Bayern Munich were held to a 1-1 draw by Hoffenheim in their opening match of the Bundesliga season and first under new coach Louis van Gaal.
Dutchman van Gaal hoped to celebrate his 58th birthday with a victory at the Rhein-Neckar Arena, but could have no complaints with a point. Ivica Olic gave Bayern the lead in the 25th minute after an assist from Croatia teammate Danijel Pranjic, another new signing by the Bavarian giants. It came against the run of play as the hosts, the early pacesetters in the Bundesliga last season, might have gone ahead with an effort from Josip Simunic which was unfortunately ruled out. But Chinedu Obasi leveled in the 41st minute after a superb pass from the returning Vedad Ibisevic, who missed much of the second half of last season through injury as Hoffenheim faded from title contention. Bayern, desperate to win back the German title, stepped up the pace in the second half with Mario Gomez hitting the outside of the post having rounded Hoffenheim goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand. Frank Ribery, the subject of continued transfer rumors, missed the match through injury and Bayern were also without strikers Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni.
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Earlier on Saturday, Kevin Kuranyi scored twice to give Schalke and new coach Felix Magath a winning start with a 2-1 victory at promoted Nuremberg. Magath joined Schalke after leading Wolfsburg to the Bundesliga title last season. Marvin Matip’s own goal gave Borussia Dortmund’s massive 80,000 sell-out crowd reason to cheer as they edged Cologne 1-0 for an opening victory. Cologne lost Germany striker Lukas Podolski to injury on his return to his home-town club after three largely disappointing seasons with Bayern Munich.
In other matches, Eintracht Frankfurt won 3-2 at Werder Bremen, Bayer Leverkusen drew 2-2 at promoted Mainz and Hertha Berlin beat Hannover 1-0. On Friday, Wolfsburg got the defense of their Bundesliga title off to a winning start with a convincing 2-0 home victory over Stuttgart.