Slovan Liberec - Hoffenheim

Europe: Europa League
Slovan Liberec
Stadion u Nisy0-2
Hoffenheim C. Baumgartner (77), A. Kramarić (Pen. 89)

Baumgartner finally breaks deadlock, Hoffenheim through to Europa League Knockouts

By Peter Vice

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim officially qualified for the 2020/21 Europa League knockouts with a 2-0 win over Sloven Liberec in the Czech Republic.

Christoph Baumgartner.
Christoph Baumgartner.Photo: Silesia711, CC-by-SA 4.0

Sebastian Hoeneß's Kraichgauer remained undefeated through four rounds of the 2020/21 Europa League group stages. In point of fact, the Sinsheimers have taken maximum points from a by-no-means unchallenging group.

Meeting a well-rested Sloven Liberec team for the second time in three weeks, Hoeneß rotated out seven outfielders. Among the non-regulars in his starting XI, Brazilian striker Klauss and 18-year-old prospect Maximilian Beier paired up front to lead the attack in a tight 4-4-2 diamond. Young Melayro Bogarde also got a rare start at right back.

Hoeneß clearly constructed a shape intended to keep the many unfamiliar players close to each other. All the same, it took time for creative football to emerge. Despite 75 percent possession and an 86 parent pass completion rate, the German visitors weren't able to build anything especially threatening until late in the first half.

With little happening as the hour mark neared, Hoeneß brought on the big guns in Andrej Kramaric and Ihlas Bebou. The substitutes, which also included Danish utility man Robert Skov, did up the temp of the game a bit. It was two of the starters, however, who combined to open the scoring in the 78th. Bogarde served up Christoph Baumgartner, who supplied a neat finish from 17 meters out.

Kramaric later sealed the deal with a converted handball penalty one minute from the end of normal time.

Slovan Liberec
1Filip Nguyen
18Martin Koscelník
30Taras Kacharaba
2Jakub Jugas
37Matěj Chaluš ↩83
3Jan Mikula (C)
10Jakub Pešek ↩83
23Kamso Mara ↩90
6Michal Sadílek
8John Mosquera
21Abdulla Yusuf Helal ↩70
31Lukáš Hasalík
34Milan Knobloch
7Michael Rabusic ↪70
19Imad Rondić ↪83
24Michal Fukala
9Aleš Nešický
11Jan Matoušek ↪83
22Michal Beran ↪90
25Jakub Hromada
1Oliver Baumann (C)
32Melayro Bogarde
15Kasim Nuhu
6Håvard Nordtveit
17Ryan Sessegnon ↩46
20Mijat Gaćinović
16Sebastian Rudy ↩61
14Christoph Baumgartner ↩78
11Florian Grillitsch ↩78
35Maximilian Beier ↩61
12Philipp Pentke
9Ihlas Bebou ↪61
27Andrej Kramarić ↪61
29Robert Skov ↪46
38Stefan Posch
8Dennis Geiger ↪78
18Diadie Samassekou ↪78
30Marco John

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