American Exports: Fabian Johnson marks final Hoffenheim run out with an assist as Bundesliga closes
AMSTERDAM – A trio of Americans got dressed up for the final round of the Bundesliga season on Saturday afternoon, with Fabian Johnson setting up the insurance tally as Hoffenheim finished in the better half of the table after a 3-1 home win over Braunschweig.
Mere moments before taking a final round of departure applause on 75 minutes, the Borussia Mönchengladbach free-agent capture earned perhaps the easiest of his five assists this season. Johnson fed Kevin Volland, who then promptly bagged the home side's third from distance.
Joseph Gyau remained a bench spectator for Hoffenheim, who won for the sixth time in eight home games since the winter break.
Around the league, John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin were on the wrong end of a 4-0 lesson from visiting Borussia Dortmund.
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The US international led all players with 11 safe clearances, but was among the Hertha guilty on Dortmund's second and fourth goals. With their road win drought up to six games, the capital crew ended 11th in the final standings.
Finally, with Timothy Chandler sitting out due to a yellow-card suspension, FC Nürnberg fell 4-1 at Schalke to suffer their first relegation in six years. Der Club closed the season by losing seven straight and 11 of 12.
Meanwhile in France, Alejandro Bedoya worked a decent shift in vain as Nantes dropped a 3-1 decision against in-form Ligue 1 visitors Saint-Étienne.
Mere seconds before Les Verts opened the scoring, Bedoya set up a Nantes box invasion that saw Itay Shecter strike the frame. The US attacker moved the ball well over his 78 minutes and put one of two shots on frame. Despite a winless streak that has reached three games, the Canaries held firm in 12th place.
And in the Dutch Eredivisie's Europa League playoff, Aron Jóhannsson rested his sore ankle again as AZ Alkmaar moved into a final match-up against Groningen despite a 1-0 loss at Heerenveen. The Cheese Farmers advanced on a 3-1 aggregate without their leading scorer.