BERLIN – Wolfsburg took an almost definitive step towards staying in the game after beating second division side Holstein Kiel 3-1 in the first leg of the German Bundesliga relegation campaign on Thursday.
The team of manager Bruno Labbadia, who played in the quarterfinals of the Champions League with Real Madrid just two years ago, won their crucial game against Holstein Kiel, who put Wolfsburg in more trouble than expected.
In fact, Holstein Kiel had two clear chances in the final minutes, especially an 84th-minute shot from Aaron Seydel, soaring close to the post, which would have achieved a better result for the return leg on May 21.
Holstein Kiel, however, lacked the success of Wolfsburg, who did not miss an early chance to take the lead after 13 minutes with a goal from Belgian striker Divock Origi.
Holstein Kiel responded 21 minutes later, with a goal from Kingsley Schindler, which culminated from a spectacular attack by striker Dominick Drexler, who managed the ball past all his opponents in the area.
But even the beauty of Drexler’s goal did not prevent Holstein Kiel’s defeat, which before half-time was already behind again, after Croatia’s Josip Brekalo scored the 2-1 after 40 minutes of play.
Tunisian Yunus Malli was responsible for the final score for Wolfsburg after converting a long pass coming from Origi to a quality goal in the 56th minute.