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American Exports: Fabian Johnson helps Hoffenheim continue push to escape relegation

Fabian Johnson with Hoffenheim

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AMSTERDAM – Fabian Johnson helped Hoffenheim get their survival drive turned in the right direction with a 3-0 home victory over Fortuna Düsseldorf on Friday.

While Daniel Williams was dropped for the contest by new coach Markus Gisdol, Johnson returned to left back for a clean shift, earning three free kicks on his flank without conceding any. In part thanks to the American's efforts, Hoffenheim posted back-to-back Bundesliga shutouts at home for the first time since October of 2011.

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The victory, Hoffenheim's first at home in two months, tentatively pulled them to within a point of promotion/relegation playoff spot holder Augsburg. It also sliced their deficit on the last place in the safety zone, held by Fortuna, to six points.