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German Bundesliga

Rhein-Neckar Arena (ATT 30,150) 23rd May 2013 - Kick off 19:30

Hoffenheim Hoffenheim vs Kaiserslautern K'lautern

Hoffenheim 3

R Firmino (11, 29)
S Schipplock (67)

ft

K'lautern 1

M Idrissou (58)

Firmino the hero for Hoff

Last Updated: 23/05/13 10:28pm

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Roberto Firmino: Hit a brace

Roberto Firmino: Hit a brace

Roberto Firmino scored twice and set up a third as Hoffenheim took a big step toward staying in the Bundesliga with a two-goal victory in the home leg of their promotion-relegation play-off with Kaiserslautern.

Firmino netted in the 11th and 29th minutes to give the home side an ideal start.

Mohamadou Idrissou scored an away goal for the second division side in the 58th minute, but substitute Sven Schipplock added a third for Hoffenheim nine minutes later.

The return leg will take place on Monday.

Hoffenheim had needed a dramatic 2-1 win at Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund on the last day of the regular season to give themselves a shot at the play-off and they were on the back foot early on.

Kaiserslautern, who have never beaten Hoffenheim in seven competitive matches, had the first chance after five minutes, but Hoffenheim goalkeeper Koen Casteels made a superb stop to deny Erwin Hoffer from 12 yards.

And the hosts grabbed the lead six minutes later, Sejad Salihovic sending in a free-kick from the right side to Firmino, who was quicker than his marker and easily struck home.

Hoffenheim doubled their lead when Kevin Volland fed a charging Andreas Beck, who crossed from the right to the far post for Firmino to convert.

Lautern had a chance three minutes before the break, but Hoffer's volley from eight yards was sliced over the bar.

The visitors were more clinical in the 58th minute and halved the deficit when Hoffenheim lost the ball in midfield, Alexander Baumjohann played in Idrissou and he rounded Casteels and to score.

Hoffenheim nearly scored a third three minutes later, but Stefan Thesker's header went just over the bar.

But number three did arrive in the 67th minute as Schipplock, who had only been brought on two minutes earlier, won the ball off Marc Torrejon, played a one-two with Firmino and then clipped his finish past Lautern keeper Tobias Sippel.

The hosts almost added a fourth soon after, but Fabian Johnson headed over from three yards.

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Matches

Table

German Bundesliga

German Bundesliga
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bayern Munich 17 45
2 Wolfsburg 17 34
3 Bayer Leverkusen 17 28
4 Borussia Monchengladbach 17 27
5 Schalke 17 27
6 FC Augsburg 17 27
7 Eintracht Frankfurt 17 23
8 Hoffenheim 16 23
9 Hannover 96 16 23
10 SC Paderborn 07 17 19
11 Cologne 17 19
12 Mainz 17 18
13 Hertha Berlin 16 18
14 Hamburg 17 17
15 Stuttgart 17 17
16 Werder Bremen 17 17
17 Borussia Dortmund 17 15
18 SC Freiburg 16 14