Hoffenheim’s miserable Bundesliga season continued as they fell to a 2-0 home defeat against relegation rivals Darmstadt on Sunday.
Darmstadt opened the scoring in the 33rd minute when the hosts’ goalkeeper Oliver Baumann was caught out from a corner, allowing captain Aytac Sulu to head home.
Slobodan Rajkovic – who had earlier hit the bar with a header – sealed the points five minutes from time when he struck with a close-range left-footed effort as Hoffenheim managed only one attempt on target during the match.
Huub Stevens’ side, who finished eighth last season, remain 17th having won only two of their 20 games.
A win over Darmstadt would have brought them to within four points of the promoted side, but instead they now trail them by 10 after extending their torrid run of form to just one win from 13 league games.
Darmstadt’s victory moves them up to 11th in the table as their fine away record continues – Dirk Schuster’s men have accumulated 17 points on their travels compared to just seven at home.
Elsewhere, Hamburg and Cologne played out a 1-1 draw at Volksparkstadion.
Visitors Cologne created more chances and it was they who took the lead four minutes before the interval when a mistake from Johan Djourou allowed Jonas Hector to set up Simon Zoller, who found the bottom corner.
Hamburg levelled after 47 minutes when half-time substitute Artjoms Rudnevs fed Nicolai Muller to rifle a shot into the top corner from outside of the penalty area.
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