Hoffenheim off and running
Last Updated: September 23, 2012 7:20pm
Celebration time for Hoffenheim
Hoffenheim picked up their first win of the 2012/13 Bundesliga campaign to end Hannover's own unbeaten start with a 3-1 victory.
An own goal from Mathieu Delpierre compounded what has been a start of the season to forget for Hoffenheim, but Fabian Johnson replied immediately at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
Late goals from Sejad Salihovic and Daniel Williams then gave Hoffenheim some long-awaited joy as they moved off the foot of the table with their first three points of the season.
Hoffenheim came into the game on the back of four straight defeats in all competitions, and just when it seemed it could not get any worse, it did.
Opponents had been finding it easy enough to score against Markus Babbel's side without the need for favours like the one Delpierre gave Hannover.
He headed Konstantin Rausch's whipped cross from the left past his own goalkeeper in the 26th minute.
Fishing the ball out of the back of the net this time was Koen Casteels and not Tim Wiese, who missed the game due to injury after conceding 11 goals already this season.
Hoffenheim's answer was immediate, though, with Johnson beating Steven Cherundolo for pace down the left wing and cutting inside to place his shot beyond Ron Robert Zieler into the far corner.
It was Delpierre who sent him clear, making up for his own goal within 60 seconds.
Zieler then came into his own, showing why he is Germany's second-choice goalkeeper by first tipping Sebastian Rudy's free-kick wide for a corner and then denying Eren Derdiyok at full stretch.
He even got to Salihovic's header in the 82nd minute, but after the ball had already crossed the line as Hoffenheim took the lead for the first time.
Hannover, who were in Europa League action on Thursday, could not find the energy for a recovery and they conceded a third goal in stoppage time when Williams swept a shot into an empty net from 15 yards out after Kevin Volland unselfishly set him up.