John Brooks and Hoffenheim can breathe now as they recorded a big win over Champions League-chasing Union Berlin to secure their Bundesliga status for next season.
Hoffenheim 4-2 Union Berlin
It was mission accomplished for Hoffenheim and Pellegrino Matarazzo’s men came away with a statement win over Union Berlin at the PreZero Arena to stave off relegation.
John Brooks anchored a three-man backline for the Blues, completing 91 percent of his passes, winning four duels, and making one tackle in the win. On the other side, Jordan Pefok came off the bench to play the final 10 minutes for the capital team.
The hosts jumped out to the lead in the 22nd minute thanks to a poor headed back pass by Diogo Leite that allowed Ihlas Bebou to pounce and put his shot past goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow. They had a chance to double their lead later when Leite tripped up Christoph Baumgartner in the box. After a review from the video assistant referee, it was confirmed to be a penalty, allowing Andrej Kramaric to step up and convert the spot-kick.
Union cut the deficit in first-half stoppage time when Danilho Doekhi rose up to head in a Christopher Trimmel corner kick to give them some confidence heading into the second interval.
Hoffenheim needed a win and other results to go their way to ensure they did not go into a must-win situation next weekend. They finally restored their two-goal lead in the 90th minute when Munas Dabbur waltzed into the box with the ball to deliver a low cross to the center for Kramaric to tap into the open goal.
There was loads of stoppage time and the visitors needed the goals to give them an advantage over Freiburg for the fourth Champions League spot. Aissa Laidouni pulled one back for them in the 95th minute with a strike that beat Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.
The Blues got the last word in the game as they scored a fourth in the 99th minute of play. Dabbur did well to put his shot past Trimmel at the near post as the team celebrated their survival with a game to spare.
The win moves Hoffenheim up to 13th place in the standings with 35 points, while Union will head into their final game of the season in fourth with 59 points.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Gio Reyna came on in the second minute of stoppage time as Borussia Dortmund came away with a 3-0 win over Augsburg to give them the advantage to secure the Bundesliga crown next weekend.
Kevin Paredes played the final eight minutes for Wolfsburg in their 2-0 loss to Freiburg.
Joe Scally watched on from the bench as Borussia Monchengladbach fought back to claim a point in their thrilling 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen.
Neither Paxten Aaronson nor Timothy Chandler saw no action for Eintracht Frankfurt as they shared the points following a 2-2 draw with Schalke.
In the 2. Bundesliga, Lennart Maloney went the distance for Heidenheim as they sealed a 1-0 win over Sandhausen to give them a chance to earn automatic promotion next weekend.
Terrence Boyd started and played 62 minutes for Kaiserslautern as they blanked in a 2-0 defeat to Karlsruhe.
Julian Green played the full 90 minutes while Maximilian Dietz stayed on the bench as Greuther Furth fell in a 2-1 loss to Hamburg.
Ryan Malone started but only played 39 minutes for Hansa Rostock, while on the other side, Nathaniel Brown saw 85 minutes of action for Nurnberg as both teams played out a 0-0 draw.
George Bello saw no action for relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld in their 2-2 draw with Paderborn.
Down in the 3. Liga, Mael Corboz played 90 minutes for Verl in their 2-1 loss to Freiburg II.
Justin Butler started and played 58 minutes, while Jalen Hawkins came on to play 19 minutes for Ingolstadt as they secured a 3-0 win over Erzgebirge Aue.
Johan Gomez played 76 minutes and Nicolas Carrrera 21 minutes of action for Zwickau as they came from behind for the 2-1 win over Oldenburg.
Already relegated Bayreuth fell in a 1-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund II as Jann George played 60 minutes.
Isaiah Young played 88 minutes for Rot-Weiss Essen as they were beaten by Hallescher FC by a 2-0 scoreline.
Mansour Ouro-Tagba watch all of the action from the bench as 1860 Munich recorded a 3-1 win over Waldhof Mannheim.