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Hoffenheim defeat Kaiserslautern in first-leg of relegation playoffs

HoffenheimFirmino1-Kaiserslautern (DPA)

By DAN KARELL

TSG Hoffenheim used two first half goals to take a 3-1 victory over FC Kaiserslautern in the first-leg of the Bundesliga relegation playoffs.

With Fabian Johnson starting on the left wing, Hoffenheim scored their highest goal total since April 5. Roberto Firmino scored twice for the Bundesliga side and provided the assist for the third goal scored by Sven Schipplock.

The 2.Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern scored one back through Mohammadou Idrissou but they’ll now take the two-goal deficit back to the Fritz-Walter Stadion for the second-leg on Monday, May 27.

28 comments
  • Hogatroge

    Hoffenheim better make some bold moves this offseason to avoid ending up near the bottom of the table 3 years in a row!

    Like

    • biff

      They generally looked very good today, with a few rough patches. There already is some quality talent there, but previous coach Markus Babbel destroyed the team and the second coach couldn’t get it back together and it appears third time is the charm. I’m impressed with what Markus Gisdol, who was assistant coach at Schalke under Huub Stevens, has done in less than two months. This guy is the real deal. If they can make it past Kaiserslautern next week, I think they will have no trouble staying up next year. But you are right, two or three good buys would not hurt.

      Like

    • Josh D

      I know a certain US striker who could be looking for a club in a better league…

      Like

      • anne

        ? –
        Is he be willing to battle in a) a high pace league like German BL or b) in a high physically fighting 2nd German league. And the most important is about his age and his value/ wished income.😉

        Like

      • biff

        gotta agree with you on this one, Josh D. That would be an excellent fit.

        Like

      • MikeG

        Must be Altidore and Altidore is the kind of player that can put Hoffenheim in the middle of the league with a few other added ingredients added to Hoffenheim. With stronger teams interested in Altidore I think Altidore will set his sights higher.

        Like

      • anne

        Ok. – Never thought about him, here. Why people are thinking such a good striking player would be a posibility to a currently down to table BL club? He is a great future prospect for USMNT imo. And if he can’t do the netting for USMNT for now he always did the important assists in games with serious opponents.

        Like

      • biff

        Sorry, was not trying to be cryptic with my comment above. I, of course, was referring to Jozy and I was assuming Josh D was as well. I think Jozy would fit in quite well with the Hoffenheim system being developed by Gisdol.

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    • anne

      +1. What a hard-fought match! Fabian made such a good job until he was brought down! 3-1 is a good result at home. Hopefully they can make it on Monday.
      But what about Williams? Transfermarkt is telling he is still injured…

      Like

      • bryan

        yeah, Williams is still injured but JK said he has been in full training for like 2-3 weeks now. i honestly thought he might already be in the US at camp. Holden said something that it would start Tuesday of this week. but USSF makes it seem as though Williams was with Hoffenheim today in their article about the games going on today. so who knows.

        Like

    • anne

      Fabian is able to play on both positions and perhaps therefore Klinsmann is delighted.

      Like

    • ACS

      Yes, and played pretty well in the first half from what the announcers were saying, I only watched the last 30 minutes almost had the 4th goal missed a header from 4 yards out.

      Like

      • MikeG

        I hate missing a 4 yard shot…been there and done that..first thought is I got to practice more.

        Like

      • anne

        He got more invisible after he was badly brought down…

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      • anne

        He can fill the role for AM but is really more a LB imo.

        Like

    • MikeG

      Imagine that Fabian playing on left wing. What a concept. Somebody who can dribble, pass, win 1 vs 1 challenges, shoot, and do it at full speed better than most of the USMNT player pool. Do not be surprised should Fabian play LW against Belgium and perhaps Germany. I know I would definitely play him at LW against Belgium and Germany. Soccer 101 at a high level.

      Like

      • bryan

        Fabian won’t even be there for the Belgium game. so i would be VERY surprised.

        Like

  • john

    Castillo at LB and Johnson at LW? That could be very servicable, considering how well Castillo has played in recent months for Tijuana. If he can continue to improve defensively, that would be pretty impressive.

    Like

    • MikeG

      I am all for Castillo at LB. Castillo has stepped up his game over time with Tijuana. Tijuana has been a very progressive and positive playing situation for him. Same for Corona. Congrats to both of them. Now, they need to get some minutes with the USMNT and not on the bench. I put Corona ahead of Zuzi on the depth chart..not sure why Klinnsman and other well knowledgeable fans are so high on Zuzi..

      Like

  • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

    You could play Johnson ahead of Beasley or vice versa…

    One can cover the other

    Like

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