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Saturday, October 30, 2004 

Wolfsburg 4-3 Mainz

The Wolves remain top of the Bundesliga table after edging a seven goal thriller which had the crowd on their seats from the first minute onwards. The home side staged a remarkable recovery after going two goals down after only 17 minutes. The hero of the day was the Bulgarian striker Martin Petrov, who scored all four of his side’s goal. His fellow goal-getter Thomas Brdaric had 8 gilt edged chances but once again failed to sink any of them. He has now gone seven games without scoring. Two injury time first half goals by Petrov had the Wolves fans dancing, and the visitors shaking their heads at half time. Mainz had Kramny sent off for handling on the line after 57 minutes and the Wolves never looked back.

Mainz go two goals up
Both teams made an attacking start to this round 11 Bundesliga calsh in front of 24, 951 in the VOLKSWAGENARENA on Saturday afternoon. The newly-promoted visitors Mainz went at the home defence from the off, and Simon Jentzsch in the Wolves goal was called upon to save from Casey after a couple of minutes. The Wolves keeper got into a tangle with Hofland and Casey on 15 minutes, leaving Abel to head into an empty net. Abel was also instrumental in the second Mainz goal just two minutes later as he passed to Casey who was on the edge of the Wolfsburg penalty area. The American-born striker didn’t hesitate and blasted a fine shot past Jentzsch, without the keeper moving a muscle.

Petrov at the double!
Coach erik Gerets’s side neede some time to recover from the double-whammy and Mainz continued to play a clever game. An injury to their influential defender Azaouagh, who was stretchered off after colliding with a team mate affected the organisation in the Mainz defence. Diego Klimovicz was taken off with a head injury and was replaced by Menseguez.After half an hour, Wolfsburg began to have more of an impact on the match. Petrov, D’Alessandro and Thiam all had chances to pull a goal back. Shortly afterwards Brdaric hit the bar. In the first minute of injury time at the end of the first half, the Wolves finally struck. Timo Wache in the Mainz goal was adjudged to have fouled Menseguez in the penalty area and the referee Jansen pointed to the spot. Up stepped Martin Petrov to fire in a well placed spot kick to drag the wolves back into the game. Seconds later Brdaric broke down the right and crossed to the inrushing Petrov at the far post. The Bulgarian gleefully scored from close range on the stroke of half time to send the sides into the break locked at 2-2.

Kramny receives his marching orders

The second half began at the same breathtaking pace as the first. Both teams created chances but neither was able to score from them. Then on 57 minutes an incident happened which changed the face of the game. A goal bound shot by Kevin Hofland was handled on the line by Kramny, the referee sent the 33 year old veteran off without hesitation and again pointed to the penalty spot. Petrov put his shot low to the left of Wache and give the Wolves the lead for the first time in the match. That was too much for Mainz, who fell apart at the seams. The Wolves mounted wave upon wave off attacks at the visiting goal. Brdaric missed at least half a dozen good chances, but Petrov didn’t. The Bulgarian scored with a spectacular volley from the left hand side of the area, latching onto a fine pass by Karhan. The Wolves then dropped down a gear and waited to counter attack.

Brave Mainz
The visitors pulled a goal back on 75 minutes through Babatz, but it was too little too late for the brave Mainz team. The Mainz coach Jürgen Klopp has always said that his side’s target for the season is survival in the Bundesliga. On this kind of form they are on the right track to do exactly that. The Wolves are now three points clear at the top of the table after both Stuttgart and Bayern Munich lost their gamnes.

WOLFSBURG: Jentzsch; Karhan, Quiroga, Hofland, Weiser; Thiam (Sarpei, 90'), Schnoor; D'Alessandro; Brdaric, Klimowicz (Mesenguez, 39'), Petrov (Töpic, 83')

MAINZ: Wache; Abel (Weigelt, 46'), M. Friedrich, Noveski, Rose; F. Gerber, Azaouagh (Kramny, 21'), D. Weiland, da Silva; Auer (Babatz), Casey

GOALS: 0-1, Abel (15'); 0-2, Casey (17'); 1-2, Petrov (44'); 2-2, Petrov (45'); 3-2, Petrov (57'); 4-2, Petrov (62'); 4-3, Babatz (75')

Source: vfl-wolfsburg.de

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