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Orban grabs dramatic late equaliser as RBL draw with Hoffenheim

Willi Orban scores late on after Andrej Kramaric put the visitors ahead | RBL took control after the break | 33,569 watch on in the Red Bull Arena | Kevin Kampl makes his comeback, 50th competitive game for Ibrahima Konaté

Both sides started positively in the first 15 minutes, playing plenty of searching balls and looking to test each other’s defences. Hoffenheim looked to exploit the space behind the Leipzig defensive line, with Stefan Ilsanker forced to make a brilliant tackle to deny Andrej Kramaric a 1v1 with Péter Gulácsi in goal. The Leipzig custodian was in action just seconds later, making a good save to keep out Kaderabek’s shot from the left flank. The visitors continued to apply the pressure and were rewarded in the 23rd minute with a goal. Joelinton’s shot from the right flank was well-parried by Gulácsi, but an unmarked Kramaric was there to poke home. Leipzig chances came few and far between as the half progressed, although Die Roten Bullen remained on the front foot as the half-time whistle approached. Leipzig’s best chance of the first 45 minutes came to Konrad Laimer right on the stroke of half-time, but his shot was well-held by Oliver Baumann in the Hoffenheim net.

Tyler Adams came on for Ilsanker in the second half, as Ralf Rangnick looked to switch things up and get his Leipzig side back into the match. The hosts started strongly, pushing up the field and looking to create chances. The first one of these fell to captain Willi Orban in the 54th minute, but his header at goal was superbly saved by Baumann. Kevin Kampl made his comeback from injury, replacing Diego Demme in the 60th minute, and almost made an immediate impact when his ball reached Mattheus Cunha’s feet in front of goal, but the Brazilian blazed wide. Marcel Sabitzer headed over just moments later, as RBL continued to up the ante and put Hoffenheim under increased pressure. By the 75th minute, Hoffenheim were playing deep and holding on, as Leipzig dominated possession. Substitute Jean-Kévin Augustin played a delightful ball into the visitors’ penalty area to Lukas Klostermann, but the defender’s volley flew wide of the left-hand post. Marcel Sabitzer then found himself unmarked in the box as he struck a shot from eight yards, but his effort was just blocked. With the crowd roaring Die Roten Bullen on, the pressure finally paid off in a dramatic finale. Marcel Halstenberg swung a perfect delivery into Orban in the centre of the box, and the centre-back prodded home from six yards to guarantee the hosts a share of the spoils. Leipzig continued to press until the final whistle, with Halstenberg’s shot flying just above the crossbar, and Marcel Sabitzer heading over in the closing stages. The match ended with Die Roten Bullen claiming a much-deserved point, after a very strong second-half performance.

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