Hoffenheim Utilize Obscure Rule To Score On Bayern With Two Balls On The Pitch

Hoffenheim opened the scoring against Bayern Munich with a rarely seen use of the multi-ball system.

30-year-old wunderkind manager Julian Nagelsmann will earn the plaudits for masterminding Hoffenheim’s 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich on Saturday, but another precocious young individual has also made the headlines for his performance in the match: 13-year-old ball boy Umut Tohumcu, who was making his debut in the role.

With the scores level at 0-0 in the 27th minute, Bayern defender Mats Hummels couldn’t reach the ball to keep it in play near the sideline. His smashed clearance returned to the pitch, but Hoffenheim were awarded a throw and Andrej Kramaric took it swiftly.

Mark Uth promptly provided the finish beyond Manuel Neuer, but the likes of Hummels, Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller raged in protest at there being two balls on the pitch. However, referee Daniel Siebert made it clear that the ball Hummels kicked was no longer interfering with the game and that play should therefore continue, allowing the goal to stand.


The instance is so rare that both Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti and Hummels admitted to being completely unaware of the rule.

“I saw that Andrej Kramaric wanted the ball, and I threw it to him straight away,” said Tohumcu. “It was my ball boy debut at the pros. It’s a great feeling I could help. It’s my pleasure.”

“They moved it quickly — Andrej, Mark and the ball boy,” said Nagelsmann. “The ball boys are encouraged to get the ball back into the game quickly. I don’t want to say that a big percentage of the goal is down to the ball boy, but he had a good part in it.”

After three match days in the Bundesliga, Hoffenheim are second in the table, trailing Borussia Dortmund on goal difference. Bayern are sixth.

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