The 2002 born TSG squad missed out on the final by a whisker, at the prestigious U17 Bundesliga Cup which took place in Neckarsulm this year. In the deciding group match against Werder Bremen, a draw would have been enough to see them through. It was already stoppage time when the score was 2-1 to Bremen, that the TSG attackers failed to score from a double chance from close range twice against the Bremen goalkeeper. Immediately thereafter, the game was over and the Kraichgauer U17 players dropped to the floor in disappointment.
It was all going so well on the first day of the tournament, Galm's troop marched through the first couple of games with two convincing victories. Then, the team from Kraichgau had to deal with the Borussia Mönchengladbach youth team. From the get-go, they dominated the team from the Lower Rhine and consequently went ahead after a cross from Kevin Krüger set up defender Benjamin Sejdinović for a goal. Following a foul on Maximillian Beier in the box, Krüger then went to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot but the final blow was dealt by youth international player Marco John whose shot made it 3-0.
U16 Keeper Dietz stood sovereign at the back
For the second group game against Eintracht Frankfurt, Galm changed up his starting formation completely. However, the sovereignty of the Hoffenheim game was not threatened. Even though Jan-Luca Dietz had to defend his team and the TSG goal from a strong display of technical skills before the first goal. Dietz is actually in goal for the U16s, but due to the injury-related absences in the U17s from keepers Ian Werner and Michael Gelt, he helped out and left a very good impression.
Apart from the one Eintracht chance, the U17 talents began to dominate their opponents again. Beier was the one to pull the trigger this time, as he lost his opponent after a through ball sent him down the right side and a cool right-footed shot went across goal into the far corner to make it 1-0. Towards the end, Galm's protégés shook up the scoreline. Armindo Sieb assisted captain Kerim Çalhanoğlu, Sejdinović scored his second tournament goal and Topaz Kronmüller scored the final goal, which made for a 4-0 win in the end.
Werder Keeper was not to be defeated
TSG concluded the first day of the tournament as the only team to finish with two wins and two clean sheets. The strong result should have inspired the boys on the second day of the Bundesliga Cup. In the final group match against Werder Bremen, who were two points behind TSG, on four points, a draw would have been enough, but the North Germans were ice cold in front of goal, on two occasions, and were suddenly 2-0 in the lead.
Ferocious and determined attacks from TSG ensued, and after an excellent effort from range by Marvin Weiß, whose shot ricocheted off of the underside of the crossbar and back into play, Beier managed to find the back of the net from the rebound. But despite many more chances, the Bremen keeper, Hajo Kurth, did not allow his goal to be compromised.
Brilliant farewell victory against Hertha
The disappointment of the final that slowly slipped out of TSG's hands was great, and so for the third place play-off against Hertha Berlin, the players were highly motivated. After some excellent groundwork from Çalhanoğlu, Melesse Frauendorf converted a shot just before an obligatory water break, due to the temperature which superseded 30 degrees, to make it 1-0. Sieb set up Çalhanoğlu, who made it 2-0, and Beier, with his third tournament goal followed by Marvin Weiß's point, made it 4-0 in the end.
With a strong overall result of 12-2 and three victories, Galm's XI finished the tournament in third place and the manager had little to complain about. "The tournament was important in general, to see what level we're playing at and I believe that we have a good team again this year. You could see that we are capable of playing good football and that we are hungry for goals," said Galm, who was impressed with what he saw at the tournament which was his Bundesliga Cup debut. "I've a lot of praise for the organisers. It was very enjoyable, and next year let's see if we can win the thing."
The trophy for top goalscorer will join the third place trophy in TSG's cabinet. Maximilian Beier secured the title with his three goals.
The U17 Bundesliga Cup 2018
Werder Bremen Vs. Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0
TSG Hoffenheim Vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0
Borussia Mönchengladbach Vs. Werder Bremen 1-1
Eintracht Frankfurt Vs. TSG Hoffenheim 0-4
TSG Hoffenheim Vs. Werder Bremen 1-2
Eintracht Frankfurt Vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-2
1. | Werder Bremen | 3 | 5-2 | +3 | 7
2. | TSG Hoffenheim | 3 | 8-2 | +6 | 6
3. | Eintracht Frankfurt | 3 | 3-8 | -5 | 3
4. | Borussia Mönchengladbach | 3 | 3-7 | -4 | 1
VfB Stuttgart Vs. Borussia Dortmund 2-2
FC Schalke 04 Vs. Hertha Berlin 1-2
VfB Stuttgart Vs. FC Schalke 04 2-0
Borussia Dortmund Vs. Hertha Berlin 0-0
Hertha Berlin Vs. VfB Stuttgart 0-2
FC Schalke 04 Vs. Borussia Dortmund 1-1
1. | VfB Stuttgart | 3 | 6-2 | +4 | 7
2. | Hertha Berlin | 3 | 2-3 | -1 | 4
3. | Borussia Dortmund | 3 | 3-3 | +0 | 3
4. | FC Schalke 04 | 3 | 2-5 | -3 | 1
7th place play-off:
Borussia Mönchengladbach Vs. FC Schalke 04 1-3
5th place play-off:
Eintracht Frankfurt Vs. Borussia Dortmund 0-1
3rd place play-off:
TSG Hoffenheim Vs. Hertha Berlin 4-0
Werder Bremen Vs. VfB Stuttgart 0-3
The TSG Goalscorers: