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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 16, 2008

Bundesliga: 1899 Hoffenheim win top flight debut

BERLIN, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Promoted 1899 Hoffenheim pulled off a 3-0 away win over Energie Cottbus on Saturday to finish their first day as a Bundesliga club on top of the league table. Boasting just one new addition to their line-up since clinching promotion from the second division last season, Ralph Rangnick's side showed no sign of nerves, seeing off Cottbus with two Vedad Ibesevic goals either side of a Demba Ba strike. Hoffenheim were joined at the top by Schalke 04 who demolished Hanover 96 by the same scoreline, with the Gelsenkirchen team's goals all coming from set pieces. Two goals scored from corners in the opening seven minutes put Schalke in control of the match -- Marcelo Bordon heading in the first and Kevin Kuryani prodding home the second. Kuryani headed in his second and Schalke's third midway through the second half, this time after latching on to a free kick. Following the 2-2 draw between champions Bayern Munich and Hamburg SV on Friday, last year's runners-up Werder Bremen also had to settle for a single point after being held 2-2 away against Bielefeld. After a goal-less first half, Werder twice took the lead through Markus Rosenborg but were pegged back each time by equalisers from Bielefeld striker Artur Wichniarek. Borussia Dortmund ran out narrow winners in the day's highest scoring match, celebrating a thrilling 3-2 away win over Bayer Leverkusen. Dortmund had looked in charge after taking a 3-1 lead early in the second half but had to soak up sustained pressure in the closing stages after Stefan Kiessling put the home side back in contention with seven minutes remaining. Looking to build on their impressive fifth place finish last season, VfL Wolfsburg fell a goal down at home against promoted Cologne before turning the match around with two second half goals. Karlsruhe SC enjoyed a more straightforward 1-0 win over VfL Bochum. The opening round of the Bundesliga will be completed on Sunday when Eintracht Frankfurt host Hertha Berlin and Bundesliga returners Borussia Moenchengladbach take on Stuttgart.

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