Berlin, Dec 22 (IANS) TSG Hoffenheim cruised to a 5-0 victory over hapless Hertha BSC thanks to Sejad Salihovic's brace at the Olympiastadion while Hannover 96 came from behind to clinch a 2-2 draw against SC Freiburg in the 17th round of the German Bundesliga.
Hoffenheim Sunday whitewashed the Berlin outfit 5-0 to record the club's biggest victory in Bundesliga history, reports Xinhua.
The visitors got three first half goals as Hertha gave away two penalties and one own goal.
Hertha ensured the worst possible start on home soil when John Anthony Brooks scored the opener for Hoffenheim with his own goal, following a failed clearance attempt at the 23rd minute.
Brooks was again in the thick of things, three minutes later, when he brought down Kevin Volland inside the box. Hoffenheim's Sejad Salihovic stepped up and converted the penalty to double the lead.
Hoffenheim earned the second penalty of the game as referee Peter Sippel saw a foul play by Nico Schulz on Andreas Beck. It was a wrong decision by the referee as Beck accidentally side slipped. However, Salihovic stepped up and converted his second goal from the spot at the 39th minute.
With the 3-0 lead, Hoffenheim practically made the game safe within the first half. Nevertheless, things went from bad to worse for the hosts as Hoffenheim weren't done with the scoring.
Hertha pressed frenetically for their consolation, but Hoffenheim rounded off the 5-0 goal festival as Sven Schipplock and Sebastian Rudy were on target.
The victory keep Hoffenheim on the seventh position and in touching distance to the international business whereas the Berlin side sit on the 13th place, just two points away from a relegation play-off spot.
Elsewhere, bottom side Freiburg gave away a 2-0 lead to share vital points with Hannover.
Freiburg broke the deadlock when Mike Frantz scored the opener left-footed from seven metres just before the break. The hosts doubled the lead as Marc Oliver Kempf was on target by a header in the 81st minute.
It looked like Freiburg killed the game ahead of time but Hannover reduced the lead only two minutes later through Leonardo Bittencourt before Joselu snatched one point on the road in the dying minutes of the game.
With the draw Freiburg slip to the last place of the table while Hannover remain on the eighth. The Bundesliga concludes the first half of the campaign with the winter break until Jan 30, next year.