Another preseason win for Julen Lopetegui's side, in a comeback victory that saw Sevilla grow into the game after an uncomfortable start
Only one day before Julen Lopetegui's side would face Hoffenheim's academy team in a closed-door friendly, Sevilla first had the challenge of a strong Hoffenheim First Team at the Prezero Arena. With an intense press and a tight centre of the park, the Nervionenses did not connect as well as they had become accustomed to in preseason, though still managed a hard-fought 1-2 win against the Bundesliga side.
In a cagey opening, just Ocampos would create chances for Sevilla, providing dangerous crosses into the Hoffenheim box that could not be met by Sevilla forwards. In fact, it would be Vaclík who was the busier of the two keepers, proving his worth on more than one occasion when tested.
The first test would come from the boot of Rudy, with a powerful strike from the front of the area - the Czech keeper would do enough to send the ball for a corner. Not long after, Kjaer would do the same - getting in front of a shot to deflect the ball away. Unfortunately, the Danish defender would soon have to leave the field injured, being replaced by Diego Carlos on half-an-hour. Geiger would be the next Hoffenheim player to make Vaclík work, just five minutes before the German side found a breakthrough. Grifo would be the man to eventually break the deadlock, scoring from the penalty spot after a Joan Jordán handball.
Munir's equaliser proved the spark Sevilla needed
Perhaps woken up by the breakthrough, Sevilla would find a reply before the half-time whistle. After a cutting ball from Escudero, Munir would find the back of the net with a deft finish, finding the equaliser despite Hubner's outstretched hand. The goal gave Sevilla confidence, with Munir once again having an opportunity for 1-2 - this time Baumann would avert the danger.
Just as they had at the end of the first-half, Lopetegui's side would restart with their tails up - scoring soon after the second-half had begun. After a throw-in from Escudero found De Jong, the Dutchman would assist Argentinian midfielder Éver Banega, who nodded home from close range.
With 1-2 on the scoreboard, Lopetegui would look to reshuffle - with his side now looking far more comfortable on the ball than they had in the early stages. Pozo and Koundé would replace Gudelj and Carriço, with Sevilla shifting to a 4-4-2 (with Banega and Jordán working as a double pivot). With the change in formation, Munir and De Jong would play alongside each other up front - a partnership which gave De Jong one decent look at 1-3. However, the striker would only find the side-netting.
Far more comfortable in the second-half, Lopetegui's side would see out the win with ease
Having grown considerably in presence over the course of the game, Sevilla would see out the second-half with a comfortable performance. With another preseason win now in the books, Lopetegui's team look ahead to the final day of the side's German tour, before friendlies next week against Granada FC and Extremadura.
1. TSG 1899 HOFFENHEIM: Baumann, Kaderabek, Geiger, Bebou, Grillitsch, Rudy, Zuber, Hübner, Akpoguma, Grifo, Posch. Subs: Rupp, Skov, Ribeiro and Elmikies.
2. SEVILLA FC: Vaclik, Navas, Carriço, Kjaer, Escudero, Gudelj, Joan Jordán, Banega, Ocampos, Munir and De Jong. Subs: Diego Carlos, Pozo, Koundé, Ben Yedder, Óliver, Bryan Gil.
GOALS: 1-0 Grifo (p.), 30; 1-1: Munir, 39; 1-2: Banega, 50.