A sweetly-struck set-piece early in the match proved to be the deciding factor as the visiting champions surprising slumped to their first defeat of the new season
Hoffenheim began the match brighter than the visitors and gave them a taste of things to come as early as the 6th minute. Roberto Firmino rattled the crossbar with a shot from just outside the box and their early dominance was eventually rewarded minutes later. The hosts took the lead in the 9th minute through Salihovic's rasping 30 yard free-kick which was blasted into Roman Weidenfeller’s top right corner.
Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa's effort at restoring the lead went high and wide of the target after being set up by Mats Hummels. The Japanese midfielder then turned creator as he teed up Kevin Groskreutz, but the striker’s shot was saved by Hoffenheim goalkeeper Tom Starke.
Mario Gotze then threaded through a inch-perfect through ball for Groskreutz but the forward was adjudged to have been in an offside position as the champions sought an equalizer. The home side continued to frustrate Jurgen Klopp’s team until halftime as Hoffenheim went into the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
The hosts looked the likelier side to score after the break with Salihovic’s long-range effort from a tight angle narrowly flying past the post. Dortmund were unfortunate not to level matters on the hour mark. Ivan Perisic’s header was denied by the post as he met Chris Lowe’s teasing cross.
Perisic had two more attempts to pull a goal back but, thanks to some dogged defending, neither effort troubled the home side’s goalie.
The game then lost its rhythm as fouls and substitutions disrupted the flow of proceedings. A late onslaught by the away team came in the dying minutes as firstly Robert Lewandowski’s was mere inches wide of the post. Then with just two minutes remaining on the clock, Mohamed Zidan set up Jakub Blaszczykowski but his effort was far too high to trouble Starke as the hosts held on for the win.
The victory registers Hoffenheim's first points of the 2011-12 season as Holger Stanislawski’s charges pulled off a surprise win against last season’s title winners. They take on Augsburg next Saturday and will look to build on their impressive victory. Meanwhile Borussia Dortmund faces Nurnberg next Saturday as it looks to make up for this shock loss and get its title bid back on track.