Fabian Johnson assisted on a great goal in a losing effort for Hoffenheim Saturday. (Moises Castillo, AP)
Hoffenheim has made a habit of blowing leads this season, which surely has played a part in the club conceding a Bundesliga-most 56 goals. The club was at it again Saturday, but it managed to get on the highlight reel for both the right and wrong reasons, with an American abroad prominently involved.
Eugen Polanski and Roberto Firmino scored a pair of marvelous goals within four minutes of each other to give Hoffenheim a 2-0 first-half edge over Mainz -- only for the club to concede four unanswered and fall 4-2.
Polanski's came in the 49th minute off a cleared -- or so Mainz thought -- corner kick, with the Polish midfielder connecting for a vicious left-footed volley at the top of the box that cut through traffic until it found the back of the net.
Firmino's goal in the 53rd was assisted by versatile U.S. defender/winger Fabian Johnson, who got the nod at right back and dropped a pinpoint ball into his teammate's path from the flank. The Brazilian forward volleyed the ball to himself off a hop and rifled a right-footed blast inside the near post despite three defenders closing in for his team-leading 13th goal of the season.
Johnson's day soured from there, as he was beaten for Mainz's first goal and had the cross that led to the go-ahead strike come from his side, which may give Jurgen Klinsmann food for thought about his best position this summer in Brazil.
Highlights of both Hoffenheim wonderstrikes (and the ensuing collapse) are below: