AMSTERDAM – Fabian Johnson pitched in with a solid left wing shift as Hoffenheim got a leg up in their promotion/relegation opener with a 3-1 decision over visiting Kaiserslautern on Thursday.
The US international showed his dangerous side Thursday night, repeatedly beating defenders on the dribble. In addition to taking part in the capper, Johnson made several runs into the area and drew three dangerous free kicks.
The No. 16 shirt also nearly added a fourth Hoffenheim goal in the 71st minute, only to nod Kevin Volland's cross over the frame from a great position. Fellow Yank Danny Williams didn't make the game-day squad for Hoffenheim.
The teams will reunite on May 27 at Kaiserslautern to settle the tie, with the winner booking their Bundesliga place for next season.