AMSTERDAM – Fabian Johnson and Borussia Mönchengladbach picked up right where they left off last season, advancing to the second round of the DfB-Pokal with a 4-1 cruise through home side St. Pauli on Monday night.
Stationed on left wing with the Foals in a 4-4-2, the US international got busy early in his full shift. A defensive flub allowed Johnson to sting the 'keeper's hands after just seven minutes and he would set up a chance for 'Gladbach striker Josip Drmic to do the same on the half-hour.
St. Pauli took the lead a moment later and carried it into halftime. However, Johnson & Co. saved the night's best for last. Shortly after the winger was foiled by a saving tackle as he tried to break in alone on 49, Lars Stindl hit for the first of two 'Gladbach goals in a three-minute span.
Just 11 minutes later, Johnson played a big part in teeing up the visitors' third following a little two-man game down the left with Oscar Wendt. The American was played to the corner before cutting back for Raffael to fire a low bullet on target. The ensuing rebound was easy pickings for Stindl.
Johnson, who would later be robbed on a breakaway chance with 15 minutes left, ended up completing 42 of 44 passes on the night. He and his teammates will now await Friday's second round draw.
Earlier in the evening, John Anthony Brooks made a four-minute cameo in Hertha Berlin's 2-0 advancement win at Arminia Bielefeld.