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Gomes helps Hoffenheim to rare win on debut

Hoffenheim bagged their first three points since early November as Heurelho Gomes made his Bundesliga debut in Hoffenheim's 2-1 win over Freiburg at the weekend.

The loan signing of Tottenham's third-choice keeper, 31, had been one of the most surprising Bundesliga signings during the winter transfer period when he arrived at the club on loan on deadline day. The Brazilian was brought in as a replacement for the former Germany international Tim Wiese, who had come under fire for his performances and was taken about of the first-team picture by Hoffenheim boss Marco Kurz - for his own benefit.

Upon his arrival Gomes was instantly attacked by German media. Nationwide daily Die Welt asked "Is Gomes a butterfingers?" and football magazine kicker nicknamed him "The railway gate". After only one training session with his new team-mates, however, Gomes stood behind a Hoffenheim defence that withstood the pressure from Freiburg. "He has got a strong presence," Hoffenheim boss Kurz said after the match. "All credit to him. It was no easy situation for him, but we knew about his great experience."

The win over Freiburg was Hoffenheim's first win since beating Schalke 3-2 on November 3, 2012. The result lifted Hoffenheim up to 16th, a place that would see them contest the relegation play-off at the end of the season. The club, however, still needs to close a seven-point gap to Wolfsburg, in order to secure another year in the Bundesliga without resorting to a play-off.

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