians was quickly erased between the 56th when Hoffenheim struck back with two goals.
The first tally - a long-range effort from Anton Stach - came courtesy of a passing error out of the back from keeper/captain Lukas Hradecky. The Finnish net-minder spoke at length about the scene in his post-match interview with Sky Germany, making certain to promptly admit his mistake.
"It was a chaotic phase," Hradecky told his interviewer, "I lit the fire myself. I was aiming for Grimaldo, but Grischa Prömel put me under pressure. I didn't see him [Stach]. Bad pass. Bad decision. The team saved me today."
"Everything would have been fine if I hadn't played the pass," the 33-year-old continued, "We were superior. Hoffenheim didn't have anything before that. That was difficult for us. But, of course, we proved that we can hold our own and were resilient."
Alexandro Grimaldo came to the rescue of the team with his second goal on the day (and seventh across all competitions this season) on the 3-2 in the 70th. Hradecky stuck to the metaphor used in his initial comments when crediting the Spanish wingback for saving the day.
"Fireman Grimaldo put out the final fire," the Finn jovially remarked.