Hoffenheim's first European win, over Basaksehir, was the only positive note on a tough night for Germany's Europa League sides. Cologne suffered another defeat in their long winless run while Hertha Berlin also lost.
BATE Borisov 1-0 Cologne
Cologne’s miserable season plumbed new depths as they sunk to a third straight defeat in the Europa League and extended their winless run to 11 games.
The visitors started brightly enough in Belarus but failed to really test BATE’s keeper until just after the half hour mark. Simon Zoller passed up the easiest chance with his head, allowing the keeper to dive to his right to make a smart stop.
The sides went in to the break deadlocked but Cologne’s calamitous defending soon came back to the fore. They failed to clear a loose ball in the box, allowing Alexei Rios to decide the match.
Peter Stöger’s side are now without a win since a 5-0 German Cup victory on August 12. They face a crunch relegation battle with Werder Bremen on Sunday.
Hoffenheim 3-1 Basaksehir
(Hübner 52', Amiri 59', Schulz 79' - Napoleoni 90+3)
The perenially rising reputation of Julian Nagelsmann has been checked by a European record that has so far left something to be desired. But the Hoffenheim coach, and the club itself, are finally off the mark in Europe after three second half goals put them back in contention in Group C.
After a fairly uneventful first half Benjamin Hübner headed powerfully home from a corner to get Hoffenheim up and running. The opener got the host's motor running and Nadiem Amiri doubled the lead when he met Karim Demirbay's low cross and tucked away in the far corner.
Nico Schulz grabbed the third, powering home Philipp Ochs' layoff before Stefano Napoleoni grabbed a stylish consolation for the visitors. Hoffenheim sit third in the group, three points behind 2nd-placed Braga with three games to play.
Zorya 2-1 Hertha Berlin
(Silas 42‘, Svatok 79‘ – Selke 56‘)
Oleksandr Svatok celebrates the winning goal for Zorya, which leaves Hertha winless in the Europa League.
Hertha Berlin are still without a win in Europe this season after stumbling to defeat against Zorya in the Ukraine.
An uneventful first half was staggering towards the break when the hosts opened the scoring through a Silas free-kick which took a slight deflection and sneaked past Rune Jarstein in the Hertha goal.
Hertha improved after the break and appeared to have steadied the ship when Davie Selke’s header drew the Bundesliga side level.
But they couldn’t hold out for a point, with Oleksandr Svatok’s cheeky flick from a low cross proving the winner.