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Sports

Fürth play catch-up for thrilling draw at Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim just couldn't build up enough of a lead on newly promoted Greuther Fürth. The home side went in front against the Bavarians three times, but they somehow contrived to end up sharing the points.

If four goals is not a sufficient lead - as for Germany against Sweden in their 4-4 draw on Tuesday - a one goal advantage certainly isn't.

So it proved for Hoffenheim, who got their nose in front three times only to get pegged back at each stage by Greuther Fürth.

In fact, the Bavarian visitors did most of the pushing in the first five minutes, but they simply couldn't capitalize on their early energy. They were unable to find enough time and space in the box, despite Edu coming close.

It was somewhat against the run of play when Roberto Firmino rose to plant a high ball down under Fürth keeper Max Grün, putting the home side ahead after eight minutes.

As Fürth sent the ball up the pitch in an effort to get level, their attacks at first seemed to flounder in the face of a robust Hoffenheim rearguard.

The Bavarians still looked threatening, although the shakier side in defense, when they were tested by Hoffenheim. There was a sense though that any equalizer for the visiting side would come from distance.

Joselu celebrates (Photo: GettyImages)

Joselu got his side ahead twice but still wasn't a winner

It was indeed the case, when Hoffenheim keeper Tim Wiese again stopped a long-range effort that dipped to but he wasn't able to hold on. Grounded, he was unable to get to the follow-up from Zoltan Stieber who finished from a tight angle to equalize on 39 minutes.

At the beginning of the second half, neither side was able to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

One step forward, one step back

Although Fürth were still eager to grab three valuable away points, Hoffenheim seemed more likely to grab a win in front of their home fans. They went ahead when the side's Kevin Volland put the ball through to allow forward Joselu to score at 67 minutes, slotting the ball between near post and keeper.

Alas for Hoffenheim, Greuther hit back through Edgar Prib - running square to the goal outside the box and shocking Hoffenheim with a superb low effort that defied Wiese.

Hoffenheim, now determined to have their home win, threw everything at Fürth. It seemed to have paid off when Joselu scrambled past keeper Grün with the ball to score an apparent scrappy winner a minute before the final whistle.

It really was not to be Hoffenheim's day though - an injury time corner gave Lasse Sobiech the glancing header to make 3-3 the final score.

Fürth climb off the bottom for now, on five points from eight games, while Hoffenheim nudge up to twelfth with eight points from eight matches.

Saturday's Bundesliga soccer games include one big local derby as champions Borussia Dortmund take on visitors Schalke. Meanwhile, leaders Bayern Munich are away to Fortuna Dusseldorf.