Eintracht beat Hoffenheim in Bundesliga opener
Martin Hinteregger scored after just 36 seconds as Eintracht Frankfurt started their Bundesliga campaign with a 1-0 win over Hoffenheim.
Hinteregger volleyed home Filip Kostic’s cross inside the opening minute to send the home fans inside the Commerzbank-Arena into a frenzy. Kostic, Daichi Kamada and Dominik Kohr all had opportunities to make the scoreline more comfortable, but Hinteregger’s goal ultimately proved the difference between the two sides.
Personnel: Hütter rings the changes
Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and midfielder Mijat Gacinovic were the sole survivors from Thursday’s victory over FC Vaduz as Adi Hütter shuffled his pack once again. David Abraham, Makoto Hasebe and Hinteregger returned to defence, while Ante Rebic made his first start since the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round first leg at FC Flora.
First half: Eagles fly out of the traps
One or two spectators were still taking their seats inside the Commerzbank-Arena when Hinteregger gave Eintracht the lead with the first real attack of the contest. A short corner was played into Kostic, whose teasing delivery was expertly turned home by the Austrian defender. The visitors responded well to the early setback, though, and went close to an equaliser when Lukas Rupp shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
Robert Skov was next to try his luck for TSG, sending a long-range effort wide of the mark, before Kostic shot straight at goalkeeper Oliver Baumann in a one-on-one situation. Dennis Geiger thought he had levelled for Hoffenheim four minutes before the break, but the visitors’ celebrations were cut short when VAR disallowed the goal for offside.
Second half: Eintracht survive nervy finish
Eintracht started the second period as brightly as the first and nearly doubled their lead within minutes of the restart. Kamada held off the challenge of Sebastian Rudy, skipped past Kevin Vogt and drilled a low effort towards the near post, but Baumann got down quickly to make an impressive one-handed save.
The Eagles continued to probe the visitors’ defence in search of a second goal, and only a last-ditch clearance by Stefan Posch prevented Kohr’s header from ending up in the back of the net. Eintracht fans’ hearts were in their mouths in second-half stoppage time when Ishak Belfodil beat Trapp with a tidy finish, but the goal was once again ruled out for offside.
Summary: A perfect start
It was not all one-way traffic at the Commerzbank-Arena, but Hütter will feel his side deserved all three points from their Bundesliga opener. The victory maintains Eintracht’s winning start to the campaign in all competitions - a run they will hope to extend to seven matches when they travel to RC Strasbourg for Thursday’s Europa League play-off first leg.
Trapp - Abraham, Hasebe, Hinteregger - da Costa, Kohr (Rode 65’), Fernandes, Kostic - Gacinovic (Torró 88’), Kamada (Paciencia 71’) - Rebic
1-0 Hinteregger (1’)